freedom for all

Modern Slavery | Violence Reduction | Crime Free Futures

Our Story

City Hearts was founded in 2005 by Jenny Gilpin, with the help of members of a local church, to support women in South Yorkshire with life controlling issues, including addiction and eating disorders. Shortly after, through police referrals, we began supporting survivors of modern slavery. 

We have grown rapidly, now supporting hundreds of men, women and families rescued from modern slavery all over the UK. The people we care for are highly traumatised, having suffered terrible exploitation. We offer a range of services from crisis safe houses to long-term support, helping survivors integrate back into society and live independently, in freedom.  

In 2018 we partnered with South Yorkshire Police to launch About Face, a programme committed to breaking the cycle of crime. Working in partnership with South Yorkshire Police's Violence Reduction Unit, we developed two projects, ‘Plan B’ and ‘Forging Ahead’, which work towards creating crime-free futures. 

We have two partner organisations that are part of the City Hearts’ International family, City Hearts Africa and City Hearts Netherlands. Both are independent charities operating with the same culture and passion to see lives fully restored. 

We continually strive to offer innovative and effective support across the United Kingdom and internationally.

Our values


We carry an outstanding reputation developed through years of experience and a continual desire to progress.


We are hope filled, believing all things are possible in the lives of those we care for.


We are accountable to those we care for as well as our donors and our contract holders and do everything with the utmost integrity.


We work continuously hard to develop solutions to help those we care for get the best outcomes.


We offer outstanding care that brings independence and lasting change for our clients.


Our support for those we care for is not bound by race, gender or sexuality. We seek to provide the utmost care for every life equally.

The Leadership Team

Meet some of the talented and dedicated people behind City Hearts


Chief Executive Officer

With a background in law and after working for a number of charities, Ed joined City Hearts in 2012. He first worked as a safe house manager, before taking on a central role, managing finance, HR and operations, becoming CEO in 2017.



Head of Services

Louise has worked at City Hearts since 2006 and has been involved in many developments over the years, including City Hearts welcoming our first trafficking victim and opening the first safe house. Louise has a MSc in Charity Resource Management and oversees all of our UK services in her current role.



Head of Development

Phill has been working with Victims of Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery for nine years. He set up one of the first male safe houses in the UK, and as Head of Development, Phill has pioneered a unique, UK wide recognised approach to longer-term survivor support through the Integration Support Programme.



Head of Finance

Rachael worked in Financial Services for seven years before joining City Hearts in 2012 and has progressed to become head of our finance department.



Head of Human Resources

Following her degree in Occupational Therapy, Amy joined in 2015 and has overseen anti-trafficking programmes, working with clients, staff and volunteers. In May 2018 she took over the role of Head of Human Resources, supporting 175 employees throughout the organisation.