We are thrilled to share the success of the recent launch event for our new mobile drop-in van, a vital new resource in our ongoing fight against sex trafficking in Bedfordshire. This event, detailed in an article by Luton Today, highlights the community’s robust support and the significant impact the van is expected to have in providing immediate aid and safety to survivors.

The launch was marked by the attendance of notable local dignitaries, including Bedfordshire High Sheriff Russell Beard and Police and Crime Commissioner Festus Akinbusoye, emphasizing the strong community backing for our initiatives. This gathering at the Butterfield Hilton Garden Inn celebrated the van’s unveiling and reinforced the collaborative efforts between Azalea and its key partners.

Significant contributions from the Police Crime Commission, along with the fundraising support from the community, raised over £52,000 to purchase and outfit the van. This enables us to deliver on-site interventions where they are most needed, extending our reach throughout the county. The van is equipped to provide a safe space for survivors to receive trauma-informed care, engage in mental health support, and begin the recovery process with the aid of our dedicated volunteers.

Our partnership with Talk UK Telecom, which has generously provided ongoing telecommunications support, exemplifies the power of local business collaboration in bolstering our mission. Justine Maroudias from Talk UK Telecom played a pivotal role in organizing the event, demonstrating the profound personal commitment shared by our partners.

We are immensely grateful for the coverage by Luton Today, which not only shared the news of our launch with a broader audience but also helped highlight the critical work being done in the fight against sex trafficking and modern-day slavery.

The mobile van will be instrumental in Azalea’s outreach efforts as we progress, offering a lifeline to those in need. More than £52,000 was raised to buy and furnish the van and we look forward to seeing the positive changes it will bring to our community and are committed to continuing our work with renewed vigour, thanks to the overwhelming support from our partners and the community.

Thank you to those who supported our initiative and attended our van launch!

““This van will ensure that all female survivors are treated with empathy and kindness and given trauma-informed care in the aftermath of sex trafficking.

It’s purpose-built so they can take a moment to sit and talk and have a hot meal and drink. They’ll have access to mental health therapeutic support and, most importantly, will be able to begin to build relationships with our volunteer team.””

— Ruth Robb

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