“BACK IN CONTROL” project has been released by ICOS today

ICOS (International Community Organisation of Sunderland) announced today that it has received funding from the National Lottery. ICOS was created in 2009 and is now a registered charity that exists to benefit the local community and ethnic minorities in Sunderland.

The three-year “Back in Control” project will be funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery customers for good causes. The aim of the project is to ameliorate, the economic, social, personal outcomes of victims of modern slavery/workplace exploitation, for people from ethnic minority groups residing in Sunderland and a 5-mile radius. Supporting victims who have been abused in getting back in control of their lives and be victims no more. Offering free support employment rights, access to housing and welfare benefits, as well as support with accessing immigration advice and counselling. They work with partners who provide legal advocacy support, English language courses and interpreting services.

Michal Chantkowski has been Development and Service Manager since 2013. Michal says: “We are delighted that the National Lottery Community Fund has recognised the vital work we do. Thanks to National Lottery customers, we will be able carry out our plans to broaden the range of opportunities available to victims of exploitation. From our experience of working with migrant people in Sunderland and the wider area, we know they often have limited access to support when mistreated at work, yet by virtue of being new arrivals, they are more likely to be exploited. Funding from TNLCF will support at least 140 individuals through one – to -one advice, advocacy and confidence building activities. Moreover, it will support organisations such as employers to improve their employment practices. We hope to transform Sunderland to an area where employment is fair for every employee.”  

Alessia Di Meo, Learning and Sharing Officer says: “Having worked for many years with vulnerable adults going through tough times, at ICOS we recognise the “Back in Control project” is steering the victim in the right direction. because helping modern slavery victims overcome barriers is vital in order, for them to turn their lives around. A crucial part is empowering victims is to give them a voice and allow them to make choices. Encouraging them to learn new skills, which will not only improve their employment prospects but also increase their confidence, self-belief and mental health wellbeing.”


Michal Chantkowski 07596538482 or email: michal@icos.org.uk



The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.