Having grown up outside London, Mikey originally started his career in the preforming arts industry, landing himself dancing parts on the world tour of Thriller Live, X Factor, Little Mix, amongst many others, but with no clear direction of where he wanted to end up.
Mikey first heard about the issue of human trafficking 6 or 7 years ago when attending a local church, and was instantly captivated by the magnitude of the issue: “I was absolutely in shock it still existed, I thought it was a thing of the past…”. Wanting to make a difference but not knowing exactly how to after hearing the founder of A21 Christine Caine speak, Mikey was instantly inspired by her plea for everyone to play their part: no matter how small or big, it all contributes to helping the cause. Whilst still pursuing his career in dance, Mikey would use his sphere of influence and tell everyone he could about the issue: the artists, the dancers, anyone and everyone around him. Engaging in positive conversations and raising awareness only furthered his passion to do more and more, and whilst he loved being a dancer, he admits he wanted to try something different in life: “I got to this incredible point where I realized I didn’t have to work for a charity to make a difference. But the job came up, and I thought I had to try that and give it everything I’ve got”.
When describing how he felt when he encountered the opportunity to apply to work for A21, he confesses he was like a “fangirl” to finally be able to work for an organization he loved for so many years and saw first-hand the amazing work they did on rescuing people: “the passion was there and passion is what fuels you. Passion is what drives us”. Mikey started his career at A21 as a prevention and reach coordinator, a role which includes public speaking and managing events and campaigns throughout the year, but he now feels very blessed to be trusted as A21’s UK manager.
When explaining how the partnership with Phoenix Staffing first came about, he recalls that Sarah and the team sat down and they saw that what Phoenix was doing was “great and impacted people, but as an organization, they wanted to create an impact that was also outward as well as inward”. Mikey believes as a company, it is important to ignore the “me me me” kind of culture, and not look just internally. So, making an impact in the world and being passionate about social justice is exactly what Sarah wanted for Phoenix, to be bigger than just its staff, which has already seen some amazing results: “incredible achievements from the partnership with Phoenix include people doing the skydive, and the yoga class to fundraise and create awareness for A21 which all help us reach, rescue and restore more lives”. Another massive highlight from the partnership has been Phoenix’s shot staff asking for donations on their shifts, and inspiring people to take a stand and help – even on their night out, which accurately reflects Mikey’s ethos for A21: “we are about empowering and equipping people to use the tools in their hands to make a difference”.
However, Mikey explains that A21’s main aim is not to promote the daunting nature of human trafficking, but rather spread the hope that can be restored in people’s lives. Whilst Phoenix has so far raised £1642.87 for A21, Mikey says that when and if you give, it doesn’t matter if its £5, £50 or a £1000 pounds, and even if it’s not money “you can still do something, as it all has impact”.