Royal touch to art therapy for survivors of modern slavery
published on 1 Nov 2021
Royal guest joins slavery survivors at Salvation Army art therapy session.
Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie of York joined survivors of modern slavery at a Salvation Army Outreach hub in London as they were taking part in an art therapy session.
Visiting in her role as Co-Founder of The Anti-Slavery Collective, HRH Princess Eugenie took part in a session to create artwork around how each survivor feels about freedom. The informal setting enabled survivors to share freely with their guest and discuss the impact of the help they are now receiving from Salvation Army specialist support workers based at the London hub.
One survivor said:
“I enjoyed sharing our opinions and experiences. Life has good experiences if you are surrounded by good people.”
Jenny Gibson heads up The Salvation Army’s team of outreach support workers in London who come alongside recovering survivors of modern slavery to help them access support as they rebuild their lives. Jenny said:
“Modern slavery has ravaged the lives of the people we support here. Art is a wonderful way for them to explore their feelings about what has happened and find their voice. It was a real pleasure to share this experience today with our guest who made everyone feel at ease. The artwork painted today will form part of an impactful collage for visitors to our building to enjoy and a celebration of the freedom rescued survivors now have to make their own choices.”
Participants at the art session interpreted freedom in many different ways. For one man from Sudan, freedom means escaping conflict and enjoying peace and for a young woman from Spain, it is her university where she finds liberty through education. Other images included a family holding hands and an idyllic beach scene. HRH Princess Eugenie and a survivor from Albanian both painted beautiful landscapes of mountains and forests as their expressions of freedom.
The survivor said: “It was an amazing experience. I could never afford to paint in my home country and would love to do it again.”
The London Outreach Hub is one of a network of safe houses and outreach work run by The Salvation Army and its partners across England and Wales. Here, through a Government contract, survivors are given access to a range of support to help with their recovery including counselling, medical help, legal advice, educational opportunities and support finding employment and housing.