I hope you’re well and enjoying some sunshine. We haven’t been in touch for a few weeks, but hopefully we can make up for it with this email that’s packed full of good news.

New safe house coming soon

First up is the news we’ve been longing to share: we have a new safe house confirmed, and are now busy getting it ready to open in the next few months! The house is in central London and will have space for six women. 

The need for more supported safe house accommodation is vast, so it was a huge blow when our last house fell through a few months ago for reasons beyond our control. We are over the moon to be back on track. We’re also aware that we can continue to grow and support increasing numbers of women only with the donations and encouragement of you, our brilliant and generous supporters. So, THANK YOU!

A family reunited 

This is the magical moment Sara was reunited with  her family after four years apart.

Sara is an incredibly strong, inspiring woman. She was brave enough to speak out against corruption in the country where she’s from, but was then put in prison as a result, where she suffered violence and abuse. Eventually, a human rights group helped Sara get out of prison and then out of the country for her own safety. Sara found herself in the UK, away from her oppressors, at least… but homeless and separated from her family. 

When Sara arrived at Ella’s, our safe house provided her with the refuge she needed to recover from what she’s been through. Her support worker at Ella’s helped Sara to make a recovery plan, and being reunited with her family was right at the top. We supported Sara through the long, stressful process of getting permission for her family to join her in the UK; and everyone was overjoyed when it came through. 

We helped Sara, her husband and children, aged 11 and 17, to secure and move into a flat together, and start the process of finding school places. Sara was sad to leave the safe house, but overjoyed to be living with her husband and children again. ‘I’m so happy, as I now have two families!’ said Sara, referring to the friends and community she’s built at Ella’s. We’ll be with the family as they readjust and take their next steps towards building a safe life, stronger together 💞

Our fundraisers are the best fundraisers

We continue to be inspired by all those doing amazing things to raise funds and awareness to help the women we work with. In the last nine months alone, more than £20,000 has been raised by people doing runs, cycles and other events and activities for Ella’s. 

Here are just a few of our latest, incredible community fundraisers. They are (left to right): James and Bisma who ran the London Marathon for Ella’s (James in London and Bisma virtually from Pakistan); Felim and Will who ran the Hackney Half; and Marilyn who rode the RIDE London-Essex60 👏👏👏

That’s all for now. Thank you for all you do to help unlock freedom among women like Sara who have survived trafficking, exploitation and other forms of violence. We appreciate you.

With love from the staff and survivors at Ella’s,

Amy Church
Communications at Ella’s

PS We’re recruiting a case worker for our new safe house. If you know anyone who could join us to provide crucial, high quality support for survivors, please send them our way.