Why I am Running for Love, by the UK Anti-Slavery Commissioner

TRIBE Run for Love team will push the limits of human endurance and run 253 km in 6 days (with elevation 1.5x Everest) to increase awareness of modern slavery and help raise £250k to set up two new homes for UK survivors. In this blog, the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton (pictured above) provides an insight from her role and describes why she's chosen to join the Run for Love for the final day.

"Over the last six months as the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner I have met so many dedicated professionals supporting victims and survivors of modern slavery and human trafficking. I have also met many volunteers who work in the statutory and charity sector. Awesome people who give their time and talents to support others in so many different ways. Run for Love is raising money to support a wide range of anti slavery projects and help provide practical support to those who have been enslaved or trafficked.

A few months ago I heard Tom talk about the Azores Run for Love challenge and while I was full of admiration I thought that they were all mad! Then somehow Tom persuaded me to join the last leg of the challenge - a half marathon. There is no way I can run that far - I’m a 10k runner - but will hike quickly! I completed the Fulham 10k last Sunday as part of my training - apparently it’s the flattest 10k in London so not sure that it will have prepared me for the climbs in the Azores!

I have my dried food, whistle, mosquito net, first aid kit, compass, sleeping mat and bag - I’m ready to go!

Run for Love is supporting two projects, Ella’s and Snowdrop, which both provide excellent support for victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. I am visiting Ella’s next month and earlier today I visited Snowdrop in Sheffield.

Snowdrop is an amazing charity which provides support for victims and survivors in all kinds of practical ways. The mothers and toddler group welcomed me warmly and I was even poured a pretend cup of tea from the plastic tea set. I listened to several survivors tell me how the mix of counselling, practical support and community activities had made all the difference. I heard how Snowdrop had decorated and furnished a client’s flat - a practical service supported by volunteers. I heard about sewing classes, college courses and the Christmas party.

Victims of modern slavery have suffered unspeakable abuse - their pain is palpable. It’s great to be able to do something to ensure that they have the support and care that they need so that they can begin to rebuild their lives."

Sara will join the Run for Love team next week to take part in the final leg of the Run for Love journey, 21 km of trails, circumnavigating the Sete Cidades Massif with +1105m elevation (higher than Snowdon and Scafell!). Together, we go further and faster to end modern slavery. Support our mission to establish two new homes for UK surviors here.