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Hello and Welcome...

... to the first edition of our Newsletter, this one might be a long one to catch you up, so grab a cuppa and get comfy where you can sit back and read, as we take you on a journey over the first 18 months in the life of Rebuild, a charity supporting individuals who have experienced Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery (HTMS).

This newsletter comes to you at an unprecedented time within our lives, as the Covid-19 virus sweeps across the world. Whilst this is disruptive, unpleasant and so very tragic for those sadly losing their lives, it creates an opportunity for society to re-evaluate what is important and good. Although social distancing is new to many of us, those Rebuild works with have experienced isolation before, and often in very precarious situations. One individual we support told us that “Before I came to Rebuild, I was sad and depressed, and I felt isolated. I just wanted to lock myself away from people. I was lonely”.  Rebuild exists to support individuals who have experienced human trafficking and modern slavery to break the cycle of trafficking, empowering them to rebuild their lives and embrace a hope filled future. We hope that this is a future that involves being connected to a community.

So, let’s begin the Rebuild journey and start at the very beginning…


Pilot Project

In December 2017, Lesley was invited to partner with Derby City Council to design and deliver a Victim Pathway pilot for the Home Office as part of National Referral Mechanism (NRM) reforms. The aim was to address gaps in post NRM support for victims of HTMS. As Rebuild was only a concept at this point, a local charity Jacobs Well (Derby), kindly offered to host Rebuild Project to let it begin delivery and establish itself as a charity. The pilot was due to begin in May 2018, so it was time to recruit a team...

The Team

Between June and August, Diane Rogers and Anna Betts were appointed as Outreach Caseworkers along with Anne Davies as Rebuild’s Team Administrator. By August 2018 we began taking referrals from national partners. Initially many of those we supported transitioned from outside the area and support was heavily focussed on housing and benefits; the practicalities that provide the bedrock of stability and security for any of us. From aiding people with the practicalities of moving (including orientation to a new city), to attending appointments with them, locating GP’s and setting up small groups to create connection points, the work of Rebuild has been varied and bespoke to each individual as they navigate all things in moving forward into a life free from exploitation.


As well as recruiting a staff team, we recruited a small team of volunteers to be part of the Rebuild team to help support us. Volunteers support the facilitation of our Connect (group) Sessions, support through befriending, and accompanying individuals to appointments.

The staff team and those we support value our volunteers greatly (you know who you are). We look forward to seeing this aspect of our work continue to grow; if this an area you may be interested in then please contact us.

So, a huge thankyou to all our Rebuild Volunteers!
“I feel part of a family and community”


Throughout 2019, we continued to deliver the pilot project working closely with the Modern Slavery Unit at the Home Office to disseminate our learning and share the challenges. Along with the other 5 projects, the issues that prevailed began to be noticeable. For Rebuild in particular, housing was the primary concern for individuals and for us. As part of the pilot in Derby we had 3 council houses that were used to provide temporary accommodation to individuals and families when they transitioned to Derby until they were able to move into more stable accommodation. We are very grateful to DerbyHomes for their support in this aspect of the pilot. Although this was a great asset, it was not enough – there were many referrals that we were unable to accept due to a lack of temporary accommodation. This was a common problem across the pilot projects and is one of the areas we would like to explore further as we develop our work. 

Rebuild East Midlands was born

In February 2019, we finally got charity status for Rebuild East Midlands and after much work behind the scenes on 1 September Rebuild transitioned from Jacobs Well (Derby) to Rebuild East Midlands (REM) relatively seamlessly. At this point we would like to say a gigantic thank you to Jacobs Well for all their support and faith in Rebuild in its infancy. Your support was invaluable to us.


We finally completed the pilot project at the end of January 2020 and the results of the Local Authority Victim Pathway Pilots will be incorporated into a wider set of NRM reforms due to be published in the summer of 2020. At this point we would like to thank everyone who has played a part in this journey with us. And we owe our biggest thanks to all the individuals we work with, they are an inspiration to us, so thank you.
Just wanted to say a big thanks for what you all do! It's such a big lifeline to my clients!
– from another professional 

Celebration Event

In February 2020, we held a Rebuild Celebration event at Derby Museum. This was a great success and an informative time for the people who attended. We saw this as an opportunity to thank people, whether they be volunteers, fellow professionals, funders or friends of Rebuild, and we had a good mix of all. We were very excited that Lara Bundock, from Snowdrop in Sheffield came as our keynote speaker. As always, she was excellent and delivered her session with extreme clarity, knowledge and understanding of the issues of HTMS, so thankyou Lara. Councilor Roy Webb, Adults, Health and Housing cabinet member in Derby, spoke passionately about the partnership between Rebuild and DCC and the ongoing impact in the city. We were also really pleased to have our partners Just-Ice, who provide supported employment to survivors there, to provide delicious ice-cream. Many of those we work with wrote and recorded their stories of change as a testimony to their rebuilding process – it was so powerful to hear and celebrate their stories. We were excited to have two of our colleagues from the Modern Slavery Unit in attendance and they even gave us a mention in their March NRM Newsletter.
I have been through a lot and still trying to move on with life though it’s sometimes difficult, but with the help I got from Rebuild I am looking forward to a brighter future.

Highlights of the first 18 months

Before we finish, we want to share one of the highlights for us a team.

We held a Christmas brunch the week before Christmas 2019, which was a lovely way to bring everyone together and celebrate. For many who attended, it was the only Christmas party they would attend, and for some the first ever! This was a huge success and a real hoot! We decorated the table and room festively (see picture) and provided a delicious brunch for all to sit at and have together. This was followed by a game of good old bingo and a Christmas quiz; this was truly a fun filled time that held a real sense of community and friendship. We spent some time allowing individuals to reflect on the previous year as well as hopes for the year to come. It was amazing to listen to individuals share about how far they had come, some of the highlights were: people moving into permanent houses for the first time, family reunification, successful court hearings where traffickers were found guilty, passing English exams, learning new skills, making friends and feeling empowered.

“I had real fun and enjoyed the games and laughter”

Derby City Mission very kindly donated sacks of presents for all the children in the families we support; this was life changing for many. One person told us that “now I can buy the food for our Christmas dinner as I don’t have to make the choice between presents for my children over our Christmas dinner”. Once again, we want to say a humungous thankyou to DCM and to all of you who donated any gifts. What a great way to have ended the year.

Covid-19 and Lockdown

Of course, in March 2020 we all became affected in some way by the Coronavirus and still to this day continue to be affected by it. Lockdown hit and we were all sent home. For Rebuild we continue to support those we work with maintaining physical distance but being available and present. This is a challenging time for many we support especially those with children at home.
We are using email, text and phone to keep communications regular and sending out care packages.
For many of those we work with they do not have broadband at home or laptops to use, so we are being creative with how we can support individuals to maintain positive wellbeing and to continue to thrive during this difficult time.
“Thank you for all your support… I now feel powerful”
Well we have come to the end of this newsletter and hope you have enjoyed your read. With whistle stop tours of parts of our Rebuild story thus far, we trust you will have been inspired and encouraged.

If you would like to help us to support individuals who have experienced Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery at this crucial time, then you can donate online, or get in touch with one of the team about other ways you can get involved.

On behalf of the entire Rebuild Team, we wish you well at this time. Stay safe and keep in touch

Lesley Gladwell
Rebuild East Midlands is a registered charitable incorporated organization (CIO) 1182059 in England.

Our mailing address is:
Rebuild Project, PO Box 8424, Derby DE1 9GH

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Rebuild Project · Rebuild Project, · PO Box 8424, · Derby, DE1 9GH · United Kingdom

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