Ballymena artist creates work in aid of survivors of modern slavery
Ballymena artist Ally Simpson, known online to his 18,000 Instagram followers as @super.simbo, has collaborated with UK anti-slavery organisation Causeway to help raise funds for survivors of modern slavery and human trafficking.
The charity operates safe houses and outreach programmes for hundreds of people rescued from exploitation each year who enter the Government’s modern slavery support system known as the NRM.
"Once I found out more about the work Causeway does and the direct impact they have on people's lives, I felt really drawn toward the opportunity for collaboration and the chance to raise awareness with the people I know, as well as those who follow me on social media,” said Ally.
Ally agreed to create a bespoke piece of art for Causeway based on conversations he had with the charity’s caseworkers who support survivors on a daily basis. He was impressed with the stories of resilience, and was inspired by the journey of recovery and independence victims of human trafficking go on as they get their lives back on track.
"The painting is called 'To make bright and clear your path,'” said Ally.
“We all know that life is colourful but chaotic. Finding apathway through the chaos can be challenging, and those bright moments of hope are sometimes hard to reach. This work is inspired by the chaos, colour, glimmers of hope, and those opportunities we find to be able to make a bright and clear path for ourselves and others.”
The piece is available to download for a minimum donation to Causeway of £1. It can then be used as a digital backdrop on your devices, or printed off.
People who would like to support Ally and Causeway’s Network for Change collaboration are also being asked to spread the word on their social media network so that as many people as possible see the campaign, and hopefully donate.
“The network of people we can reach with this campaign is potentially huge, and it's very exciting to see how many people can benefit from a simple exchange of £1 for a piece of my artwork," said Ally.
“We’re really grateful to Ally for his time,” said Causeway’s Communications and Engagement Manager, Francesca Elliott.
“This campaign has already raised hundreds of pounds for our long-term support services for modern slavery survivors, and we hope we can raise even more in the next few weeks.
“The money raised by Network for Change will help fund our LifeLink and LifeLine services which provide survivors who have left government funded support with regular phone calls and advice on how to navigate life following trauma. The service allows us to intervene in any issues before they reach crisis point, and this prevents people from becoming vulnerable to further exploitation or homelessness as they know we are there to support them if needs be. It’s a really vital service for survivors of modern slavery.”
You can support the Network for Change campaign and download Ally’s work here:
You can follow Causeway’s work on Instagram at @Causewaycharity