The Southwell and Nottingham Story

The Clewer Initiative is working alongside the Diocese through its network of parishes.

Key Contact: Revd Liam O'Boyle

Email: liam.o'

Telephone: 01636 817232

The Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham is combatting modern slavery through its role in two local initiatives, with statutory and civil society partners.

The work of combatting modern slavery continues to grow locally and nationally through different partnerships the Diocese is involved with (both the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Strategic Partnership with police, statutory and non statutory organisations as well as the Nottingham Modern Slavery Forum for frontline workers and charities). The Diocese is also working with the University and Nottingham Citizens to plan and coordinate events to raise awareness.

The Diocese has been actively involved elsewhere, holding Faith and Freedom workshops in conjunction with the Salvation Army and the University. At these workshops, they have hosted people from different faith communities and social justice projects like food banks and night shelters. Together, they have explored the reality of modern slavery and how they might have come into contact with it.

Through the Slavery-Free City initiative, the Diocese also hopes to engage businesses and local people and encourage them to ask what they could do to end slavery in the city. The Diocese intentionally works with Hot Food Provider networks, Soup Runs, Homeless Shelters, Food Banks via training and information packs on what to do and who to contact when they suspect or someone discloses being trafficked. The Clewer Initiative’s Credit Card sized leaflets have proved invaluable and welcomed by all. The Diocese continues to raise the profile of issues of modern slavery in churches on Freedom Sunday in October each year.

Key Features

A study in partnership

The University of Nottingham has carried out a huge amount of work on studying modern slavery, creating its multi-disciplinary Rights Lab to encourage innovation from staff and students. This proactive approach hasn’t stopped at the gates of the University, instead its study of modern slavery has enriched the partnership work going on in the city itself. The Diocese is working closely with the University and is extremely grateful to university staff for their support and dedication.

Both frontline and strategic

Across the city centre of Nottingham, there is an Anti-Slavery Partnership, designed to bring together different organisations such as the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, police, the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham, the county and borough councils, and other frontline agencies in a strategic way. There is also a Modern Slavery Forum which is for frontline charities and outreach centres to share information about what is happening on the ground.

Challenging indifference

Recent cases that have come to light in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham have shown a culture of indifference that allows modern slavery to flourish. Local people may have seen signs that point to a crime going on, but rather than report it, they have turned a blind eye under the excuse that it was nothing to do with them. Through exposing the horror of modern slavery, the Diocese hopes to challenge these kind of attitudes.

Giving people the tools

Through the parish system the Church of England is in every neighbourhood. This gives the Church a responsibility but also an opportunity – to learn the signs of modern slavery and act on it when we see it. In their work in the Diocese, the team in Southwell and Nottingham is aiming to give people the tools to recognise modern slavery and to know who to call or how to act on their suspicions or concerns.


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