Snowdrop

Doing Their Bit: The Snowdrop Project – “Modern slavery is a hidden crime that’s happening all around us”

Snowdrop is committed to ensuring that every survivor has access to the support they need to process their experiences and build brighter futures.

For this month’s spotlight on an organisation making a difference in Sheffield, Exposed hears about the vital work done by the Snowdrop Project – a charity that supports and empowers survivors of modern slavery and exploitation in South Yorkshire.

How did the Snowdrop Project come about?
The Snowdrop Project was formed in 2012, when a group of volunteers came together to provide long-term support to women who had experienced modern slavery. At the time, these women were the only survivors in the UK to receive long-term support. Our name was actually chosen by this first group of clients. As different ideas were discussed, “Snowdrop” stood out. Snowdrops are incredibly resilient – they are one of the first flowers to push through in the spring. This was important for our clients as a symbol of new beginnings. 12  years on, Snowdrop has supported hundreds of survivors, enabling them to build futures free from modern slavery.

Could you talk us through some of the services offered by the project?
Snowdrop supports and empowers survivors of modern slavery and exploitation in South Yorkshire to recover from their experiences and rebuild their lives. We do this by providing a holistic package of support. Our services are free to access, and clients can access support for as long as they wish.

Our caseworkers help clients navigate next steps, including housing, education, benefits, legal issues or police investigations. Snowdrop’s counselling service helps survivors process the psychological impacts of their exploitation. Community activities help survivors build confidence, meet new people and reintegrate into the community. Finally, we help survivors transition into independent living by cleaning, decorating and furnishing accommodation.

Can you talk about some of the positive impacts and achievements of the Snowdrop Project?
We’ve achieved so many milestones over the last twelve years. We’ve seen individuals arrive at Snowdrop with no money, mental health issues, no permanent accommodation, ongoing legal battles and no hope for the future. However, we have seen these same clients exit our support systems with newfound confidence, plans for the future and the ability to cope with everyday life. It’s an honour to walk alongside such resilient, tenacious and inspirational individuals. In 2023, we supported 274 adults and 119 children on their journeys towards recovery.

“Snowdrop’s counselling service helps survivors process the psychological impacts of their exploitation.”

How can people get involved to help the Snowdrop Project?
There are lots of ways to support Snowdrop. We have an amazing community of supporters – Friends of Snowdrop – who give regularly and help fund long-term support for survivors. You can make a difference to those we work with from as little as £3 a month. Find out more at snowdropproject.co.uk/regular-giving. We also have an amazing team of volunteer caseworkers, befrienders and childcare volunteers. Find out more about our volunteering opportunities at snowdropproject.co.uk/volunteering. Finally, we complete one renovation per month with the help of volunteers. Renovations take place across three days in Sheffield or surrounding areas. No experience is necessary – just enthusiasm and the drive to make a difference! Even if you can only spare a few hours on one of the days, it’s still a big help. If you’d like to be added to our renovation volunteers list, please email info@snowdropproject.co.uk.

Have you got any upcoming events?
We’re a charity partner for the Sheffield 10k in September, and we still have a limited number of free places available! If you’re a thrill seeker, we also have a Snowdrop skydive taking place in the same month. Finally, for any keen cyclists out there, we’re organising a UK Coast to Coast cycle in May 2025. You can find out more about all of these at snowdropproject.co.uk/events. You can also keep up-to-date with the latest news at Snowdrop by signing up to our newsletter (at snowdropproject.co.uk/receive-our-emails) or by following us on InstagramFacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

Team Snowdrop will be taking on the Sheffield 10K soon – and you can get involved too!

Finally, why are organisations like Snowdrop so important in today’s world?
Modern slavery is a hidden crime that’s happening all around us – including in Sheffield. It could be happening in a home on your street, or at a car wash, nail salon or restaurant. It could be happening to the cleaner in your office, or to the person working in your local shop. It’s impossible to know the full extent of modern slavery in the UK, but the Home Office recorded 17,004 potential victims of modern slavery in the UK in 2023 – the highest number since records began in 2009. Snowdrop is committed to ensuring that every survivor has access to the support they need to process their experiences and build brighter futures. However, Snowdrop literally wouldn’t exist without our supporters – we depend on donations to fund the services we provide. We are extremely grateful for all forms of support!

snowdropproject.co.uk




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