This unique idea has resulted in modern slavery awareness and action growing across the Dioceses as each ambassador has embraced the role and passed their knowledge on to others.
Martin Poole, Chair of Together in Sussex and Vicar of St. Luke’s Prestonville, explains more: “Our modern slavery ambassadors are ordinary people who have expressed an interest in finding out more about modern slavery and cascading the information throughout their parishes. They act as a local point of contact for their parish. Some give regular talks in their churches, some go into local schools and talk about modern slavery, and others put up posters - the scope of their work varies hugely as they all have different capacities and personalities!
“We provide an introduction to modern slavery, using material from The Clewer Initiative and other organisations, and offer ongoing support and training. Our 20 ambassadors are on a WhatsApp group and this enables them to share ideas, keep encouraging one another, post articles and signpost resources which help them in their work. We also meet once a quarter to support one another and brainstorm what else we can do to keep modern slavery high on the agenda of our churches.
“Once a year, we hold a commissioning service where we appoint and pray for the ambassadors and this provides an annual opportunity to highlight their important role. We are always looking to recruit more ambassadors – we believe it is a great model for mobilising and equipping churches and individuals.
“Our ambassadors are not modern slavery experts. They help people know the signs of modern slavery and what to do if they have any suspicions or concerns about someone.
“I would highly recommend this model to other Dioceses and I am very happy to speak to anyone interested in finding out more.”