We are proud to support Azalea as a church. We have many different people from Bethany involved in different areas of this amazing charity. To find out more or how you can get involved please go to the Azalea website or contact the Azalea office team via email.
Here is some information from their website:
Azalea reaches out to those trapped in or vulnerable to sexual exploitation, supporting them to build new lives because of the love of God.
We do this by welcoming women to our Drop-in, meeting women on the streets through Outreach, and befriending women during the week. We want to communicate to these women that they are valuable, enabling them to see their lives from a different perspective. We are also forming new teams to tackle the issue of demand by working with men, and to share Azalea’s expertise internationally. We lobby parliament in relation to the laws surrounding sexual exploitation and trafficking. Read on to find out more about these aspects of our work…
Outreach, Drop-In and Befriending
Azalea is currently connecting with more than 80 women through outreach, drop-in and befriending. In all areas, we work closely with statutory partners to form exit strategies out of sexual exploitation and drug or alcohol addiction.
Two nights a week the Azalea team drive around the streets, caring, listening and providing practical support. Sometimes we can stop just long enough to offer a smile and something to eat. At other times we are able to have a much longer chat, or point women to our drop-in and other local services.
Two nights a week and once a week during the day the Azalea drop-in provides an environment where women can come and know they are welcome. It is a cosy room, well stocked with food, and offers the women a chance to step away from the pressures and dangers of the street. An art teacher runs regular art and craft sessions, and we also offer a weekly Alpha course with a meal, praise and worship and discussion. Our goal is that through radical acceptance, the drop-in fosters hope that change is possible. From January to November 2015, there were 726 attendences at our drop-in: the busiest year so far.
Azalea volunteers offer in-depth care in many ways, when women talk about wanting their lives to change, including:
- practical support e.g. furnishing flats, giving lifts to appointments, helping to fill out forms
- relational support e.g. visiting women who have moved away, phone calls, prison visits, going out for coffee
The women we support have complex needs, and we partner with a variety of statutory agencies to break the cycles of addiction that prevent them from moving forward in their lives.
Men’s ministry: Courageous
Azalea is now looking at the causes of sexual exploitation as well as the consequences, by addressing the issue of demand. We recognise that just as one women exits, another fills her place, because the demand is still there. To this end, we are setting up a separate group offering support for men who access women for sex and violence. We are doing this in partnership with other agencies and hope to develop a programme that will help kerb crawlers to change their attitudes and behaviour. Read more about Courageous here.
We are involved in the fight for freedom from sexual exploitation globally, consulting and training teams around the UK and the world. This is a new area of work that we are exploring, starting with developing a project in Hong Kong, and this aspect of our work is self-funding. For more information email email@example.com.
Who We Are
The work of Azalea is made possible by a large number of people who each contribute what they can. By drawing on the compassion of volunteers, we offer holistic support and a wider community where the women can experience healing and social inclusion.
- Those who give financially so that we can run a drop-in, a car, employ part-time staff and meet all sorts of practical needs
- An army of bakers who make cakes that we hand out while on outreach or at the drop-in
- A huge prayer network made of up people who pray for the women and Azalea team
- A group of trustees who help us to make wise decisions about Azalea’s future
- A team of about 30 who regularly go out on outreach, stay at the drop-in and meet up with the women
- A couple of administrative and financial whizz-kids to make everything run smoothly
If you are interested in being part of our big team, do get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you. You can also come to our Awareness evening in February 2016.
We are primarily funded through donations from individuals and churches and we also receive grants from a variety of Trusts.