We work with indoor and independent sex workers as well as street sex workers …
Outreach work forms the core of Streetlink provision, with the project staff and volunteers making contact and engaging with sex workers up to three nights per week. Outreach usually acts as the first point of contact. The women are offered information, advice, support, and are signposted to a relevant agency i.e. drug services, housing etc. It is also where the sex workers trust in the Streetlink staff usually begins to develop.
Drop in Surgery (Daytime and Evening)
Base 18 forms an important part of the Streetlink provision. The centre is located in the heart of the ‘red light zone’ of Preston. It is where the sex workers can access more intensive support through one to one support and action planning. Streetlink currently facilitate one evening surgery for street sex workers and one for independent and indoor sex workers offering sexual health testing and a peer support session for those moving on from sex work.
This addresses the needs of the women who are in the long and often complex routes out of sex work. This is achieved through personal action planning facilitated by Streetlink staff. The women are offered support both practically and emotionally.
Streetlink staff provide and distribute free condoms to this ‘hard to reach’ group of people. This service is supported by the Public Health Condom distribution scheme. The aim of this service is to reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted infections etc.
Satellite Services (Out of Hours)
This out of hours service is located in Base 18. These premises offer the women we work with the opportunity to access partner agencies such as probation, substance misuse and mental health services etc. thus allowing the women access to support which is traditionally only accessible during the day.
Support with Court & Offending Services
The project offers support to women who are either perpetrators or victims of crime. Often advocating on their behalf and submitting supporting evidence to the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) Probation Service, Magistrates and Judges.
Community Cohesion Support
Streetlink staff and community Police work together on a regular basis. The meeting give local community members the opportunity to express their concerns about how sex work impacts on their lives and their community.
Ugly Mugs Scheme
Streetlink are part of The National Ugly Mugs Scheme. The aim of this scheme is to improve the safety of sex workers by alerting them to the dangerous individuals who target sex workers. The scheme also encourages the women to report when they have been a victim of an attack.
Early Evidence Kit Service (Collation of early forensic evidence)
Streetlink team members have completed the Sexual Assault Early Evidence Kit Training which enables them to take the initial account and evidence from a complainant of a sexual assault. The training was delivered by the Lancashire Police and ensures we are working within the same guidelines as a first responder. We are currently the only agency who has completed this training.
An ongoing element of our work is to provide the service users with health and safety advice/ information/training which is relevant to sex workers. This includes a variety of methods, strategies and approaches aimed at keeping them safe. This in turn encourages and empowers them to take responsibility for their own safety. The women are issued with a personal alarm following the completion of the training.
We offer the women a safe environment to meet and support each other at a fixed time and place during the week.
Pregnancy testing kits are available on request. The women are also offered relevant support. The project has a successful working relationship with the local specialist midwife service.
AQA Accredited Creative Workshops
We are running several AQA accredited training sessions throughout the year including information technology, creative writing and safety on the street.