As we mark another Anti-Slavery Day, which falls annually on the 18th October, we are all encouraged to take the #TimeToListen to survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery, to empathise with their experiences and to better understand and address these crimes.  

But that’s not all... 

Survivors’ voices and experiences are also crucial to organisations in helping us offer better support services. After all, no one will be better at telling us what they need, or expect from us, than our clients. They are uniquely placed to advise us and to help others who have experienced trafficking and slavery. 

That’s why we believe it is #TimeToListen to our clients at every opportunity. 


Listening to our clients with lived experience is vital in ensuring that Migrant Help are working with the ability to see services from various perspectives. It also highlights things we might, without realising, be missing.” 

- Silvia D'Attilia, Modern Slavery Victim Care Team Manager


How do we go about listening to survivors in a meaningful way? 

Getting feedback from clients is a fantastic way of ensuring that their invaluable insight is heard, and this is something that most organisations do. However, we see the value in going a step further and embracing co-production, which means working in equal partnership with our clients, who are experts by experience, to develop and design our services.  

We knew that, in our Modern Slavery Services, we did not have a way of measuring what impact our services had on our clients. We wanted to find a way to understand whether the support and advice we were providing was effectively helping our clients and whether there were any areas in which we could be doing better.  

Co-production has given us the opportunity to bring together a group of clients (experts by lived experience) and staff (experts by work experience) to create a working group. The group are currently working on developing a Client Outcomes Model, which involves identifying the impact and outcomes we should be measuring, ensuring our services are efficient and suggesting improvements where necessary. 


I want to make sure that the outcomes we decide to measure, and the way we gather this information, are entirely based on the actual needs and requirements of our clients, as explained by them and explored with them. This will ensure that everything we measure is relevant, and in turn will help us, when we identify issues or trends, to focus specifically on those areas that matter most to our clients.”  

Mirjam Bons, Head of Quality 


By amplifying the voices of our clients within this process, we can help ensure that the model is client-focused, that is it based on their requirements and that it meets their needs. 


What do clients think about co-production? 

It’s #TimeToListen to what our clients, and members of the working group, think about co-production at Migrant Help:


I got involved in Migrant Help's working group because, for me, it was an opportunity to share my experience and how their services have developed me as a person and impacted my journey. 

The process is still very new to me, but it’s been informative and I’ve learnt a lot about Migrant Help. I’m excited to share my experiences; it is really good that Migrant Help are doing this work with their clients and getting this feedback."  


To be involved in co-production means to have a voice. When I first heard about this project, I did not think twice about being part of it. It is not just a new project; it is a vision for the future.  

This project is a microphone for those who have, in the past, been forced into silence; it means stopping and listening to those you are helping. Sometimes, listening is even more helpful than offering, and this project is doing both. You have to understand the pain in order to give the right cure, but sometimes we are so busy thinking we are doing the right thing and forget to stop and listen.  

I am so happy to be given the opportunity to feel like an equal and to feel I can do something to help others, even though I have felt powerless in the past.  

Never lower the volume of your voice. Thank you, Migrant Help, for reminding me that I have a voice, for sitting at the table with me and for reminding me that no one is more or less important. We can all do something important, no matter how small or big it is. Something small today can be the foundation for a better world tomorrow.”  


It will always be #TimeToListen... 

The future of co-production at Migrant Help is bright; our trustees and senior leadership teams are committed to embedding co-production in everything we do over the next 5 years. It won’t be easy, and it may mean we have to change how we approach our work, but we believe that we are ready for the challenge! We’ll be focusing on upskilling staff and clients to engage in co-production activities that will lead to meaningful change. 


I’ve loved seeing clients and staff working together; there is a great sense of support and openness in the group to reach a common goal. Even though we’ve just started, you can already see the important impact the power of co-production has had on people; it has empowered both staff and clients to share their views. Clients have told me they no longer feel like a vulnerable person who a service is being provided to, but rather an equal member whose opinion really matters. I can’t wait to see how co-production in the organisation progresses and what we achieve together.

- Arjun Malhotra, Involvement and Participation Manager