We’ve received a welcome financial boost to our work with some of the most vulnerable women we encounter.
A national funding body – the Weavers’ Company Benevolent Fund – has awarded us £24,000 to enhance our support for women whose involvement in sex work has brought them into contact with the criminal justice system.
The grant will enable us to work intensively with up to 10 women who face the most difficult practical challenges, such as finding and keeping a home, engaging with the criminal justice system – including probation officials – and addressing alcohol or drug use.
However, it will also ensure we can offer therapeutic counselling and support for those who are living with mental ill-health, including the trauma of sexual violence and exploitation and domestic violence.
Carl Martin, direct services manager at New Futures, said: “We were thrilled to find out that Weavers’ wanted to fund this work and we can’t wait to get started.
“We know this is a very marginalised group of people who are deserving of much better outcomes.”
The Weavers’ Company Benevolent Fund was set up in 1973, succeeding an existing charitable fund.
However, the company’s roots go back to the 12th Century when it was established as a guild.
Its spokesperson Nicola Bashforth said: “The Worshipful Company of Weavers’ have been supporting charities working across the criminal justice sector for over fifty years.
“The company has a specific focus on supporting programmes of work that are challenging and which other funders may not have a remit to support.
“The New Futures Project’s identified work programme to support sex workers within the criminal justice sector and who face sexual trauma, domestic violence, gangs and homelessness, meets these criteria.
“We were impressed by their work and with their committed team approach they have developed multi-agency partnerships to improve outcomes across a range of services.
“Users and co-workers are able to influence the way these services are developed. Their focus on shared learning and development should benefit others and the local community.”
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: email@example.com
You can find us at 71 London Road, Leicester, LE2 0PE.