Project information

The MASH Centre

In the heart of Manchester's red light district the MASH Centre is a warm safe welcoming place where women who work on the streets can see a nurse, get advice and support and access services such as education and counselling.

This is an ongoing service

Charity information

Manchester Action On Street Health

Manchester Action On Street Health logo
  • Need


    Sex workers, especially those who work on the streets are some of the most vulnerable and marginalised women in society. Many have backgrounds of abuse and addiction and homelessness and mental health are major problems. They find it difficult to access mainstream services due to the stigma they face.


    The MASH Centre provides a range of services including a sexual health clinic,needle exchange, therapeutic services and life skills support. Women can drop in. They tell us they feel safe, welcomed, and able to be themselves without fear of being judged. MASH staff are able to build relationships which enable us to offer long term casework support and address issues such as drug addiction, housing and money problems. We are open day and evening. Over 50 volunteers support our paid staff team.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide a welcoming space where women who sell sex can feel safe and be themselves


    » Provide a friendly drop in providing nutritious food and drinks, internet access and positive activities

    Success will be...Service users will tell us they feel safe and welcome. They will enourage friends to attend and more women will benefit

    Aim 2

    To empower female sex workers to make real choices about their lives


    » Casework support to address barriers to choice such as addiction, homelessness and financial problems
    » Therapeutic support including counselling to improve confidence and self esteem and address underlying issues

    Success will be...More women will access drug treatment. More women will be settled in their own homes. More women will access education and training and volunteering

    Aim 3

    To keep female sex workers safe and healthy


    » Provide a nurse led sexual health clinic at the centre
    » Provide a needle exchange
    » provide a range of healthy living activities including cooking and self defence courses

    Success will be...More women accessing sexual health screens at hte clinic. Continuing low rates of STIs incluing HIV. Fewer women suffering violence incluing rape.

  • 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 staff and volunteers. We have strong health and safety procedures which are reviewed regulalry.
    There is a risk that we do not have enough volunteers to deliver the servcies. We regularly recruit and have excelelnt training and induction which results in good volunteer retention


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

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £10,000 Staff costs Contribution to staff costs
      £5,000 Premises costs Contribution to building running costs
      £5,000 Delivery resources Refreshments, Therapy and activity resources
  • Background


    The MASH Centre is located in the middle of the "beat". The red light district of Manchester. Close to the City Centre, near Piccadilly Railway station it is an area of industrial units , railway arches and derelict sites. As the women are working in a non residential area the nuisance to the general public is minimal. The risks to the womens' safety are higher however


    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.


    Louise, Helen And Caroline

    Our Caseworkers are highly skilled and expeirenced at working with vulnerable women and at leading teams of volunteers