Basis Yorkshire Statement St George’s Crypt fundraising video
Basis Yorkshire are a specialist charity supporting sex workers in Leeds for nearly 30 years with a workforce with lived experience. We were surprised and disappointed to see the latest fundraising film by St. George’s Crypt, a leading homeless charity in Leeds. We have been in communication with the Crypt when alerted to it’s existence to express our concerns and offer advice, but have not succeeded with influencing the films’ promotion or distribution. Our concerns regarding the film are significant:
- The film draws heavily on stigma & shame in creating the story. We work hard to avoid and challenge any further shaming, stigmatising or disempowerment of the women we work & the wider sex working community.
- It features a stereotypical and negative image of sex workers; we know that many suffer substantial complex issues and we would always prefer to see a more human and balanced image of a sex worker, including many of the positive resilient characteristics that often don’t feature
- For sex working women, homelessness (including hidden homelessness) is an issue. However, homelessness itself doesn’t feature in the film, even though this is the Crypt’s main aim.
- In addition, as a male dominated emergency accommodation service, the women we support often feel unsafe and prefer not to stay there for this and other reasons and so we are unclear how the funds raised would support the women using those or other facilities.
The charity is nominated for a Charity Film Award. We hope the opinion of a sex worker charity that works extensively with sex workers, including on issues of homelessness, will be considered before votes are cast. We’re disappointed that a film that perpetuates stigma and shame is being actively promoted by a fellow service of ours in our city.