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Survivor Engagement and Activism

We support Survivors to recognise their knowledge and experiences as expertise that can be leveraged to create positive change for others seeking safety.

Survivors of trafficking and torture have a special knowledge and understanding of the UK asylum system that can only be gained through lived experience. As such, Survivor voices must be amplified in discussions about how they are supported to heal – whether by organisations, the government or by other bodies.

The Helen Bamber Foundation's Survivor Engagement and Activism Programme helps Survivors develop the confidence and tools to influence systems, practices, and public attitudes that affect them. Our clients can help improve conditions for all Survivors. 

Ambassadors for Change

The Ambassadors for Change is a group of Survivors with experience of the UK asylum system who use advocacy campaigns to create a welcoming and just London for other people seeking safety. The Ambassadors for Change participate in regular leadership, communications and campaigning training to support their development as community leaders and advocates. 

Client Voices Forum 

The Client Voices Forum is a monthly space where the people we support come together to discuss issues that affect them related to the services they receive from the Helen Bamber Foundation. This feedback is regularly shared with our senior leadership team to ensure our services are continuously improving and responsive to the needs, priorities and aspirations of Survivors.  

Board Observers

We have two Board Observers who are employed as experts-by-experience. Our Board Observers contribute, advise and make recommendations to our Board on the Helen Bamber Foundation’s work and strategy. Board Observers attend the quarterly Board of Trustees meetings and receive support to provide input into Board discussions. Board Observers also receive regular leadership training and mentorship to support their development as community leaders. 

Lived experience interview panelists

We encourage individuals with lived experience to sit on interview panels for our frontline posts. By partnering on staff recruitment, our team and practice reflects the interests and priorities of the people we serve. Lived experience panelists will also learn how recruitment works and what interview panels look for in strong candidates, to help them with future job interviews. In turn, our hiring managers benefit from incorporating unique perspectives on receiving HBF services and navigating the asylum systems that can only be gained through lived experience.