Volunteers Week 2016 – Part 3!

Another story from one of our volunteers, who, since ending her placement in July 2015 has stayed on as volunteer! We hope by reading this you too will be inspired to become a volunteer!

I have been involved with Basis Yorkshire since July 2014, first as a placement year student, and now as a outreach volunteer. I have been predominantly involved with the Basis Sex Work Project team in Leeds, who work with street and indoor sex workers. The experiences during my placement hugely developed my understanding of sex work, namely the diversity within the industry and the multitude of varied social issues that impact their lives. Coupled with this, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in a small third sector organisation, and learnt absolutely loads! There was not a day that was same… Working at Basis, you are lucky to be surrounded by non-judgmental and passionate women who fight for the rights of sex workers daily, as well as providing unfailing support to their service users at every turn. It was an inspirational and very challenging year, and I could not have been happier to have been a part of it!
Basis Sex Work Mosaic

One of the projects I coordinated whilst I was on the placement was the creation of a Mosaic Mural with the women, which stands permanently in Leeds, representing some of the narratives and experiences of sex workers, and putting their voice out there to foster better understandings and challenge negative stereotypes towards sex workers. I wrote my dissertation on the impacts of this project this year. It was an incredible opportunity to have!

Now I am a volunteer with Basis, mostly doing outreach and drop-in. Both of these services provide invaluable opportunities for the women to access support in varying forms. I really enjoy volunteering with Basis, though I miss the busy nature of the office where I spent much time on placement! It’s a brilliant team and their commitment to the cause is visible throughout their work, which makes volunteering there a pleasure!