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PROSTITUTES GRANTED FUNDS TO IMPROVE HEALTH

Added: (Fri Feb 02 2001)

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News release is available online at www.prowse.co.uk/newsf.html

2 February 2001

A voluntary project set up and run by prostitutes to improve the health and well being of those who work in the sex industry, has been granted a 25,000 award from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to continue their ground breaking work.

The Prostitutes Outreach Workers project (POW), run by prostitutes for prostitutes, began life in Nottingham’s deprived inner city district of St Ann’s and today has extended its remit to cover the whole of the city of Nottingham.

The main focus is on health prevention and developing initiatives to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted disease. As an outreach project, it also has grown to embrace a wider body of concerns that affect prostitutes living and working in one of Britain’s most violent crime-ridden communities.

The GlaxoSmithKline Impact Award, one of ten granted to voluntary projects throughout the United Kingdom, will allow the project to do its core work of providing an innovative response to improving health within the prostitute community.

POW’s Director, Susan Johnson, is delighted to be granted this award:

“Nottingham is one of the few places where the police are armed with guns. Violence and crime is rife. POW not only works with those who have made an informed choice to work in the profession, but also with prostitutes who have found themselves working in the sex industry because of other circumstances.

“These prostitutes are vulnerable and are subjected every day to the threat of physical violence, drug pushing and social isolation. They struggle to access health and social services unable to improve their lot. This award will boast our funds and support the core work that is critical to the successful continuation of our project.”

Over the years Susan, a community professional, and her team – the majority of whom are or were involved in prostitution – have helped build bridges between the prostitute community and the local statutory services: the police, the courts, the health services and the social services. They have helped with a range of problems as diverse as safety when working, domestic violence and child protection. Without their innovative work, women and men who work in the sex industry would have continued to feel socially marginalised.

GSK’s Community Partnership Manager, Margaret Bailey, said: “POW is an inspiring organisation. It is based in the community it serves and offers invaluable support and advice and runs a tight, effective project to get the best access to services for its clients. We are delighted to present an Impact award to this frontline project.”

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Issued by Prowse & Co, on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline.

For more information contact: Sue Wilkins or Peter Colegate, Prowse & Co, 01372 363386 or Susan Johnson, Director, POW, 0115 924 9993

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