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Reflections on the Encompass Fund so far

When Covid 19 was declared a pandemic and Scotland went into lockdown in early 2019, CLiCK reacted very quickly to make sure that any woman in Scotland who needed our support was still able to access it in a meaningful way: resource lists were created and regularly updated, our online chat hours were extended, and we created a freephone helpline to ensure that women who might be digitally excluded were also able to receive support.

However, what we were hearing from women was that although emotional support and advocacy was beneficial, it was not enough to cover their other needs-primarily financial support to cover for essentials such as food, bills and children’s items. We were therefore delighted when the Scottish Government allocated funding to the Encompass Network to be directly allocated to women in Scotland’s sex industry. Although Women’s Workers for CLiCK throughout the country were working really hard to make sure that women were able to receive support and to have their voices heard during this very difficult time, the Encompass Fund gave us the opportunity to offer something to the women that would be of immediate benefit to alleviate some of the stress and worry around their immediate needs.

The Encompass Fund was initially intended to run until the end of September 2020. However, CLiCK had a very high number of referrals, meaning that we were able to extend funding allocation until 31 December 2021. This was extremely helpful for women both practically and psychologically. The fund went towards supporting their practical needs to cover essentials for themselves and their families, while a number of women also benefited from short-term counselling that we were able to provide through this fund. Together with the Encompass Fund, CLiCK was also able to support women to access the Victim Fund through Victim Support Scotland. This was particularly beneficial as the Victim Fund was able to provide women with larger payments that could go towards covering their longer term needs such as rent arrears, essential furniture and council tax costs.

Below is a breakdown of the Encompass Fund spend to 31 December 2020:




With the new Covid strain in the UK, the new lockdown measures implemented from 26 December 2020 have dealt a new blow to the women supported by CLiCK; financially, selling or exchanging sex in person continues to put them at very high risk of Covid 19, while the emotional impact of a new lockdown and restrictions in movement has also been considerable. CLiCK continues to work tirelessly during this very challenging time to bring the best support possible to women who have suffered the most through this very challenging year. We are here to do everything we can to help anyone who needs us at this time with resources available on our website (www.click.scot) and ways to get involved (www.clickmagazine.online).

 

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We are sad to announce that the CLiCK service will be coming to an end on 31/05/2021.

You can find full information on the availability of our services until this time here.

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