VISITORS headed to an event to mark Anti-Slavery Day on Monday (October 18).

Hidden Voices Bridgwater organised an exhibition at St Mary's Church in Bridgwater, focused on slavery.

Sian Owen, Hidden Voices co-ordinator, spoke about the 40 million people held in slavery, and how 136,000 of those are in the UK.

She also explained that slavery of today is very different to slavery in the past. Sian added that everyone has a part to play in abolishing slavery, and we can all make changes in the way we shop so that we are not unwittingly contributing to those figures.

Cllr Brian Smedley spoke about Bridgwater's past, and the fact it was the first town to petition the government against the slave trade in 1785.

David Maggs, the team leader for mission with the diocese of Bath and Wells and who also sits on the Avon and Somerset Anti-Slavery Partnership, spoke about how to spot the signs of modern slavery.

There was also a short video by PC 1942 on county lines and knife crime, with Peter Slee from Hidden Voice talking about criminal exploitation.

The evening was ended with the Rev Suse Osmond from St Mary’s asking those present to pledge to continue the fight against slavery.