Back In Control Project

About Back in Control (BIC) Project

Between June 2019 and August 2022, we delivered the 1st phase a project named “Back in Control” in order to identify instances of modern slavery and workplace exploitation in the Sunderland area and empower former victims to regain control of their lives. We also raise awareness of modern slavery and workplace exploitation among local organisations through seminars and outreach initiatives. On 01/08/2022, we launched the 2nd phase of this project with more emphasis on wellbeing, prevention and education.

The project aims to:

  • Identify victims of modern-day slavery and take appropriate steps to end exploitative situations.
  • Individually support former victims of modern-day slavery, enabling them to become resilient and regain control of their lives.
  •  Provide former victims with improved access to employment opportunities.
  •  Improve the financial prospects for former victims.
  • Provide local organisations with the tools and knowledge to recognise workplace exploitation and modern slavery.
  •  Recruit and train new volunteers.

BiC – Phase 1

During the 1st phase, we have been able to engage with and provide support to 90 clients, 11 of whom have been moved to the 2nd phase of the project (hence, improvements could only have been measured for clients who have left the programme). These clients received holistic support with issues such as access to welfare and housing, immigration, wellbeing and counselling support, as well as liaison with external organisations such as the council regarding correspondence.
Additionally, we have also supported clients who were being exploited at work to write grievance letters.  Emergency support has been provided during the pandemic, which included starting English language classes in response to other services closing, as well as material support, such as food vouchers and connectivity equipment, as well as internet access.
Through the project, we were able to support 54 clients to improve their financial situation, and 44 clients to improve their control of their life. We have also been able to support clients to improve their wellbeing and confidence.

Update from phase 2- February 2024:

The Back in Control 2 project is currently supporting 53 people affected by modern day slavery or workplace exploitation. Having assessed the situation of those clients who have been on the project for more than a year, or have exited the project, so far, we have achieved the following:


Improved client wellbeing: 15 clients

Improved financial situation: 13 clients

Improved stability: 14 clients

Involvement through volunteering: 7 clients



-9 clients have become more independent

-10 have reported benefit awards (we believe this to be underreported)

-13 have reported being in a better housing situation

-9 have reported they had become better at doing basic daily things for themselves (e.g., using the post office)

-9 have reported having improved English language skills


Many have also received material support such as food vouchers, bus tickets or mobile top-ups

BIC Referral

We are keen to link with local organisations to ensure that Back in Control Project reaches the people who need it most. We need you to identify people you are working with who have suffered from modern slavery, workplace exploitation and need a helping hand. Refer them to us and we will do the rest.

Please download the referral form as a pdf document to your computer by Clicking Here

Please complete this referral form with the person being referred.

GDPR Note: We collect the minimum amount of data we need, follow GDPR’s rules regarding how to store personal data and honour the rights of the individual. 

Please email your scanned completed referral form (as an attachment) to or post to 14 Foyle Street, Sunderland, SR1 1LE

Project Steering Group

The Back in Control 2 project has an active Project Steering Group (PSG), composed of 6 current project clients.

They help us to shape the project, make it more accessible, and act as project ambassadors, and critical friends to the project. They halil from a diverse range of countries and ethnicities, including Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ukraine and Poland.

We are grateful for their work and we hope to expand it soon!


Please email your scanned completed referral form (as an attachment) to or post to 14 Foyle Street, Sunderland, SR1 1LE

BIC Posters in different languages:


The Project was reported on by the Sunderland Echo on 18th September 2019, see:  Sunderland Echo Back in Control

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