The Hull Lighthouse Journal

July 2018 Continuing to Raise Awareness. We were recently invited to take part in a Crime Conference for pupils studying Social Science at Hornsea School. As expected, both teachers and pupils were very impacted by our support work and the issues faced by the women. The other speakers taking part included a prison officer and a magistrate who didn’t know about Hull Lighthouse, but after hearing our introduction said they would like to hear more!

Following on from the success of talking to pupils from South Holderness School last year, they invited us back again. We had the privilege of hearing some of the feedback afterwards and it’s so powerful when you hear that what you’ve said has opened people’s eyes to the daily issues and struggles faced by the women we support.

 

June 2018 - This week we helped one of the women we support to put up some wallpaper. It was lovely to see her encouraged to carry on with the decorating and determined to make her house a home.

It's not just about support, it's about encouragement & doing life together.

May 2018 - Changes ahead. Due to extensive & expensive repairs required, the Evening Outreach vehicle has now gone. Therefore we have had a good overhaul of how we do the Evening Outreach; on foot, which enables us to connect directly on the street, see down side streets, etc. and with more agencies working with us, we are able to offer more direct support. We also have a new ‘uniform!’.

March 2018 - We have recently had the privilege to be invited to participate in 3 very different research projects – Victims of Domestic & Sexual Violence, Support from Child Exploitation to Adulthood and Challenging Perspectives Through the Arts. Each one of these research pieces highlights the issues faced by many, if not all, of the women we support and we sincerely hope that they contribute to the opening of people’s eyes to what’s going on around them.

February 2018 - Braving the weather. Despite being the coldest week of the year, a number of women were still discovered out on the street by the evening outreach team. This highlights just how desperate their situation must be.

January 2018 - What a blessing! Over the Christmas & New Year period we received a number of very generous donations from a variety of donors including the family of one of the women, the Sisters of Mercy, an anonymous donor and Hull Vineyard Church. As a small local charity, we are fully reliant on the generosity of funders and donors; therefore we are very much appreciative of these donations as they enable us to continue our work in supporting local vulnerable women.

November 2017 - WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES!! At the beginning of the year, one of the women we support could only cook two things, but then she started coming along to the weekly cooking sessions. She now cooks a full Sunday roast dinner for a number of residents where she lives and has recently extended this to include overseas students that are experiencing loneliness. One recently sent her a note thanking her for including him as he was experiencing severe loneliness and she made him feel welcomed and part of a community. Not only has she extended her cooking skills, she has used her peer mentoring skills to the full. Fantastic!

October 2017 - Emma one of the rough sleepers coordinators from Emmaus joined us last week on one of our Evening Outreach shifts. Great to be working together and offering the women the support they need.

October 2017 -A member of staff and one of the women we support recently spoke to a local church group. They gave a short presentation on the struggles faced by the women and what support Hull Lighthouse can give and the service user also gave their testimony. The response was very positive, especially to the testimony; some said it was the bravest talk that they had heard!

October 2017 -One of the Outreach Workers recently attended a very informative training day led by Shelter, facilitated by Switch and attended by numerous representatives of front line support, which covered homelessness, multiple needs and the law. This training has enabled us to be better equipped as a city, working together to address the complex needs of the homeless and vulnerably housed.

September 2017 -  Hull Lighthouse has an amazing team of volunteers who work alongside us as we meet the women on the streets.They are invaluable and we couldn’t run the evening outreach without them.

September 2017 - Great news! We have just had confirmation that Lloyds will be continuing to  fund our two p/t outreach worker posts for a further three years. Also received generous grants from Sir James Reckitt and the MCF. 

August 2017 - iPad Art - A massive thank you to Jason & Laura from Blue Jay Way Digital Arts for facilitating a very interesting and inspiring iPad art session held at Artlink, Hull. Great opportunity to be involved in the City of Culture art scene.

August 2017 - Art. Just done the first of two sessions with Cass Daulton a local artist. There's plenty of hidden talent emerging!!

July 2017 - Strawberry picking. We did this in memory of a wonderful person that was so sadly taken from us. A reflective, but thoroughly enjoyable afternoon!

June 2017 - Cooking Sessions These sessions are producing some very tasty food. They enable women to meet together, learn basic kitchen skills as well as how to prepare and cook healthy but cheap and simple meals whilst also learning the basic principles of food hygiene.

May 2017 - An Untold Story. Twelve women have bravely and earnestly documented their lives through interviews, poetry, prose and artwork. They tell of the abuse, pain and loss, but also you will read of exceptional courage and hope….. It is produced just as they told it!

This book is a powerful read and it is incredibly important for us to listen to what these brave women have to say.

Our hope is that the documented experiences of these women will open people’s eyes to what really goes on, raise awareness of the extreme difficulties faced by women involved in street prostitution and change many people’s perceptions of what their lives are like.