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Project information

Outreach to Street Sex workers -the MASH Van

Street sex workers are some of the most vulnerable women in Manchester. The MASH van goes out to support them three nights a week. Our volunteers offer condoms, clean needles, first aid, safety advice, hot drinks and snacks and encouragement to access the other services offered by MASH.

This is an ongoing project

Charity information: Manchester Action On Street Health

Manchester Action On Street Health logo
  • Need


    Women selling sex on the streets of Manchester do so because they can see no other option. They face multiple problems including drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness and mental and physical health problems.
    The need to earn money can lead to women taking risks with their health, including having unprotected sex ,and whilst on the street they face a constant threat of violence


    The MASH van is often the first contact women have with MASH and through it we can link them in with the services they need.
    On the van we provide: clean needles,condoms to reduce the risk of unsafe sex and rape alarms to address the threat of assault. We also share information about "Dodgy Punters".
    Hot drinks , snacks and a friendly face enable us to engage with women who need emotional support.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To keep women safe and healthy whilst they are selling sex on the streets


    » We distribute "Dodgy Punter" reports which give information about incidents and attacks and men to look out for and avoid
    » We give out attack alarms and safety booklets
    » We provide a needle exchange and give out condoms

    What success will look like

    Success will be fewer women attacked, having unprotected sex or sharing needles

    Aim 2

    To link women into services they need


    » We encourage women to access the MASH Centre where they can get more help and support

    What success will look like

    Success will be more women getting the help they need to make real choices about their lives.

  • Impact


    Women will address their drug and alcohol issues, access stable housing, improve their mental and physical health. Some will choose to stop sex working all together (last year 12 women exited).
    We measure women accessing MASH services and when we case work them we measure progress against agreed goals using the Outcomes Star tool.


    There is a risk to the safety of our volunteers.
    All our workers are fully trained and follow strict procedures. We complete detailed risk assessments and provide training updates


    Donors will receive bi monthly updates including statistics and case studies illustrating the difference their donation has made

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £3,500

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,500 vehicle costs Contribution to fuel, maintenance and insurance
      £500 Refreshments Drinks and snacks for the women
      £500 staff security Contribution to security system used and phones
      £500 Volunteer expenses Expenses for travel to sessions
      £500 publicity and safety info leaflets and booklets to distribute, info re MASH
  • Background


    The van goes out to the three main red light districts of Manchester, Cheetham Hill, Whalley Range and the City Centre, near Piccadilly station. Most women now work in the city centre, in an industrial area away from residential property. Although this reduces nuisance for other residents it also increases the risk to the women


    Women who are homeless or have mental health problems or who are addicted to drugs and alcohol who sell sex on the streets in Manchester

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    MASH has been working with sex workers in Manchester for more than 21 years. We are well established and trusted by the women and other agencies. We are the only specialist sex worker project in Manchester. The range of services we provide means we are best placed to support women we engage with to move on in their lives.
    We have over 50 trained volunteers.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Tina Threadgold

    Tina is MASH's Operational Manager. She has many years experience of work with sex workers and has herself been an outreach worker.

    Jamie Li

    Jamie is our volunteer coordinator. She recruits and trains our volunteers and draws up our rotas


    Our volunteers make this work . They give up their time and are highly skilled at engaging with very vulnerable women. They are fantastic