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 a Wellbeing Worker and are expanding our Volunteer Befriending Team.

In June 2022 Adavu became a CIO and registered charity (no. 1199391), and became fully operational from September 2022.

Adavu’s Board of Trustees 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 Adavu

Adavu has its roots in the Birmingham Methodist District that 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 ran a number of projects including the Adavu Project and I was until August 2022 the Chair of the District and of Adavu.

Rev Dr Neil Johnson, Trustee

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.  Until August 2022, I was 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.

Mrs Susan Anderson, Trustee

I am a Worship Leader at Kenilworth Methodist Church and in the past held the role of Senior Circuit Steward. I am a trained nurse and also a part-time student at Coventry University reading English and Creative Writing. I write poetry and prayers and hope to get published as part of Mission. I am married to Michael and have two grown-up sons, Robert and Christopher.

Amber Cagney, Trustee

I am passionate about survivor-centred care and support; with 7 years of experience working within the NRM victim care contract in various roles from case worker to accommodation manager in Yorkshire, I was until recently the Development Manager for West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network working with partners across the West Midlands to improve survivor support with a multi-agency focus.

Previous and current work includes pioneering the set up of a pre-NRM place of safety for male survivors of modern slavery in the West Midlands and developing new projects to improve the challenges that survivors face throughout the identification to recovery journey. I also sit on the Modern Slavery Strategy Implementation Group for survivor care and support, and I am an independent panelist on the Home Office Multi-Agency Assurance Panel to provide scrutiny to NRM decision making.

Shari Brown, Trustee

Having dual South African and British nationality, I own my migrant background and am enriched through working with people from around the globe. For many years I coordinated the Birmingham Churches Together project, Restore, which welcomes and befriends refugees and asylum seekers. Since 2021 I have been working at the Refugee and Migrant Centre (covering Birmingham and the Black Country) as their Partnership and Development Manager. I am also active in Birmingham City of Sanctuary as Vice Chair.

Lois Bosatta, Trustee

My personal and professional path has taken me to work in charity and garment sectors; in design,  marketing and fundraising; as a birth companion to trafficking survivors; and in at-risk communities due to poverty, addiction, homelessness and family vulnerabilities, from service signposting, mentoring and community meals to creative projects. I completed a Master’s in Slavery and Liberation at the University of Nottingham and continue to work with their Rights Lab, a leading specialist modern slavery research unit, in business engagement. After moving from Bournemouth to the Midlands in 2021, I now live in Birmingham with my husband.

Rachel McMaster, Trustee

Hello!  I live with my husband and our many cats in east Birmingham.  I was a manufacturing engineer in the automotive industry for almost 30 years until COVID brought an opportunity to retrain and embark on a second career path.  I completed my CELTA qualification in 2022 and am now an ESOL teacher, working mainly in west Birmingham, Sandwell and Dudley with groups of refugees and asylum seekers.  Outside of work, I am a volunteer with Girlguiding UK, the UK’s largest youth organisation dedicated to girls and young women, where I help deliver a programme of  fun, friendship, challenge, and adventure at local, regional and national levels.