Corona Virus

Update April 2nd 2020

Staying in touch with Basis:

At the moment please use your regular (mobile) phone contact and/or the office (0113 – 243 0036). You can also get in touch via Facebook and/or Twitter (@BasisSexwork)  and we will also have netreach (live chat service via our website – open most afternoons – look for the chat button at the bottom of the screen) up and running (please check our social media feeds for details). We are offering mobile phones for those who need it so they can stay in touch please ask us if this is needed.

We know this is tough time for all, we aim to support in whichever way is needed and stay in touch with home or outreach visits as much as possible, prioritising those at high risk.

For the young people we support we will be reaching out on the phone unless in emergencies.

Basis staff are committed to the safety and wellbeing of the people we serve, so any decision taken to adapt or change services will be to ensure women and young people stay safe and well.  At such a difficult time, we will do our very best to remain available and in touch with all the people we work with.

Donations appeal:

We are appealing for food donations (drop off Basis office Mon – Fri: beween 10-3) as well as financial donations (via Justgiving or our Amazon wishlist ) as we are stepping up our practical support as women are unable to work or access other support sevices and our other income generation opportunities are now extremely limited.

Basis ongoing services:

Drop in: will not be happening due to the fact that some staff are self isolating and undertaking outreach with women who are most at risk in the community.  Additionally, having women with health needs meeting together increases the risk of coronavirus spreading via our premises. We are still able to drop off food parcels and/or medication and but please do not come to the office. Instead, please contact us on 0113 2430036 , a mobile number of a frontline worker, Facebook, Twitter  or our live chat service on the website (see above)

Managed Approach Evening Outreach: We have had to take the incredibly difficult decision to suspend evening outreach for the time being. This has been with the aim of keeping our staff,  volunteers, their families , the women we work with and the wider community healthy. It is also to ensure we can still help women during the day with food, mobile phones, utility payments , sexual health provisions, contraception, health appointments and emotional support  through 1 to 1s  via phone/online. We are currently without adequate protection, do not have access to testing and/or immunity and we risk contributing to the spread of COVID 19.

If you are in need or know of anyone please get in touch via our office phone, case worker phone numbers, our social media accounts and/or via the chat function on our website. The Police team are also still operational and our team are on phone standby during usual outreach hours for any support required.

Young People: Where possible we will be reaching out over the phone and restricting 1 to 1 visits unless in emergencies

Food:  If you are self-isolating and you do not have friends or family nearby who can help, phone 0113 378 1877 (Leeds Council) .  If you are struggling to get food because you have lost income or are self-isolating, you should speak to:

  • a housing officer; your child’s school or a social worker

If you do not have one of these you can call the welfare support team on 0113 376 0330.

If this does not work please call your support worker on their mobile or call 0113  243 0036

Financial support :

For those women who will struggle financially, they are encouraged to access Basis’ netreach to be given further advice on making a claim for Universal Credit.  However, the 5 week delay may mean women may struggle to obtain immediate financial support (although advances are available where needed as is access to foodbanks and/or food parcels or utility and /or other payments where needed). There are government measures now in place to stop people from being evicted to non-rent payments as well as measures to avoid being cut off from energy (gas/electric)

SWARM Sex Worker Hardship Fund:

SWARM has set up a hardship fund for sexworkers please get in touch with them to find out if you need additional financial support (@sexworkhive) or email contact@swarmcollective.org. We can also help you access this fund if you need us to. Please contact us as per the above.

Considering alternative options:

We realise this may not be an option for everyone, but for those sex workers who can, some may be able to reduce or completely avoid body/sex contact for a while, and may consider alternative options within the industry.  Web-camming, phone and direct chats, as well as the sale of adult content (photos, videos) on platforms, where no physical contact takes place, may be  an alternative.

Sexual Health: All walk-in clinics at Leeds Sexual Health suspended. If you can’t reach Basis, speak to Sexual Health Team on 0113 392 0333. They will assess you over phone & if appropriate bring you into clinic for treatment/meds. If you need to speak to someone and can’t get through please call your support worker at Basis or contact us through the above means.

Specific COVID 19 health advice please follow below link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

COVID 19 Health advice in different languages:

Further info and & advice and other other services available 

Info about staying safe and guidance during COVID

Guidance for people who use substances

Resources for those in recovery

Info about services and benefits advice(please note this is constantly changing)