Sister Imelda Poole IBVM is President of RENATE (Religious in Europe Networking against Trafficking and Exploitation) and has played a leading role in the campaign to eradicating human trafficking and modern slavery for many decades.
Combatting human trafficking, modern slavery
On the announcement of the award, the British Ambassador to the Holy See, Sally Axworthy, said:
“I am delighted to learn that Sr. Imelda Poole has been awarded this honour by Her Majesty The Queen. It is well-deserved recognition of Sr. Imelda’s outstanding service in combatting human trafficking and modern slavery, through the European religious sisters’ anti-trafficking network RENATE which she leads, and through Talitha Kum, the religious sisters’ worldwide anti-trafficking network. Sister Imelda is a key ally in Her Majesty’s Government’s campaign to eradicate modern slavery. It is wonderful to see such a distinguished friend of this Embassy honoured in this way.”
Sister Poole joined the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto Sisters) whilst still in her teens. She studied English and history at Manchester University and followed this with a PGCE in Theology and English.
After her studies, she worked with disadvantaged people in Glasgow, London and Manchester before going to Kenya where she experienced life with the Kipsigi tribe. On her return to England she worked with marginalized people near Middleborough before later becoming involved with the campaign to eradicate human trafficking and modern slavery. In this role, she helped set up an anti-trafficking NGO in Albania.