We are excited for the team in Bridgwater and Sian Owen, in particular, for her nomination in the Reducing Vulnerabilities category.
Sian Owen says: ‘After attending The Clewer Initiative’s Hidden Voices course, I became the voluntary coordinator of the local action group, leading on a “toilet door” sticker campaign and creating a public event to mark Anti-Slavery Day. I invited the local town mayor and agreed he would emphasise the long links between Bridgwater and slavery.”
Sian secured a slot at the Bridgwater Town council development forum which was shared with the then police and crime commissioner. Sian became the project worker for a pilot Victim Support project “Hidden Voices Somerset” and has worked fulltime at a safehouse.
During lockdown, Sian trained village agents online which not only built good relationships, but also resulted in village agents being comfortable to come to her with concerns, which are then taken to the police or GLAA.
In May 2021, Sian started a community initiative to build resilience against County Lines in the most deprived communities in Bridgwater. The small group, led with the support of council leaders and police reached around 800 people. She is now working on a major diversionary project aimed at young people on the key housing estates.
David Maggs, The Clewer Initiative project lead for Bath & Wells says: “Sian is an amazing networker and has recently contacted the Avon and Somerset PCC to find ways in which some of the work can be furthered. There are many volunteers that have played a key role in this work, but Sian has led, inspired and kept things alive in very difficult circumstances.”