Local florist shortlisted for JustGiving award

A BYFLEET woman who is raising money to run floristry workshops for survivors of human trafficking has been shortlisted for a “change maker of the year” award.

Jess Visser, a former corporate head-hunter who retrained as a florist, founded Strength & Stem as a social enterprise florist to empower survivors of human trafficking. She is using the social platform JustGiving to raise money for the workshops and has already raised more than half her target of £6,000.

Floristry hero Jess Visser putting together an arrangement of flowers

She is planning to run four full-day workshops over four weeks to teach 10 women a range of floristry skills, including hand-tied bouquets, buttonholes, flower crowns, wreaths and table arrangements. The first will be held next month (September) and will be taught by the founders and florists at Wolves Lane Flower Company, in Hornsey, London.

“I have always been concerned about the plight of the victims of trafficking and I recently did some volunteering with a charity that works to prevent potential victims being trafficked and that further opened my eyes to the problems,” Jess said.

“It is an honour to be a finalist for the 2019 JustGiving Change Maker of the Year Award. I hope that by creating greater awareness of Strength & Stem and the horrific problems that victims of human trafficking face on our doorsteps, we can help tackle the issue at its core and empower survivors on their journey of rehabilitation and healing.”

To vote for Jess to win JustGiving Change Maker of the Year Award visit www.justgiving.com/awards/2019/vote. Voting closes at midnight on Sunday 15 September.

To donate to Jess’s JustGiving page please visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/strengthandstem.

For the full story get the 29 August edition of the News & Mail

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