Unseen: What we do for our chosen charity #volunteersweek

Rebecca Tomlinson, Editorial Assistant

Rebecca Tomlinson, Editorial Assistant

In the spirit of #volunteersweek, we thought it would be a good idea to let people know about the great charity work that Policy Press get involved in. 

This year, we are supporting Unseen, whose main mission is ending slavery. By concentrating their efforts on three main areas – supporting, equipping and influencing – they are starting to tackle the issue in a way that really works.

If you haven’t before I’d definitely encourage you to take a look at their website, especially their case studies.

These have really brought it home to us at Policy Press the realities of human trafficking and the horrors that so many people are going through behind closed doors on our streets, vulnerable and enslaved.

Dorina’s story – 

I’m 24 years old and from Romania….I met a man who promised me a job and a house and a better life in the UK. He paid for my coach ticket to the UK, but when I arrived things were different. I was forced to have sex with lots of different men and often beaten. I was taken to lots of different places.

After 2 months I managed to escape and stop a police officer in the street. He brought me to Unseen.  Read more, including the day in the life of an Unseen caseworker, here

Targeted solutions

Unseen’s practices are researched thoroughly, enabling them to identify the key issues surrounding slavery and exploitation, and equipping ourselves and others with effective, targeted solutions. They’re such a great charity and also based in Bristol so all staff are always really keen to give their time and help to raise money.

To raise money this year so far we’ve seen a Christmas card donation, numerous cake breaks (lemon curd and blackberry cupcakes being a particular highlight!) and a Eurovision song contest sweepstake.

Raising money

Coming up we’ve got a Euro 2016 sweepstake, a charity pie and wine night, our staff summer picnic and, of course, more cake! It’s really heartening to work in an office that will happily donate their money and time for a good cause.

On Fridays (at cake break, naturally) we often brainstorm ideas which range from the bizarre (hot dog eating competition) to the challenging (abseiling down Clifton Gorge!). While this is a fun way to come up with ideas, it’s also a chance for people to really think about the charity and what they do.

it’s not just about eating cakes

This has led to suggestions such a movie evening where we would show Unseen’s video about slavery and a relay for the distance people have been trafficked from their homes to the UK. Over the summer we are going to try and organise a 100 (!) mile walk over the Peak District and also a cycle ride to Bath and back wearing Unseen t-shirts.

Obviously it’s not just about eating cakes, though, and we all take an active interest in whichever charity it is we are supporting each year.

In the past our volunteering activities have ranged from decorating a women’s shelter to offering help and support with IT and marketing.

I think it’s really important to feel invested in the charity you are raising money for and I’m happy to say that we’ve always made some really great choices. An ambassador from Unseen will be coming into the office soon to talk more about the charity and let us know about any possible volunteering opportunity and I, for one, can’t wait.

@UnseenOrg    

If you’re moved to get involved then you can do this in a number of ways:

  1. Check out our JustGiving page if you’d like to donate to this cause
  2. Get in touch with Unseen to see how you can get involved directly
  3. Keep an eye out on blogs and social media posts for upcoming events we’re hosting that you can get involved with

VSR_OFC_Feb2016_72We’re passionate about volunteering and publish a journal about the sector – Voluntary Sector Review which is FREE to read for the whole 12 days of #VolunteersWeek so why not take a look here?

If 12 days simply isn’t long enough (and we agree it probably isn’t!) why not click here to arrange a free institutional trial of the journal?

Interested in submitting to the journal? Please do take a look at our ‘instructions for authors’ here and to find out more about the journal just click here

The views and opinions expressed on this blog site are solely those of the original blogpost authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Policy Press and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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