Hull Lighthouse currently runs four separate, but inter-linked outreach services, which are provided by an experienced team of staff and volunteers.
This service provides the first point of contact with many of the women working on the streets and offers a safe place for advice and conversation with experienced volunteers. We undertake ‘walkabouts’ on the streets, allowing us to reach areas that are inaccessible for a vehicle and to connect with those women who do not know about the project. Women wanting help and support to make changes are referred to the Daytime Outreach.
A small team of experienced staff engage women via a long term and holistic strategy; our support includes helping women to move away from drug use, increasing positive health care outcomes, managing finances, liaising with social services and the criminal justice system and accessing retraining and education.
The outreach team provide a continuous supportive, flexible service to meet the demanding and changing needs of the women with whom we work.
The team are also key in liaising with statutory agencies, welfare and legal services, housing agencies, health and drug treatment services. They deal with numerous challenging and complex situations daily. There are very few holistic city outreach services specifically targeting street-based prostitution in the way of Hull Lighthouse. We work with agencies locally and nationwide, with frequent requests to share and disseminate our expertise and resources.
These weekly sessions provide a safe daytime space where women can meet without fear or judgment, where they can enjoy a meal, community, fun and creativity. It is a place to socialise and build friendships with each other, something they have not had the opportunity to develop due to the chaos of substance misuse and sexual exploitation. These sessions help to reduce social isolation by providing a safe and supportive atmosphere, focused on building healthy friendships and discussing fears and concerns. For the women to move forward they need help in more positively restructuring their day time hours, as they move away from working at night and sleeping most of the day.
In our regular conversations with the women they regularly mention the boredom and isolation they experience and a key request in the early days of the project was the provision of somewhere during the day they could sit, have a coffee and chat with staff, volunteers and other women using the service.
This monthly drop in service builds up relationships with women from Hull who are on remand or serving a sentence at HMP Newhall, Wakefield. We put things in place for their release such as housing, drug treatment and benefits and then bring them back to Hull to link in with the daytime outreach.
In addition to the above outreach services, Hull Lighthouse was commissioned to produce a one off research project. The result of this three year research piece is a unique book, An Untold Story. The aim of the book is to contribute to a better understanding of what leads women into street prostitution, in order that prevention and help can be refined and improved.
Commencing in late 2013, we engaged women already involved with the project, to hear and record life stories in the context of relationship and to hear from them how they see their relationship to prostitution, especially in its beginnings. All the information from the one to one interviews and group discussions were analysed and produced into a widely accessible format, a book, which was jointly decided by the participants, the funders and the principle researcher. For a copy of the book, please contact us. Alternatively, you can download a PDF version of Untold Story.
Why We Do It
We believe in a better way of life for the women outside of prostitution.
Our Mission: It is our Christian faith that underpins all we do, we offer friendship, advice and opportunity for change to women working in prostitution. We recognise that these women are often excluded from society and we seek to cross boundaries and enter their community.
Our Aim: We aim to demonstrate Gods unconditional love in the way we treat each woman, offering holistic, ongoing support to help them move forward towards safe, whole lives free from prostitution and addiction. We aim to work alongside other statutory and voluntary agencies in the city to help address and overcome the major issues surrounding prostitution. We aim to treat each woman with dignity and respect, considering the addictive lifestyles and the difficulties that this presents.
- Valuing the Individual: We respect the equality and unique value of every woman and encourage them to fulfil their potential.
- Striving for Excellence: We seek to deliver services of the highest possible quality and constantly improve through listening, reflecting, learning and action.
- Seeking Justice: Working closely with vulnerable and disadvantaged women, we challenge injustice, using our experience and research to achieve change.
- Working in Partnership: Working together with local agencies, churches and other organisations, we place the women’s needs at the heart of our services. In all our relationships, we act with integrity, being open, honest and transparent.
- Investing in People: We value and invest in our staff and volunteers, developing their skills and confidence, creating a supportive culture, inspiring and motivating them to find real meaning and purpose in their roles.
- Opposed to discriminatory practice: We treat every woman equally; respecting and valuing her differences, we actively promote equality and diversity. We never impose our faith and women of all faiths or none are welcome to use our services without discrimination.