Skydive raising funds for modern slavery work

published on 5 Mar 2018


Two support workers at a Salvation Army centre in Blackburn are planning on jumping out of a plane in April to raise funds and awareness for the organisation’s work supporting victims of modern slavery.

Hazel Marsden from Darwen and Heidi Dawson from Blackburn chose the challenge after learning about the support provided by The Salvation Army to victims of modern slavery. They wanted to do something to make a difference and inspire others. The duo are support workers at Bramwell House Lifehouse, which provides accommodation and support for people experiencing homelessness.

Heidi, 27, said: “I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m not particularly daring as a person, so for me, this really has been challenge. I find it shocking that modern slavery happens today, in 2018 and it’s far more common than most people seem to realise. We’ve been fundraising for this since last summer and in that time we’ve been chatting to lots of family and friends. Most people I’ve spoken to just weren’t aware that modern slavery could even happen in our area, but it can and does.”

Since taking on the challenge Heidi has accepted a role supporting victims of modern slavery at The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army supports victims of modern slavery and trafficking and has reported an increase in the number of cases across the North West in recent years.

Hazel, 49, said: “Jumping out of a plane is incredibly daunting but I know the money we raise will make a real difference. I think I always assumed modern slavery and human trafficking was something that happened somewhere else. I didn’t realise that people working at a huge number of places like car washes or nail bars could be victims of this crime.”

Both Heidi and Hazel hope their skydive will inspire service users at Bramwell House to push themselves. Service users will be at the skydive to support the pair. Hazel, continued: “I’m 50 this year and I wanted to push myself to do something that scared me and jumping out of a plane really does. Before this I’d been on roller coasters at theme parks but that was it.  I am anxious but making a difference to the lives of victims of modern slavery is definitely encouraging us both.”

The skydive is due to take place in April and Heidi and Hazel are pulling out all the stops to raise as much money as they can. If you’d like to support their challenge visit their Just Giving page.

There is specialist support and safe accommodation available to all adult victims of modern slavery referred from England and Wales through The Salvation Army. Through a network of safe houses and partners providing specialist support and a nationwide transport service, victims are safely delivered away from any danger areas to receive the care they need to help transform their lives and start them on the long road to recovery.

The Salvation Army operates a confidential 24/7 referral helpline (0300 303 8151) for anyone who considers themselves or someone they come across to be a potential victim of modern slavery and in need of assistance. Find out more about The Salvation Army’s work supporting victims of modern slavery.