Basis' vision is for all women involved in sex work to have the freedom and opportunity to be safe and make their own choices.
Basis (former Genesis) is an independent charity that provides a holistic sex work support project for women (including transgender women) working in the sex industry and living or working in Leeds. They provide non-judgemental, free and confidential health and welfare support services for sex workers, based on each person’s individual support needs. Basis has done this for over twenty years and are trusted by sex workers and professionals in Leeds.
Basis provides information, advocacy and support to women working in all sectors of the sex industry, whatever their circumstances. They work with a wide range of partner agencies across the city, who provide services that can help meet the diverse support needs of service users.
Basis is funded by Public Health, Leeds City Council to provide a specialist health promotion & outreach service and can provide:
- Free safer sex supplies including a range of condoms, lubricant, finger dams, dental dams & gloves.
- Wet and dry tampons (sponges).
- Safer sex information & advice including information about negotiating safer sex with clients based on advice & tips developed with sex workers over many years.
- Easy to use, self-administered, free onsite tests for chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
- Free pregnancy testing.
- Fast track appointments for sex workers into PASH (Passionate About Sexual Health) sexual health services for their wide range of contraceptives, comprehensive sexual health screening, sexual health advice services and termination services.
- Close links with PASH and can accompany you to attend appointments at PASH services.
- Put you in touch with the PASH community nurse. Part of their role is working with Genesis to make sexual health services easier for sex workers to access. They can accompany Genesis on indoor and street outreach and provide advice, testing for sexually transmitted infections, contraceptive care and the Hepatitis B vaccination. You can make appointments to see them at a number of PASH community based clinics.
- Referral and support to access a range of free health care services including general practice, accident & emergency services, pre and post natal maternity services and dentists.
- Listening ear emotional support. Genesis can refer and support women to access wider counselling, mental health and well being services.
- Support for women with drug and alcohol problems including providing harm reduction information, joint outreach with harm reduction services, referral to drug and alcohol treatment services and advocacy at appointments.
- Ugly Mugs
- Basis coordinates the Leeds Ugly Mugs third party reporting scheme which enables sex workers to report crimes against them, share information with the police and report to the police. The scheme warns sex workers about dangerous people targeting sex workers. They can also text you with the latest alerts. This scheme is part of the National Ugly Mugs Scheme (NUM): sex workers are encouraged to report any incidents to Genesis and to also join National Ugly Mugs. Sex workers can sign up to national ugly mugs here and get further information here.
The Ugly Mugs scheme provides:
- Safety information and advice for sex workers in all sectors.
- Free personal safety alarms.
- Support if you are assaulted, threatened, experience harassment or have any other crimes committed against you. With staff who are specially trained to support women who have been victims of rape and sexual assault.
- Support if you are experiencing domestic violence.
- Contact with the police on your behalf and support to enable you to report a crime formally to the police if you chose to do so. This includes domestic violence.
- Arrangements for you to speak to the Leeds Police Sex Work Liaison Officer. Their role is to offer information and advice on any policing related matters to sex workers and encourage sex workers to report any crimes committed against them.
- Support if someone is forcing you to do things you don’t want to do, is controlling or exploiting you e.g. taking more of the money you make than you agree to.
- A pilot support service for women in Leeds, including sex workers over 18 years old, who experienced child sexual exploitation at any point when they were under 18. This includes a fast track to a specialist counselling service for women in Leeds, who will provide free person centred counselling.
More details on Ugly Mugs
- Rights and welfare
Basis provides a range of rights based and welfare information, as well as advice and support services such as:
- An Advice & support worker who is trained to provide specialist advice about welfare benefits and housing, and support to access accommodation services.
- Information about sex work, the law & sex worker rights.
- Information about peer support resources and networks such as SAAFE Escort forum, set up and run by escorts for escorts (click here).
- Support with family issues and child safeguarding issues.
- Access to range of educational, social and leisure activities to build peer networks, confidence and skills.
- Support to access education, training and volunteering opportunities.
- Practical support through free food parcels, clothing and homelessness packs.
- For women who are involved in the criminal justice system they offer links with services working with women involved in the criminal justice system e.g. Together Women Project (TWP). They can offer prison visits & have a monthly session on Tuesday afternoons at Newhall Prison TWP.
- New Futures specialist exit support service: the options and support worker working within New Futures provides intensive support for women wishing to make changes such as reducing or exiting sex work, accessing stable housing, reducing substance use and accessing training, volunteering or employment.
- Migrant sex workers
Basis offers services to women of all nationalities and is currently working with women from a range of countries. All the services that they offer are provided to migrant sex workers. Genesis can also provide information leaflets in a range of languages, translation for sex workers for whom English is not their first language (where possible), support to access services working with migrant people, asylum seekers, refugees and specifically immigration advice, as well as information about sex working in the UK.
Genesis also provides support for victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation, including support for considering options and access to services providing specialist accommodation for trafficking victims. This also includes liaison with the police (e.g. with the specialist West Yorkshire Police human trafficking unit).
- Research and evaluation
Basis is committed to a evidence based approach to developing support services for sex workers and carries out reviews and evaluations of the support that they provide. They support research which is ethically and professionally conducted, useful for sex workers and which can help projects to better meet the diverse needs of sex workers. Genesis is one of the founding members of the Yorkshire Sex Academic Sex Work Consortia (YASRC).
Basis supports service user involvement and feedback!! They encourage sex workers to contact them via email, messaging or phone with feedback on services, ideas about improving services and regarding any complaints.
- Contact and accessing services
To contact Basis and access support:
- Call the office 9am-5pm Monday to Wednesday on 0113 2430036
- Call, text, or email Emily, the Lead Outreach Worker for our sex work support service on her mobile 07710304306 or email Emily_turner@btconnect.com. If you can't get hold of her straight away she will get in touch with you asap.
- They can visit you at your place of work, home, at another service, or other location where you are comfortable and which is convenient for you.
- You can come to the drop in service on a Monday afternoon between 1.30- 4.30pm.
- Via street outreach in areas where street sex work is located in Leeds, currently delivered Wednesday evenings 7-10pm and Friday 9pm until midnight.
- Via our drop-in session at Newhall Prison on a monthly basis - Tuesday afternoons 1.45-15.45pm.
- Via live online messaging and live chat. Go to the Basis website and click the ‘leave a message’ icon in the bottom right hand corner of the website home page. You can leave a message at any time. Go to their website to see what times they are offering live web chat information.
- How to find Genesis
Basis is based in Leeds City Centre 2nd Floor Oxford Chambers, Oxford Place, Leeds, LS1 3AU
Here you can discreetly access their services. As well as services at the Genesis base they offer services on an outreach basis across the city.
- More Information
If you would like more information about the services Basis offers and for latest news, events, service developments and activities visit the website.
Facebook: Basis Leeds
Basis also has a specialist Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Project for Girls and Young Women, for further information click here.