The Medaille Trust is a charity founded in 2006, working in response to the plight of thousands of people who are being trafficked into the UK each year. In February, alongside the Catholic Arcdiocese of Birmingham, they celebrated the Annual Service for Saint Josephine Bakhita by announcing the launch of a new six-year ‘Look Up’ awareness campaign. Saint Josephine is the patron saint of human trafficking victims, and was sold as a slave several times out of her birthplace of Sudan into Italy.
As part of this call to action Garry Smith, CEO of the Medaille Trust, and Archbishop Bernard Longley, signed a pledge to work together for the benefit of those suffering from modern slavery. Primarily the partnership is about raising awareness in Roman Catholic Parishes, however Medaille trust are extending to the invitation to all Christians and and other faiths outside of Christianity, as Modern Day Slavery has no boundaries, and are looking to speak to any group or person who would like to know more.
As port of “Look Up”, churches and individuals will be encouraged to pledge to support the victims of modern slavery and work together towards the eradication of all its forms. Parishes will be visited by the Medaille Trust and awarded a ‘Make the Pledge’ certificate.
In addition, through recruiting Anti-Slavery Envoys, the trust aim to deliver awareness raising talks on modern day slavery, distribute Medaille Trust printed materials, and fundraise to support their work.
Rev Redfern, who jointly facilitated the St Bakhita Day annual service, said:
“This is happening in the shadows, and we are not noticing,” he said. “Many of us are blind, we need our eyes opened. I salute the work of the Medaille Trust. It offers safe spaces. Love, hope, a gentle way into recovery. We have some great systems, but people need love. They are terribly traumatised and need years to recover. Walking on by allows sin to flourish.”
If you would like to find out more, or arrange a speaker to visit your parish, please contact Marc Pearson, Community Engagement Co-Ordinator at the Medaille Trust, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or download the most recent Medaille Trust newsletter. To find out more about job roles and volunteering see the jobs page of the Medaille Trust website.