Victims of modern slavery, Salvation Army staff and volunteers receive special invite to celebrate royal wedding day

published on 11 Jun 2018

Salvation Army staff and volunteers, along with two victims of modern slavery from England and Nigeria who have received support from the church and charity, have been invited to celebrate the royal wedding between Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank on Friday (12 October).

Princess Eugenie and fiancé Jack Brooksbank have said that they want their wedding day to be shaped so as to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations. She has taken a personal interest in advocating for victims of modern slavery, having visited two of The Salvation Army’s safe houses and leant her support to one of the charity’s campaigns to raise public awareness of modern slavery and encourage greater scrutiny of modern slavery in supply chains.

Among the guests will be Norree Webb (70), who is a lifelong member of The Salvation Army. After retiring as an assistant head teacher, Norree has thrown herself into a voluntary role as a First Responder within The Salvation Army’s Anti Trafficking and Modern Slavery unit. Working alongside a nationwide team of staff who manage the delivery of specialist support for all adult victims of modern slavery in England and Wales through a government contract, Norree oversees a team of volunteer First Responders, who are often the first people to come into contact with a victim. They complete an initial assessment of someone’s situation and needs and complete the paperwork so each person can be officially recognised and get the support to which they are entitled.  This helps Salvation Army staff put together the right support plan for each person.

Norree is mostly called on to undertake face-to-face interviews in situations where a telephone interview isn’t possible perhaps because the individual is extremely traumatised or in hospital. She said:

“I feel genuinely privileged to receive this invitation, particularly for performing a role about which I am so passionate. It is extremely rewarding to be a small part of the amazing team which makes a difference to the lives of people who have often undergone such horrendous experiences.”

The Salvation Army has held the government contract to provide specialist support to adult victims of modern slavery in England and Wales for seven years and has supported more than 7,000 victims in that time.

Director of Anti Trafficking and Modern Slavery, Kathy Betteridge, said: “We wish Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank a wonderful wedding day and married life together. We are really grateful that on their special day they have chosen to recognise the work of The Salvation Army in transforming the lives of people who have been affected by the scourge of modern slavery. Our staff and the people we support are really appreciative and looking forward to this once-in- a lifetime experience.”

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