In our August newsletter, we wrote about the hopes of the Bristol Mothers’ Union to mark Anti-Slavery Day by creating a giant crochet chain of 951 links to represent the 951 potential victims of modern slavery in Bristol. Since then, the members of the Mothers’ Union plus many other Bristol artisans and supporters have been busy crocheting chains and raising awareness.
Sue Rees, who devised the idea originally, has been working hard behind the scenes, spreading the word amongst the Bristol craft community, and leading a zoom workshop for interested Mothers’ Union members. She is also planning to connect the 951 links together as soon as the target is hit.
Excitingly, the idea has also gone viral! We have received many emails asking for further information about the project and even got an email from someone in the USA who is intending to post some links to us! Several other Mothers' Union including Oxford, Cornwall, Manchester, Portsmouth, Chester and Leicester are following Bristol’s lead and creating chains to represent the victims in their regions.
In late August, Aurea Hart, the Diocesan President of the Bristol Mothers’ Union, spoke to BBC Radio Bristol’s Breakfast show about the campaign and was able to share widely about Anti-Slavery Day, the Mothers’ Union, The Clewer Initiative and modern slavery in general.
Aurea Hart explains: “We are getting close to our goal of 951 links and the chain should be ready to make a big impact at Bristol Cathedral’s Anti-Slavery Day service on Sunday 17th October. We hope to invite local campaigners, politicians, clergy, and media to attend the service and be photographed with the giant chain. The project has really caught people's imagination. What I think is particularly powerful is the way we are representing the number of victims in our city – hopefully by making this 951-link chain it will help people begin to grasp the true horror and scale of slavery, rather than just hear an innocuous number. I am also thrilled that other Dioceses and groups are picking up the idea and making chains to reflect the number of victims in their areas.”