I am taking part in "GIVE IT UP" to raise money for One 25.

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Guest Blog

Sara Barnicoat is a CWU Organiser for the Telecoms & Financial Services department of the CWU.  She is taking part in a charity event to raise money for One25.  Here she explains all:

 

One 25 is a charity that reaches out to women trapped in, or vulnerable to, street sex work, supporting them to break free and build new lives away from violence, poverty and addiction. They are a Bristol based charity, founded in 1995, as the only organisation specifically supporting street sex-working women.

I have lived in Bristol for over 3 years and I had no idea this was going on in the city. I heard of One25 on the local news after the body of Becky Godden was found as she was a sex worker. After reading about One25 and attending their AGM I learnt a lot about the organisation, what they do and who they help. It was tragic to know that these women are working the streets due to having no alternative choice and I had been oblivious to it all. Some of the women ended up on the streets after being in abusive relationships, which shows this can happen to anyone. 

Over the last year One25 supported 235 courageous women, of whom 147 were trapped in street sex-work. Of the 155 women helped intensively through casework:

  • 59 stopped street sex-working
  • 106 were safely housed
  • 57 made life changes to reduce their offending behavior
  • 59 are now on the road to recovery from drugs and alcohol
  • 84 women who had been attacked were linked in to victim support services, including therapy, police and testifying in court
  • 60 women took part in skill-building or social activities.
  • 14 women started volunteering, 3 went back into education and 4 got jobs.
  • 40 families were helped with safe, supportive child contact.
  • 32 mums improved their parenting skills
  • 18 women were cared for during their pregnancy
  • 94 women gained confidence and self-worth enough to believe change is possible for them.(One25, 2016)

Instantly I felt this was something I wanted to give my time too. I had already filled out an interest form to help on the outreach (drive around in the evenings) but I will miss the next training day so instead I can help in the kitchen preparing hot meals or in the office typing up the case notes.

It was while I was at the AGM I heard about the fundraiser “Give it up” – where you give up something you love/rely on for 125 hours.  A lot of examples were discussed and I started to think of what I could give up. I have recently stopped smoking, changed my dietary habits so I felt I couldn’t do anything like that, as it felt wrong to do something that I have been challenging with already. After much deliberating I decided to give up my mobile phone and use of social media. 125 hours away sitting on an exotic island without my mobile would be heaven. 125 hours in my normal day to day life of being at home, long journeys on trains and a day at the football in Cardiff I want to document and share with the world of Facebook is going to be difficult! For 125 hours (from Tuesday 8th 3pm till Sunday 13th November 8pm) I will be giving up my mobile phone which includes access to all forms of social media, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram being the main ones I use and also listening to music using Spotify.

I will struggle for 5 days but it is nothing compared to what the women who One25 help have to struggle with on a daily basis.

I have spent the last week campaigning for my fundraising page using mainly Facebook. There has been a lot of support which I am really grateful for. It is the first night without my phone and I am starting to feel restless, but I know I will do this, with the donations and thinking about the women One25 help I will make it through to Sunday 8pm!! I am nervous but I am also excited to see what will change.  I depend on my phone for so much other than to communication, as I pick up the news from my phone and I use it as a camera. . Wednesday morning I will have to put the TV on to find out who the new president is instead of looking at my phone and for Saturday I have had to by a disposable camera so I can take photos! I am very interested to see how I will feel on Sunday at 8pm, whether I will be reaching for my phone in a state of relief or if instead wonder what the fuss was about.

If you would like to sponsor me the page will be open until 17th November and you can do so here:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=SaraBarny_without_a_phone