Yesterday – International Women’s Day 2017 – marked a very special occasion in the history of STOP THE TRAFFIK. We are delighted to announce that Julia Pugh leader of STOP THE TRAFFIK Manchester Group has been awarded the ‘Point of Light’ award for outstanding service for volunteering. On the 8th March, Julia was welcomed at No.10 Downing Street and applauded for remarkable services towards ending human trafficking.
From all of the team at STOP THE TRAFFIK, we feel immensely proud and hugely fortunate to have been blessed with Julia and her commitment to ending modern slavery throughout Manchester and across the greater landscape. Julia is at the forefront of community-based action and campaigning in Manchester, creating the volunteer group in the region. Julia’s efforts work to promote active engagement and awareness raising in the Manchester area; a dedication illustrated by her ability to lead the expansion of the group to a society of activists totalling over one hundred. Julia has worked hard to ensure that the international crime is brought to light by the authorities, ensuring that actions are taken to combat the crime.
Julia’s ability to bring together stakeholders and unite the community in tackling human trafficking illustrated by her strong partnership with Manchester police and the UK Border Force – a relationship that has led to the appointment of the region’s first ever full-time modern slavery network coordinator.
Julia’s community engagement and emphasis on awareness raising has increased the likelihood of Manchester residents to be trained to ‘spot the signs’ and to effectively identify human trafficking within the area. As well as having led Travel Safe week in Manchester airport, Julia has now delivered professional training to over 300 hundred people. As a nurse, Julia recognises the vital part healthcare professionals play in identifying victims of human trafficking, and has continued to reinforce the need for those working on the frontline to be able to effectively respond and provide support to victims they may report.
In receiving the award, Julia has said: “STOP THE TRAFFIK aims to prevent people trafficking by being networked globally and acting locally. In Greater Manchester, our STOP THE TRAFFIK group raises awareness within our communities to spot the signs of people trafficking and report it. I am honoured to receive this award in recognition of the commitment of all our volunteers and the pioneering partnerships we have working across Greater Manchester to disrupt the crime and build a safer, more resilient community.”
Ruth Dearnley OBE, CEO of STOP THE TRAFFIK explains: “Julia is an outstanding leader, serving with strength and humility, and supported by an exceptional group of fellow volunteers. We hope that others will be inspired by her work and join her fight to abolish modern slavery both in Greater Manchester and beyond.”