My name is Avril, I work for The New Futures Project.
I help out in drop-in, which involves all kinds of things, including cooking nutritious meals for the women who come here and giving out food parcels, clothes, toiletries and other essentials.
We can also help the women by contacting people for them regarding housing, bills, benefits and other things. We can also support clients who need to get to appointments.
I am very passionate about the work I do and the girls I work with.
My main role is managing the evening outreach. I do this every Tuesday and Thursday and it involves giving out bags of Greggs food, hot and cold drinks and condoms.
We also hand out a newsletter, which is put together at the project with the help of the girls and other professionals. This helps us share information we think is important to the women and their welfare.
This could be a dodgy punter or cars or vans to look out for. It will also have a theme for the month, a recipe, a word search and a poem.
It also contains numbers and addresses of places that could be of use for the girls.
I have been doing this for two years now and some of the things I have been told and what they have been through, I honestly don’t know how they are still standing.
Some of these girls are the strongest I have ever met. Their strength and resilience to keep going on inspires me.
The life they live is not a choice. It’s circumstance, because it’s not a life they would choose.
I have been told on many occasions: “I’m fed up with this life and I can’t take no more.”
Everything we do is on the girls’ terms. Most of the time I feel the girls just want someone to talk to, to off-load without any judgement and to be with someone who will listen.
Checking in with the girls is really important, as they are still verbally abused, physically abused, robbed and raped.
They take a risk every time they go out to work. They never really know what a punter will do to them.
We can help girls to report these incidents or make an anonymous report.
A lot of the time these incidents are not reported.
It is a role I feel privileged to be doing. It’s a great feeling for me to be helping the girls in a small way.
Not wanting or taking anything from them and also earning their trust is so important.
We at the project appreciate and are very thankful for the generosity of members of the public, family and friends who donate ladies’ clothes, coats, underwear, shoes toiletries and other essentials.
We are always in need of these items, especially through the winter months.
New Futures was set up more than 20 years ago to support women involved in sex work.
However, we have evolved into a welfare and counselling service for women and young people dealing with sexual abuse or exploitation – frequently involving domestic violence, trafficking, poverty and debt, substance use or mental ill-health.
Call us on 0116 251 0803 or send us a message at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find us at 71 London Road, Leicester, LE2 0PE.