Charity helps survivors of human trafficking

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A LAW firm has helped with the launch of a new organisation in Yorkshire to provide long-term assistance to survivors of human trafficking.

Legal experts from Irwin Mitchell in Sheffield have helped the Snowdrop Project gain official charity status, as it looks to help people come to terms with their ordeal and get the best from their lives.

The new body grew out of work done by Sheffield-based Lara Bundock and Rachel Medina, in response to growing concerns about the lack of long-term support available to survivors of trafficking after they have left short-term Government funded shelter accommodation.

The new organisation, which is a charitable incorporated organisation regulated by the Charity Commission will give Ms Bundock and Ms Medina, and the trustees, a vehicle to aid fundraising and delivery of support to survivors of trafficking.

It is one of the first charities of its kind in the UK to focus on the long term reintegration of survivors.

Ms Bundock, CEO of the Snowdrop Charity, said: “Survivors of human trafficking suffer unbelievable physical and psychological trauma from which some may never fully recover, but sadly Government support on this matter is only available for up to 45 days.

“Our focus is on ensuring that survivors have longer lasting support and access to key services such as counselling, advocacy and legal advice which will mean they are not forgotten after that initial period. We are absolutely delighted that the charity is now formally registered as this means we are able to work more effectively than ever to support these survivors.”

Irwin Mitchell partner Laurence Gavin and associate Mark Evans advised the charity on its set up, and formal registration as a CIO. Both are based at the law firm’s Sheffield office and focus on commercial and regulatory work.

Mr Evans said: “As a Sheffield based firm we take great pride in supporting initiatives and new ventures emerging in the city. The Snowdrop Project is a fantastic organisation which will benefit a huge number of people and we are delighted to have been involved in its establishment.”