Council bosses are spending a six-figure sum to continue a project helping sex workers in Doncaster.
Council bosses are spending a six-figure sum to continue projects to help sex workers in Doncaster.
Around £150,000 is being spent for a further two years which sees staff engage with those working in town’s red light district to ultimately leave the industry.
Sex Worker Support Service, also known as the Amber Project, has been operated by Changing Lives since December 2014.
A contract ended on March 31 but senior staff were keen to extend the service.
The scheme was initially set up six years as a response to ‘significant community and public service concerns’ about the growth of sex work and related anti-social behaviour, particularly in the Lower Wheatley and town centre areas.
The Amber Project’s purpose is to engage with sex workers through outreach and other means to ‘empower and enable them to enter into mainstream services for a lifestyle change’.
Project staff work alongside other agencies and they also work on secondary issues such as drug misuse, mental health issues, homelessness and rough sleeping.
In a report published by Doncaster Council, officer Pat Hagan said: “It is recommended that funding for the service should be continued on the basis that it will operate in practice as a key component of the Complex Lives, offering specialist outreach, engagement and case management work relating to sex workers.
“The effect of doing nothing will have a significant impact on emergency services, the lives of sex workers in Doncaster and the local neighbourhoods where the sex workers predominantly operate.
“The main risk in not delivering the service are loss of expertise and trusted relationships of the current provider; reduced health and wellbeing of sex workers and a reduction in those able to exit sex work; increase in community tension from local residents and campaigners, putting more pressure on other agencies; Increase in anti-social behaviour, and unreported crime causing increased discourse in the community.”