We at Basis are delighted to share the news that we have successfully secured investment into our well established, award winning services for sexworkers in Leeds. With a long history of supporting women selling sex across the industry, we have long advocated for additional and longer term investment into fully inclusive services for those women who are among the most isolated and marginalised in our communities. Our longstanding commitment to reducing harm & violence, enabling safety & options and supporting transitions has allowed us to successfully meet the requirements set out by Leeds City Council and partners. We recognise and commend statutory funders in Leeds for blending and pooling budgets across the local authority and health in order to commission a service that recognises the multiple and sometimes ‘complex needs’ of some of the women we serve.
The open and competitive tender exercise allowed us to fully demonstrate our expertise across partnership, specialist sex work delivery, trauma and creating access into wider services. This builds upon the success of our independently evaluated and award winning services, embedding a specialist, holistic approach to sex workers with complex needs across the city, enabling women to navigate into services otherwise difficult to access.
Our unique partnership has centred the voices of women sex working throughout the process of consultation to develop an offer for women that is based on their insights and lived experience, developing the ‘Athena Project’, working with the Joanna Project, ‘Somewhere Safe To Stay Hub’ (St Anne’s) and wider partners across Leeds to respond to sex workers with ‘complex needs’. Basis will also continue to provide services to the wider sex working community, as well as young people who are sexually exploited, developing innovative services that transform and improve responses within and across our communities and services.
We would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the Trusts and Foundations who have enabled us to sustain and transform our work over many years in and whom we will continue to work with to meet the needs of a diverse community of women. Work on tackling stigma, harm and violence remains central to our ethos of preventing the abuse and exploitation of those we serve and working alongside people to realise their aspirations.