A special Advent Carol Service is being held in Westminster Cathedral on Thursday 1st December 2022 at 7:30pm, in aid of a new anti-trafficking charity, Mary Ward Loreto UK.

Mary Ward Loreto UK has been set up to support the important work of the Mary Ward Foundation in Albania, to enable cross-border work and cooperation between the UK and Albania, supporting the Albanian victims in the UK and helping their recovery back home.

The foundation also provides online counselling and support services to discovered and recovered victims in Britain, resulting in hundreds of victims being enabled to return home to Albania. Once back, they will get shelter and protection, with trauma informed specialist-led support helping them to recover, however slowly, from their nightmare ordeal and get back to a normal life, with a sense of hope for the future and a renewed freedom.

At the Advent Carol Service there will be readings read by Julie Etchingham, British journalist and ITV newsreader, Edward Stourton, BBC broadcaster, radio presenter and author, and Sir Christian Sweeting KCSG.

The world renowned Westminster Cathedral Choir (both Choristers and Lay Clerks) will be singing the carols at this free event, and a retiring collection will be taken.

Organised crime networks and individual trafficking perpetrators have combined to make the UK the second most trafficked country in Europe! Some 150,000 victims of human trafficking end up in the UK each year and far too many of them come from Albania, a beautiful yet conflicted country, which itself is trying its hardest to eradicate trafficking, an obscene offence against human rights.

More often than not, women and young girls are pushed into prostitution, forced labour and drug mule work under the pretence of being offered a ‘better life’ in the UK.

The Mary Ward Loreto Foundation is a non-profit organisation that has developed a substantial network of centres in Albania offering rehabilitation, educational and social business programmes, as well as counselling for victims of trafficking returning to Albania.