Project information

Keeping survivors of modern slavery safe

Unseen run's safehouses for men, women and children who have survived modern slavery. Our specialist safehouses provide 24/7 support to those who have suffered terribly at the hands of human traffickers. The projects focus on helping survivors to recover from exploitation and rebuild their lives.

This project is on-going

Charity information: Unseen

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  • Need


    Modern slavery is the fastest growing crime worldwide. The National Crime Agency (2017) estimates that there are tens of thousands of victims currently in the UK.

    Men, women and children are enslaved for many purposes - forced labour, sex work or becoming someone's servant.

    Abuse, lies and control are hallmarks of modern slavery. After a victim escapes, they are often destitute, in need of health care and are suffering with severe trauma. They desperately need support to rest and recover.


    Unseen runs three safehouses - for men, women and children - who have survived modern slavery. Survivors come to our safehouses immediately after they have escaped their traffickers. These places of safety protect survivors from traffickers locating them. The 24/7 specialist staff team are on hand to provide:

    - medical care
    - emotional support
    - legal support
    - education and training

    The aim of the safehouses is to build survivors' capacity to live independent, safe, resilient lives.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To give victims of human trafficking the safety, hope and choice they need and deserve.


    » To provide 24/7 support for victims of human trafficking.
    » To provide access to health care, legal advice, counselling and therapeutic activities.
    » To work on a one-to-one basis with each survivor, to help build their resilience and self-esteem

    What success will look like

    100% of survivors to be offered medical care, legal advice and therapeutic services
    At least 80% of survivors to have increased feelings of safety, hope and choice.

    Aim 2

    Feed learning from the project into training for frontline professionals on modern slavery


    » To develop a network of trainers across the UK and deliver workshops to at least 1,500 professionals a year
    » Develop specialist training packages for different sectors of business and frontline professionals

    What success will look like

    At least 1,500 staff to be trained each year.

    Aim 3

    Feed learning from the safehouses into government and other agencies to improve UK wide support


    » We are working with government on the re-design of the National Referral Mechanism (the support system for survivors) to better meet their needs
    » We want to learn about how the recent reduction in subsistence allowance is impacting survivors lives

    What success will look like

    We will report on the consultations we have with other key agencies, and the outcome of these.
    We track learning through our monthly monitoring mechanisms.

  • Impact


    Increased resilience of survivors will reduce re-exploitation.

    Disrupting criminal activity through reporting modern slavery, its trends and hotspots.

    Improve sector learning through sharing best practice.

    More frontline staff trained, more victims identified and more victims able to receive the support they need.

    Working with government and NGOs to build a better picture of UK trafficking and design effective responses to preventing and tackling it.


    Brexit will likely impact the ways in which traffickers exploit victims and the funding landscape. EU funding will be threatened and the potential economic downturn may affect general donations to charities.

    The government is currently reviewing survivor support in the UK. The outcome of this review may impact the way our services operate- eg. the length of support survivors are entitled to. We are working closely with government to ensure survivors needs are at the heart of changes.


    We have a quarterly supporter newsletter, and bespoke newsletters for corporates and community groups. Unseen produces an annual Impact Report and we will produce a one off report on the impact of the Big Give which will be sent to all donors.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £328,048

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £205,520 Staff salaries An 8 person staff team including Support Workers, Key Workers, a House Manager & Night Workers
      £13,035 Staff Expenses Travel, training and supervision
      £47,495 Rent and premises costs Rent, bills, insurance, repairs, security
      £11,782 Service running costs Monitoring, IT, groceries, office costs, activities for survivors
      £4,690 Service user costs Counselling, medical costs, legal costs, phones survivors
      £2,628 Legal & professional fees Insurance, audit, agency fees
      £35,148 Organisational overheads Management costs, admin, HR, central office
      £7,750 Capital costs Refurbishment, repairs, garden project, maintenance

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Big Lottery £178,156 Guaranteed
    Sponsor a Room Donors £2,000 Conditional
  • Background


    All of Unseen's safehouses are located in the south west of England. They are national services.

    All of Unseen's safehouses are in anonymous locations for security purposes- to keep victims safe from being located by their traffickers.


    Each year:

    - Around 25 women benefit from the women's safehouse
    - Around 25 men benefit from the men's safehouse
    - Up to 10 children in our children's safehouse

    The men's safehouse is currently most in need of funding so we have included the budget for this safehouse. However, we would like to allocate the funds from the Big Give to the safehouse/ safehouses with the most need at the end of the year.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Unseen is one of the only charities in the UK that provides 24/7 specialist support to survivors with the highest level of needs. Our successful, victim-centred model of support has been helping survivors for over 7 years. Unseen is led by recognised modern slavery experts.

    Unseen is the only anti-slavery charity that works from a micro to macro level, channeling our experience and learning from working with survivors to influence systemic change and ultimately end modern slavery.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Andrew Wallis OBE

    As founder and Chief Executive, Andrew chaired the CSJ report that Theresa May cited as the catalyst for the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

    Kate Garbers

    Kate leads Unseen's survivor services. She won the DSC Influencer Award 2017 and is often called upon as an Expert Witness for trafficking victims

    Justine Currell

    Justine is Unseen's Executive Director. Justine had a 20 year career at the Home Office and was the Head of the Modern Slavery Unit.

Modern slavery is real

If I needed help, the house was always there for me. I would like to say thank you to everyone. All of you, thanks for keeping me with you.