Changing Lives have been awarded funding from the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, to support their award-winning Amber project.

The Amber project operates from Changing Lives’ Doncaster Women’s Centre and Community Hub and is an outreach service supporting men and women involved in sex work.

Dr Alan Billings awarded the project almost £5,000 to support the personal safety of those who work with the Amber team.

Dr Billings said: “The Amber project has already proved its worth in Doncaster and I am pleased that the funding from my community grant scheme will go to protecting these women. Nobody chooses to become a sex worker.”

The funding will help the Changing Lives team in Doncaster provide attack alarms for the women and men they work with through their outreach service.

It will also help them access a nationwide free safety app created by National Ugly Mugs which aims to improve the safety of sex workers by bringing sex workers together to share information about potential dangers.

One of the people that the Amber project works with in Doncaster welcomes the funding to help with safety.

“The alarms make me feel safer when I’m working, it scares off dodgy punters. I don’t always report if I’ve been attacked because sometimes I’m scared what might happen if I do…but I do want to warn other girls. I use the Ugly Mugs safety app to warn others so they can keep safe.”

The Changing Lives’ Amber Project works with survival sex workers in Doncaster both on street and off.

Survival sex is a situation that some people find themselves in when they have to engage in sex in order to provide the basics of life for themselves and their families, such as to pay rent or buy food.

The project provides support to the women and men involved through a night outreach service twice a week, and through one-to-one support during the daytime to help individuals stay safe and take steps to improve their circumstances.

The project is run in tandem with Doncaster City Council and has been supporting sex workers for two years.

Last year, the project was awarded runner-up in the Howard League Community Awards. They were nominated by South Yorkshire Police for this award.