Each week, 69 full-time and 101 part-time staff are joined by 190 volunteers in Freedom from Torture centres in Birmingham, Glasgow, London, Manchester and Newcastle. Staff and volunteers work with survivors of torture and organised violence to help them rebuild their lives. Sharing this expertise with partner organisations in the UK and internationally, Freedom from Torture operates as a centre of learning and knowledge in the care, treatment and protection of torture survivors.
From London – to the UK
In the early 2000s, a change in government policy to disperse asylum seekers around the UK meant that Freedom from Torture needed to adapt by opening centres in key 'dispersal areas', in order to meet the needs of torture survivors. Putting down roots first in Manchester to provide services for clients in the North West, the organisation began operating from five centres in 2010.
Freedom from Torture's Midlands centre in Birmingham
Freedom from Torture began seeing clients living in the West Midlands in 2009. It received requests for help from over 100 people from 20 countries in 2010. From its city centre premises in Birmingham, it provides a holistic service for clients.
Freedom from Torture's Scotland centre in Glasgow
As the only Freedom from Torture presence in Scotland, the Glasgow centre has been treating survivors of torture across the whole country since 2004.
‘I know when I die I will still have the pain in my body from my torture. I live with it every day. Freedom from Torture is trying to help people out of the dark and into the light. They speak to me with respect and like I am a person; where else can I find this?' Ahmed, Sudan, Freedom from Torture Scotland client
Freedom from Torture's London centre
Freedom from Torture moved to the new purpose-built treatment centre in Finsbury Park, London in 2004. This centre acts as Freedom from Torture’s headquarters and offers clients a wide range of services. In 2010, it received requests for help for over 1,200 men, women and children.
Freedom from Torture's North West centre in Manchester
The first Freedom from Torture centre to open outside of London in 2003. In 2010, the North West centre received 150 referrals from 40 countries.
'What I found in the region was a dynamic group of voluntary sector refugee organisations as well as some excellent, yet under-resourced, counselling and mental health, BME and women’s projects working hard to respond to the needs of refugee survivors. They asked for training and supervision from us and for Freedom from Torture to be a resource for practitioners needing advice and support. This development model remains core to our work to this day.'
Jude Boyles, manager of Freedom from Torture’s North West centre in Manchester
Freedom from Torture's North East centre in Newcastle
In 2010 130 clients from 30 different countries were referred to Freedom from Torture's North East centre in Newcastle. Staff and volunteers work across the whole region, in partnership with other agencies, to make sure there are the right quality services for survivors of torture - wherever they live, however complex their needs. In five years, hundreds of torture survivors have benefitted from that approach.
Freedom from Torture in Yorkshire and Humberside
Freedom from Torture began developing a presence in the region in 2011. The focus is on building the capacity of existing services to cater for the needs of torture survivors. There is not currently a centre or a direct service to clients.