One25: The Charity Supporting Bristol Sex Workers

Ashamedly, It’s a subject that does not occupy my mind as a student in Bristol. Wandering around Park Street, and admiring the beauty of the Downs, it is easy to convince yourself that Bristol is an idyllic and beautiful city. Which of course it is. But there are other sides to Bristol. A dark side which One25, a charity which supports Bristol sex workers, is trying to change.

One25 reaches out to women trapped in, or vulnerable to, street sex work, supporting them to break free and build new lives away from violence, poverty and addiction. They are a Bristol based charity, founded in 1995, as the only organisation specifically supporting street sex-working women (Source: One25).

What does their support involve? CEO Gill Nowland visited Bristol University last week to give a talk about exactly what support the charity offers. She spoke eloquently about the amazing care they provide in the difficult circumstances that they face. Their Van outreach service operates five nights a week, The One25 teams meet women’s basic needs by providing nutritious food, first aid, warm clothing. They provide the chance to talk and get advice in a safe space and encourage women to get more in-depth help by visiting our drop-in or seeing a caseworker. Sandra, a woman who has been helped by One25, shares her experience of the Van outreach: “I got food, a hot drink and a bit of warmth - they showed me the first glimmer of love, care and acceptance I had known for a very long time. It was the first human contact that didn't involve some kind of transaction from as far back as I can remember.” (Source One25)

(Photo Credit:www.one25.co.uk)

One25’s drop-in is a woman-only space where women gain practical and emotional support; from basic needs (a hot shower, launderette, free clothing, nutritious lunch) to expert advice and crisis care from a caseworker or visiting professional. Here, they can gain access to basic human comforts that women have forgotten they deserve. As Andrea, a woman helped by One25, aptly puts it, “Knowing that someone cares is huge.” (Source One25).

(Photo Credit: www.one25.co.uk)

Gill Nowland brought up a problem that the charity has faced for many years. They receive no government funding. She also admits that it is not the first charity on the top of everyone’s list to donate to; famous children’s charities and cancer charities are known by more people who are more willing to give their money to them opposed to One25. This is a harrowing truth, but unfortunately this is the case. It is a shame that this amazing charity which makes a difference to so many people’s lives right here in the city of Bristol, is still fighting to raise money in order to continue to help vulnerable women.

Read the stories of women who have been helped by One25.

Want to help this amazing charity? Like and share their Facebook page. Find out ways you can fundraise for One25. Interested in volunteering? They are always looking for people to support them.

(Photo Credit: One25)