Update June 4th 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 (@BasisYorkshire1) and/or Twitter (@BasisYorkshire / @BasisSexwork). We will also have netreach (live chat service via our website) open most weekday afternoons from 1-4pm – look for the chat button at the bottom of the screen and please check our social media feeds for updates. We are also offering mobile phones (including smart phones) for those who need it so they can stay in touch – please ask us if this is needed.
For the young people we support we will be reaching out on the phone unless in emergencies.
We know this is tough time for all, we aim to support in whichever way is needed. 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.
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 services and our other income generation opportunities are now extremely limited.
Basis ongoing services:
Drop in: will not be happening following government guidelines. We are still able to drop off food parcels and/or medication but please do not come to the office. Instead, if you need us, please contact us on 0113 243 0036, 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 via drop-offs, appointments and emotional support through 1-to-1s via phone/online.
If you are in need or know of anyone who is, 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.
Basis can support with bringing round food parcels (in most cases delivery will take place through our volunteers).
If you are struggling to get food because you have lost income or are self-isolating, phone Leeds City Council’s Local Welfare Support Scheme on 0113 376 0330 (open 9am-6pm 7 days a week).
For other practical support when self-isolating, please ring 0113 378 1877 or, if you have difficulty hearing, text 07480 632 471 (Leeds City Council Coronavirus support – open 9am-6pm 7 days a week).
If this does not work please call your support worker on their mobile or call our office 0113 243 0036
For those women who will struggle financially, they are encouraged to access Basis’ LiveChat 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, food parcels, utility and /or other payments where needed). There are government measures now in place to stop people from being evicted due to non-rent payments (our leaflet below has more info), as well as measures to avoid being cut off from energy (gas/electric).
SWARM Sex Worker Hardship Fund:
SWARM has temporarily paused new applications to their hardship fund for sex workers as they raise more funds. They are actively fundraising and hope to be able to re-open and continue to make payments soon. In the meantime, their website has more info, including resources for sex workers on bookings, safer working practices and navigating this period financially. For support on applying for Universal Credit or Self-Employment support, please speak to your support worker at Basis or you can also email SWARM: email@example.com. If you need more support on this, 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: If you are concerned about your sexual health or need contraception, we can try to arrange an initial telephone assessment with the specialist sexual health nurse (Jane) over the phone. If you can’t reach Basis, please speak directly to the Sexual Health Team on 0113 392 0333. They will assess you over phone & if appropriate bring you into clinic for treatment/meds. All walk-in clinic services at Leeds Sexual Health have been suspended. Other services may also have been suspended to reduce face-to-face contact. Please do not attend clinic unless told to. Sexual Health Pharmacies (please see here for a list) may have reduced opening hours and may only be able to offer emergency contraception at set times. For more information, please visit Leeds Sexual Health website here or see our ‘Info About Services’ and ‘Sexual Health Advice and Services’ leaflets below.
Specific COVID 19 health advice please follow below link:
COVID 19 Health advice in different languages (all translated guidance here applied until 1.06.2020 and will be updated soon)
Further info and & advice and other services available
Info About Services and Benefits Advice (please note this is constantly changing)
ROMANIAN Services and Benefits Advice (please note this is constantly changing and may take a while to update)
ROMANIAN – Services and Sexual Health Advice – INDOOR WORKERS (please note this may take a while to update)
Guidance for people who use substances