AZALEA REACHES OUT TO THOSE TRAPPED IN OR VULNERABLE TO SEXUAL EXPLOITATION, SUPPORTING THEM TO BUILD NEW LIVES BECAUSE OF THE LOVE OF GOD. 

Since starting in 2007, Azalea has connected with more than 240 women. Azalea is now taking a 360 approach to tackling sexual exploitation by looking at the issue of demand from men and Child Sexual Exploitation. Read on to find out about all these projects...


The word Encompass means to Surround, Hold and Include.

 

We aim to surround the women at whatever stage of their life and faith journey they are at.

 

To hold Faith for them when they have none, Hope for them when they have none and a Vision for their future when they have none.

On Monday and Friday nights and Wednesday afternoons, the Azalea Drop-in provides an environment where women can be welcomed. It is a homely space, well stocked with food, and offers the women a chance to step away from the pressures and dangers of the street. An art teacher runs regular art and craft sessions, and we also offer a weekly "Rebuilt" session with a meal, praise and worship and discussion. In 2018, 60 women have been accessing Azalea's Drop-in.

The Azalea team drive around the streets at night, caring, listening and providing practical support. Sometimes we can stop just long enough to offer a smile and something to eat. At other times we are able to have a much longer chat, or point women to our Drop-in and other local services. In 2018, Azalea has connected with 26 women through Outreach.

Azalea volunteers offer in-depth care in many ways, including:

practical support e.g. furnishing flats, giving lifts to appointments, helping to fill out forms

relational support e.g. visiting women who have moved away, phone calls, prison visits, going out for coffee

Azalea also employs an Intervention Exit Officer, who offers intensive daytime support. Her work enables women to have better access to healthcare, housing and other practical and legal matters, as well as providing emotional and relational support. We partner with a variety of statutory agencies to break the cycles of addiction that prevent women from moving forward in their lives.

As part of Azalea’s ‘360’ approach to tackling sexual exploitation, it was recognised that the issue of demand must be addressed. As such a volunteer team called ‘Flint’ was established, and ‘Walk and Talk’ was developed: A programme designed for men whom are sex buyers to help facilitate healthy change in their lives. The ‘Walk and Talk’ programme was created by men and women for men and consists of 5 group sessions that look at themes including: Understanding Addiction, Appreciating the Causes, Restoring a Balanced Sexuality, Dealing with Shame, and Establishing Intimacy.

Azalea is a service provider and a network of dedicated staff and volunteers. But above all these things, Azalea is a gospel ministry. The work of Azalea is only possible because we have a God who transforms lives, whose Spirit is at work in the world, and whose Son gave himself that we might find true life. This gospel informs every aspect of our work and runs like a red thread through all that we do.

Azalea is also a prayer movement. At the start a few people met for six months and prayed, with no outreach, drop-in or partner churches or agencies. It remains rooted in prayer today.

We are looking to transplant the DNA of Azalea Luton into new areas nationally and internationally. We have a number of transplants in the pipeline. If you would love to see Azalea start in your area please contact us.