Photo by Ana Municio

Who's who?

5th August 2021 | From our team

An introduction to some of The Clewer Initiative national team…

The Clewer Initiative

We thought you might like to find out more about some of the people who work behind-the-scenes at The Clewer Initiative. Here are the stories of four members of the national team!


Caroline Virgo, Director of The Clewer Initiative

Caroline grew up in a mining village in South Wales in the 1960’s and saw first-hand how hard many peoples’ lives are. This made a deep impression on her. Her mum, one of the early cohorts of Girton College Cambridge women medics in the post war period, was the village doctor and held the surgery in an annex at the family home.

At university, Caroline studied law – and then law and development. Following this, she committed to being part of an ecumenical community working for justice in village communities in the Republic of the Philippine Islands. Back in the UK, she married, had children and grew in her conviction that she was called to work within the church to encourage and promote Christian social justice.

As a result to what she felt God was calling her to do, she set up the Bristol Debt Advice Centre with members of the Church (now Talking Money and then Hope’s Place ( in the early 2000’s as a Christian response to teenage pregnancy (self-esteem programmes were the core of its early work).

She worked as a development officer with the Bristol Christian Action network (subsumed into Christian Action Bristol) and then The Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth ( where she worked on a number of diocesan projects including Called and Gifted and Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth.

Whilst at Portsmouth she did some work in the Diocese around modern slavery with Medaille. She felt it was a hard subject for churches to work with effectively and that people were nervous about it. When she came across The Clewer Initiative she felt that she should apply for the role, believing that her rather eclectic skill set and career history might fit the bill! Caroline joined The Clewer Initiative in 2016 as the first project officer, accepting the invitation to become its director in 2019.

Caroline shares: “Scripture is very clear – we are called to love the Lord our God and to love our neighbour as ourself. I have noticed that the combination of prayer and action is often balanced in favour of one or the other. For what it’s worth, I have tried to maintain a prayerful life alongside my action and to follow what I discern that God requires in any situation and pray really hard that God makes good any shortfall on my part.”


Amy Bishop, Business Support Officer

Amy joined The Clewer Initiative in January 2020 as Business Support Officer. Before this, she studied Biblical Studies and Theology at Nottingham University. Through the work of the Nottingham Rights Lab and volunteering at a local, church-run homeless shelter she started to become more aware of how modern slavery was affecting the most vulnerable in her local area. This growing concern led to her studying for an MA in Slavery and Liberation with the Rights Lab. Her dissertation was on ‘Child Trafficking in the UK and the support available for children’ and she explored how the right level of support can stop child victims from being re-trafficked.

Amy’s role includes supporting the Director and Chair of The Clewer Initiative, facilitating training sessions, assisting with aspects of project and diocesan work’ and social media. She enjoys being able to combine her concern for those affected by modern slavery with her passion for strengthening communities.

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Bishop Alastair Redfern, Chair of The Clewer Initiative

Bishop Alastair Redfern has had a long involvement with seeking to reach out to vulnerable people and encourage churches and other community actors to make appropriate responses. In Oxford, he was involved in setting up a hostel for the homeless, which raised the issue of vulnerability that was largely hidden. In Bristol, he was involved in responding to the often-brutal exploitation of young people in the sex trade. In Lincoln, he discovered that seasonal workers were often being oppressed and abused. In the Diocese of Derby, he began to develop forums for exploring issues around modern slavery and making appropriate responses. As a member of the House of Lords, he was involved in helping craft the Modern Slavery Act and national responses to this terrible crime.

These projects led to the foundation of The Clewer Initiative, when he was approached by the trustees of the Clewer sisters with a view to continuing the work they had been founded to undertake in the 19th century, in a more contemporary way. He serves as the chair of The Clewer Initiative and works internationally in the fight against modern slavery through the Global Sustainability Network, and the Anglican Alliance.


Myles Dunnett, Programme Development Manager

Myles Dunnett joined The Clewer Initiative as Programme Development Manager in July 2021. He looks forward to using his experience in project management, communication, and strategic support to help develop and deliver the work of the initiative. He believes that the Church of England has great power to address the issue of modern slavery in society and hopes to assist the team in tackling this vital, and often unseen, crisis. He also hopes to learn more about modern slavery and the complex network of related issues which surround it.

Before joining the team, Myles worked in the National Church’s Archbishops’ Advisers for Appointments and Development department, supporting clergy in their development as leaders. Prior to working at the National Church Institutions, he completed a BA and MA in English Literature at the University of York. Myles lives in Hertfordshire, and enjoys travelling, cooking, and writing.

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Helen Jebson, Communications Manager

Before joining The Clewer Initiative in January 2020, Helen had little previous understanding of modern slavery. However, having spent a large part of her career involved in social issues and working with vulnerable groups, she was immediately drawn to The Clewer Initiative’s purpose. As she immersed herself in the subject, she found the prevalence of modern slavery in such a wide range of industries and day to day areas of our lives here in the UK quite disturbing.

Her role covers all aspects of communications. From strategy and brand to digital, content creation and stakeholder engagement and most things in between. Because the team is small, her driving goal is to use our communications activity to maximise the impact of our activities – whether it is supporting a local social action project, developing an app to help the general public get involved in tackling modern slavery, improving our website or creating an awareness raising campaign.


Claire Walford, Communications Officer

Claire has been working part-time for The Clewer Initiative since January 2020. Her main responsibilities are the monthly newsletter, the Press Office, supporting the team with general marketing activity and managing special projects such as the Women in the Shadows and Anti-Slavery Day campaigns.

Prior to The Clewer Initiative, Claire worked at various PR agencies in London, Bristol and New York and as a freelance communications consultant while her three children were small. Based in Bristol, her husband is a vicar in the Church of England, and she enjoys running the church toddler group and supporting other daytime women’s ministry. Since joining The Clewer Initiative, her knowledge of modern slavery has grown exponentially, and she is pleased to be able to use her communication skills to raise awareness of such an important issue.

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