Project information

Safe Reach

To provide netreach support to sex working women. Using websites to contact women presently out of the reach of services. Provide online support, advice and information and signpost to any needed services. The approach holistic encompassing personal and sexual safety and health and wellbeing

Pilot 12 months

Charity information: Drugline Lancashire Limited

Drugline Lancashire Limited logo
  • Need


    The service has provided an effective sex worker support service in Blackpool for ten years; working with street and accommodated workers in parlours. The landscape has changed, women are using websites to promote their availability; the women often keeping this work secret, working from home , vulnerable and isolated from support. This leaves women at greater harm from physical and sexual harm and their health and well-being at risk. An initial scoping has identified 30 workers in Blackpool


    The service has been an early adopter of a netreach approach with its work with MSM on social media sites. The aim to extend this to the online sex worker population. Reaching them through web chat, able to provide instant support, advice and information. Be able to warn them of 'dodgy punters' in line with National Ugly Mugs. Signpost to services for their health and well-being needs and help them work more safely and as needed feel able to report any crimes made against them. Be a lifeline.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide instant and accessible help and support through netreach to web based sex workers


    » To provide netreach to sex workers in Blackpool through the application of a suitably equipped sessional worker; encompassing approach and knowledge
    » The worker to provide agreed hours online to identify sex work websites , identify women in the area and make online contact women (new and known)
    » To provide regular sessional netreach support; communicate sensitively , build trust, impart information, advice and service awareness to meet needs
    » The project a 12 month pilot, an action research approach to identify the sites, the extent of women working, their needs and what netreach works

    What success will look like

    Success will encompass evidencing the hours online, the number of websites identified and used, the number of contacts and recontacts made with women and they state needs met

  • Impact


    The project aims to learn and develop an effective response, a blue print of what works that can be shared and used by others. The approach challenging the isolation, potential harm and ill health faced by women working on line. The success indicator being women report the changes; feeling less isolated, have learned safety measures, can report crime with ease and confidence, know about and access all health and well-being services they need. All activity monitored and H&W scales harnessed


    Risks encompass having the agency skills and abilities to deliver and challenging the isolation of the women to engage. The service has been an effective, diverse and innovative agency for 30 years. It has the infrastructure, safeguards and experience in netreach and sex worker support to apply to this project. It has looked at a 12 month schedule to allow a staged but persistent approach to identifying websites and women; building trust and relationships, adaptive to meeting all needs


    The service celebrates its multi media approach and can adapt to donor requirements; the agency can establish individual or collective approaches from its web site, Facebook, Twitter, emails, letters and 'e' newsletters to meeting with individuals, showcasing the work at an agency open event

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £24,640

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      Amount Heading Description
      £15,600 Project Worker 20 hours per week x 52 weeks@ £15 per hour
      £2,000 Project Blueprint Findings and way forward document compiling and production
      £3,520 Work base Infrastructure (office, IT, admin, project promotion, training)
      £3,520 Governance Management and Support
  • Background


    The project to be based in Blackpool; a town consistently high in all indicators of social and economic deprivation; with the town ranked the most deprived of 326 Local Authority areas. This level of endemic poverty enhancing the vulnerability for women to sex work as well as linked to other challenges as drug and alcohol use, lack of other employment opportunities and lack of aspiration . The project to be based within a service providing both sexual health and substance use in Blackpool


    Beneficiaries of the project are sex working women. Women not working on the streets or in parlours where there is visibility and support service reach, but those working at home and on line. Women often working in secrecy, isolated from all service resources ( emotional support, health checks or condoms), at extreme risk from violence and attack as well as the physical and psychological impact of their work and environment. The initial scope has identified 30 women unknown to services

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Drugline-Lancashire is celebrating working 30 years in Lancashire in 2016. It remains a local, mid sized charity but with big ambitions and a legacy of innovative services reaching the most in need. The service has worked at the forefront of drug and alcohol provision, leads the county in HIV support, provides sexual violence services and for 10 years a unique support service for sex workers in Blackpool. It is a long standing member of the UKNSWP and early adopter of the NUM dodgy punter

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Shelley Mullarkey-Matthews

    Shelley is operational head of the organisation; leading the service's drive and performance and acting as the project's support and inspiration

    Charleen Kitchen

    Charleen has led the services sex work support in Blackpool since its inception in 2006. She provides the knowledge and expertise on local sex work

    Anthony West

    Anthony has transformed the service approach to sexual health promotion, embracing new technology to reach people in new media including netreach