London charity gets £100k to help human trafficking survivors rebuild their lives

A Camden charity has received £100,000 to support refugees and asylum seekers in London who have experienced torture and human trafficking.

City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, awarded the money to the Helen Bamber Foundation (HBF) to pay for specialist care to help survivors on the road to recovery.

The funding will go towards the charity’s unique three-stage therapy service supporting survivors of extreme human cruelty.

Stage one helps survivors find a safe place to live and gives access to health and welfare support. Stage two offers psychological and physical trauma therapy, and stage three helps victims to integrate into the community by securing legal protection and access to education and employment.

The grant will also fund an evaluation of the charity’s pioneering model of care and support. The findings will then be shared with other charities, statutory organisations and decision makers to shape wider policy in this area and improve standards of support.

Alison Gowman, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, commented:

“For most of us it is impossible to ever understand what these survivors have gone through, but for those who have, it is a reality.

“This charity has put huge effort into developing the best possible model of therapy to support victims and deal with the psychological effects of the horrors they have experienced. Our funding will allow the Helen Bamber Foundation to support even more victims and develop this work.

“We are committed to making the capital a better place to live, for all Londoners.”

Professor Cornelius Katona, Medical Director of the Helen Bamber Foundation added:

“This award will have a significant impact on our work with refugees and asylum seekers who have experienced extreme human cruelty.

“It demonstrates City Bridge Trust’s dedication and commitment to supporting disadvantaged Londoners of all backgrounds.”

The charity provides more than 840 survivors with lifesaving psychological and physical therapy, housing and welfare support, legal protection, medical advisory services, as well as safeguarding and integration support each year to rebuild their lives. HBF has a wealth of experience and expertise of delivering trauma focussed therapy, supporting victims to come to terms with their traumatic experiences.

Sadya’s Story

Sadya, 24, was subject to horrific torture in Sudan where she was an activist campaigning against human rights abuses. On arrival in the UK she was in poor physical shape, and although she had accessed primary care services, doctors had been unable to take a full history or treat her appropriately. She was deeply traumatised and unable to communicate her history. Her claim for asylum was refused and her appeal dismissed.

Following assessment at the HBF, Sadya was accepted for ongoing therapy. The charity raised health issues with her GP and she has since had a number of investigations and treatment for temporal lobe epilepsy and severe musculoskeletal damage. Sadya has been diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder. She struggled to cope with disruptive accommodation, and through HBF’s advocacy she is now being supported by social services. When she came to HBF, Sadya was dissatisfied with her legal representation. The charity helped secure a new representative and provided medical reports which together have secured a reconsideration hearing.

Over the past year, Sadya has engaged in therapeutic work and is beginning to articulate her experiences of torture. She is engaging in community activities and slowly building friendships in London. She is committed to continuing to spread the word about crimes against women in Sudan. Her journey to recovery has begun and she is keen to continue treatment with HBF.

City Bridge Trust is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage and inequality across the capital. The Trust has awarded around 7,700 grants totalling over £370 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the City Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners


Media Enquiries

Kristina Drake

Media Officer, City of London Corporation

07710860884 / 020 7332 1125

 Notes to editors

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles:

  • We support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, makes grants of around £20 million annually to tackle disadvantage across London.
  • We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, the Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important commons in London.
  • We also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies, all reflecting a long-term approach.

See for more details.