Bristol

Bristol's One25 helps more women sex workers off the streets

Generic street sex worker Image copyright One25
Image caption One25 was founded on 14 May 1995 following concerns about the health and well-being of street sex workers

The number of female sex workers helped to get off the Bristol streets has gone up by 20% in a year, a charity said.

One25 said the number of women it helped in "exiting the lifestyle" went up from 45 in 2013-14, to 55 last year.

It said volunteers help an average of six women a night compared to about 40 when the service started in May 1995.

Gill Nowland, from One25, said it was "hard to compare" the statistics with 20 years ago, but their work has helped reduce that number.

'We'd be dead'

Ms Nowland said: "Twenty years ago we didn't have the capacity to provide intensive casework and meet the needs of the women in the way we are able to today.

"We hope to continue offering routes out to women who find themselves trapped in street sex work and also to work in a preventative way with those at risk of entering street sex work.

"We will work with women who are trying to stop and have stopped street sex working to help them build happy, healthy and fulfilling lives."

Charlotte Rose, one of the women One25 has helped, said the charity "means the world to me".

"If we didn't have it, we'd be dead," she said. "Nothing is too much trouble.

"Yeah, this place is the boom, it's inspirational, security, a safe house.

"The food, entertainment and women are 100%. Everyone is there for you, you love them so."

One25 began with 20 volunteers but now has 140 and employs 21 members of staff.

It said women on the streets today continue to face a range of difficult issues, including homelessness, addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and malnourishment.

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