Youth event against human trafficking

Not for sale: Stop the Traffik

The Christ Church youth groups held a special 24 hour event in support of the Stop the Traffik campaign against human trafficking. They were sponsored to ride two exercise bikes throughout all 24 hours.

Adult members of the church were invited to breakfast to learn about the issue - and make a donation.

The event raised over 600 and helped to made everyone involved more aware of the awful reality of human trafficking.

Holding a sign: I'm not for sale - no-one should be
“It's happening in the city I live in and in cities all around the world”

Everyone who took part made their statement against human trafficking

A hand-drawn poster highlighting some statistics concerning human trafficking
“It seems to be in all countries all around the world, and younger and younger people are being taken”

The awful truth

During the evening of the 24-hour event, the older group heard from someone who is directly involved in trying to rescue young women who are brought from Eastern Europe and trapped in the sex trade. With the help of a hard-hitting video, she described how these women are lured to the West with the promise of a better life, or simply kidnapped.

It's not just an issue for women: what about the men who use their services? The stories she told left everyone in stunned silence.

“The woman who spoke to us was really inspiring. It was quite shocking, but it got us all thinking”
“We heard the story of a woman taken as a 14-year old - she ended up in prison, feeling dead and worthless”
The Reloaded youth group watch a video about human trafficking in the darkened main hall

The video was awful to watch but no-one could turn their eyes away

“What was most shocking is that most people end up being sold by people they know and trust”

"We're looking for Ellen Eagling"

When two large policemen called late one night just as the Reloaded group was finishing, our youth worker was naturally a little concerned. It turned out that they had come to support the Stop The Traffik event and wanted to know how they could help with our enquiries.

Police Officer Scott returned during the event and described to the younger group how the police deal with suspected cases of trafficking. The victims are usually young, female and afraid, and might speak almost any language. Their "employers" may react with violence and have to be forcibly restrained.

A policeman finds the pressure points under Ellen's ears

"I'll come quietly": Ellen learns about pressure points. A beginners' guide to conducting a police raid was also a reminder that this crime is happening right here in our city

Photo diary: 24 hours

Front view of two cyclists starting the 24 hour event

17.00: We're under way

Closeup of cycle pedals viewed from the side

17.03: The revolution has begun

A pair of cyclists viewed from the back, facing a giant screen showing a countdown timer

17.32: A new pair of cyclists takes over every half hour

Looking down on a table of food

18.29: Starting on the 24-hour food supply

Two cyclists watching the human trafficking video

20.48: A video brings home the shocking truth about human trafficking

Ellen looking through the kitchen hatch

21.59: Ellen catches a quiet moment in the kitchen

One of the cyclists reads a magazine

22.15: The Big Issue has a special feature on human trafficking

One of the cyclists knitting a scarf

22.43: You can't knit a scarf on a real cycle

Both cyclists extend their arms as part of a dance

23.32: You can't dance on a real cycle either

The cheerleader looks round at the camera

23.32: “Did you know your dance is being videoed?”

Bouncing a football

23.38: More action at the other end of the hall

The cyclists and other spectators watch a film

00.08: Things quieten down as the late night film begins

The screen displays the countdown timer and the amount raised so far

02.47: Some encouragement to keep going through the night

Reading a book while cycling

03.43: An ideal time to do some revision

A group with Wii handsets

03.44: Some find the Wii a better way to stay awake

A cyclist in near-darkness

06.23: The night's nearly over, and we're still going

A younger cyclist in action, as the older ones relax in the background

07.31: As morning comes, the younger Revive group start on the day shift

The breakfast team gets to work in the kitchen

07.31: Anticipation rises as the breakfast team gets to work

A member of Reloaded carries a well-laden plate

07.56: Some reward for all the hard work done overnight

Two members of Revive on the bikes

08.04: Still the pedalling keeps going

A group of adults sitting round a table

09.46: Adult members of the church made donations in return for breakfast

Decorating T-shirts with messages against human trafficking

09.57: Making T-shirts to get the message across

A cyclist wears a Stop Human Trafficking T-shirt
Making gift tags to be sold in aid of the campaign

(Above) 10.44: Making gift tags to be sold in aid of the campaign

(Left) 10.05: Cyclists display the message

With the video camera in the video diary room

13.09/13.14: Members of both youth groups recorded their thoughts in the video diary room

Speaking to the camera about human trafficking
Members of Revive watch as a police officer locates Ellen's pressure points

14.17: Ellen finds out how uncomfortable the long arm of the law can be

A police officer talks to members of Revive

14.27: Do not attempt this at home: Members of Revive learn how to conduct a police raid

Everyone present lets off party poppers to celebrate the completion of the event

3... 2... 1... Stop! It's been great fun, but the campaign needs to go on