Ella's is named after a real woman, Ella. Ella had been exploited since childhood and was trafficked from her home country to Thailand and later to London, trapped in the sex trade for years. She was too scared to share her story with the UK authorities, and as such wasn't entitled to any support. She was unable to break free, and fell back into exploitation. Ella's was launched in 2014 by Emily Chalke working with Paul Unsworth from Kahailia. Emily did all she could to help Ella find the professional support she needed when she was in London, and they remain in contact. We were part of Kahailia for the first few years, where we were supported to begin our work. We opened our first safe house in 2016 and became an independent charity in 2020. We offer safe house accommodation for women when they are most vulnerable; care to help them recover and move forward; and long-term community-based support to help survivors build safe, independent lives.
Our team currently provides regular, direct support for more than 30 people and families, and help when needed for dozens more across our network. During 2019, we received 43 accommodation referrals and 14 outreach referrals. We opened our second safe house in 2019 and we have built a reputation within the sector for providing excellent aftercare for survivors.‘Ella’s supports women affected by trafficking and exploitation to heal and rediscover their freedom in a compassionate and safe environment. The tailored, long-term support that Ella’s provides underlies a determination to support every woman as an individual. I have seen first-hand how much Ella’s means to the women they support and I am grateful to them for the vital work they do.’ (Dame Sara Thornton, Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner)
According to the Global Slavery Index, 40.3 million people are currently trapped in slavery. In the UK, 5,145 potential victims were identified in 2018. We don't believe that this is acceptable. Ella's exists to address dangerous gaps in the system and provide survivors of trafficking and exploitation with a real chance to recover and stay free. Our vision is to see people free from slavery and exploitation. Our mission is to ensure survivors of trafficking and exploitation have all they need to build lives that are safe and free. We believe in the inherent value and potential of every person, and in the vital importance of love, kindness and justice. This drives everything that we do.
The need is urgent and vast, and we do all we can to meet that need. We are committed to reaching as many survivors as we can, and plan to open another safe house and expand our community support work as soon as possible. We are also working hard to strengthen the foundations for Ella’s as an independent organisation, grow our partnership working and campaigning work, and develop models for replication within London and beyond.