Who We Are

How we started

Adavu was founded in 2011 as a project of the Birmingham Methodist District (charity no. 1134167).  Adavu founders, Kerry Scarlett and Stephen Willey, had been responsible for setting up and developing the Regional Anti-Trafficking Network (now called the West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network) in 2009.  Through the stories and experiences shared at Network meetings, they realised that there were a number of gaps which needed addressing – the lack of long-term support for survivors and the need for focused training and awareness raising amongst community and faith groups who were most likely to encounter victims and survivors and the agencies supporting them.

We consequently offered targeted awareness-raising sessions with hotel and entertainment industry staff, faith and community groups and local grass-roots and voluntary sector agencies.

By 2014 the support and signposting service was dealing with at least five enquiries a month from agencies and community groups who wanted advice about how to get the right kind of support for a survivor of modern slavery whom they were helping. It was clear that dedicated advocacy and support was essential.

How we have evolved

We now employ two experienced Support Workers to work directly with survivors, a skilled Project Manager and are expanding our Volunteer Befriending Team.

Adavu’s Management Committee oversees the ongoing work and development of the project and is made up of representatives from a range of agencies who bring expertise and local knowledge of a wide range of relevant areas of work.

Rev Ian Howarth, Chair of Birmingham Methodist Church and the Adavu Project

The Birmingham Methodist District covers an area  from the Black Country in the west to Coventry and Nuneaton in the east, and from Lichfield in the north the District stretches to Worcester and Hereford and down to Ross on Wye and the Vale of Evesham in the south. The District runs a number of projects including the Adavu Project and I am the Chair of the District and of Adavu.

Rev Dr Neil Johnson, Co-Superintendent Minister of the Birmingham Methodist Circuit

Born and bred in the North East of England, I have lived with my family in Birmingham for almost 20 years.  My work with the Methodist Church has involved establishing and resourcing projects which support people who are homeless, including refugees and asylum seekers.  I am the Co-Superintendent Minister of the Birmingham Methodist Circuit and part of the team at Carrs Lane in Birmingham City Centre.  I was awarded his PhD at the University of Birmingham in 2015 for research on the Labour Church movement.

Deacon Kerry Scarlett,Tutor at Queen’s Foundation for Theological Education, Co-founder, Adavu Project and the West Midlands Anti Slavery Network

I’m an ordained Methodist Deacon, originally from Northern Ireland, but now living in Birmingham. My involvement in Modern Slavery issues began in 2004 when I was part of a Methodist funded group researching the churches response to human trafficking. From that, grew the West Midlands Regional Anti Trafficking Network (RAT), now called the West Midlands Anti Slavery Network, for which I was responsible in developing and co-ordinating until 2014.  I’m now a tutor at the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, and am in the early stages of post-graduate study, making connections between modern slavery, human trafficking, and theology.

Revd Canon Peter Sellick, Management Committee Member

I am the Development Director of a Charity providing Workplace Chaplaincy in Birmingham and Solihull; Director of Six Towns Credit Union (Sandwell); Ordained Church of England Priest; Previously been School Gov / Chair of Governors; Church of England Vicar; Experience in Volunteer Management and Recruitment; Publicity and Communications; Budget Management; Partnership Working; Charity governance.

Adavu’s Management Committee