StreetLight aims to help women when they when they come out of prostitution, but it is a complicated problem and each woman needs help in different ways, the project’s group leader said..
The first step is gaining their trust. She said: “The best way we help women in this instance is one to one. We have 30 volunteers and 19 of those are in the outreach teams. There’s also a befriending team of five people.
“The whole heart behind it is that every woman matters. We are developing the befriending team as a coffee shop.
“We work with people where there’s a psychiatric problem with a holistic approach. A lot of women suffer bad health because they are worked so hard.”
They also work with Horsham Churches Together services to help tackle the root causes of women joining the trade.
These include Ark, Horsham Matters, Oasis pregnancy care and the Horsham Debt Advice Service.
Louisa, who was an escort in north Sussex ten years ago, praised the work of StreetLight.
“The thing that struck me most was the befriending scheme. There was someone who really cared for me. Having someone who can really support you.”
And being a project run by churches, the group also offers to meet a person’s spiritual need, as appropriate.
The project leader said: “We believe in the power of the love of God and there’s something that God’s love can do in people’s lives, a hope that can be drawn with the help of the Gospel.”
To find out more about StreetLight, including opportunities to volunteer go to the charity’s website or call or text 07562 601907. All calls will be treated confidentially.
They also have a Facebook page www.facebook.com/Streetlight.UK and Twitter account @StreetLight_UK.