For the first time, he smiled
Just £3 for 30 hours work. No privacy and no dignity. Hours so long and work so backbreaking he could barely walk afterwards.
In his home country, Martin was homeless and hungry. With nowhere to live, no job, family nor money, he was profoundly vulnerable to exploitation. The rain, the snow, the lack of food: he was broken and exhausted. So when strangers promised him a job in the UK, with food and a warm place to stay, it seemed like a perfect way out of a terrible situation.
He was not given time to think. He got into the car with them, slept in their cellar, was put on a coach to the UK. He arrived, with no idea where he was. He was taken to a building and told he was sharing a room with another man.
He cleaned the house for days for no pay, just food and cigarettes. Then factories, bakeries, delivery companies, a car wash. Martin’s traffickers lied to him and exploited him, keeping full control of the money and giving him just tiny slivers of what he had earned.
Finally, Martin worked up the courage to flee, creeping out of the house when he spotted a chance. But with nowhere to go, he found himself destitute, back on unfriendly streets, relying on soup kitchens to eat and sleeping under bushes.
That’s when we found him, thanks to information about Hope for Justice he found at a church. Our investigators met him, and saw he was scared and destitute and in a bad way physically.
But Martin was given a ‘survivor pack’ of new clothing and toiletries – all provided thanks to donations from our supporters.
For the first time, he smiled. Now we have helped him to live somewhere safe, a long way from his trafficker.
“I want to have a normal life like a normal person. I just want a job where I earn my own money. I do not want to keep running, looking over my shoulder all the time.”
Thanks to Hope for Justice’s supporters, Martin now has that chance for a normal life.