Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Somebody's Daughter


At A Way Out, we work with many different women. Women who sell sex for survival, women who need support, young women, girls, and are a staff force mainly of women. We are all at least one of the following: A mother, a sister, a daughter, an aunt.

The fear of walking alone after dark is something many of us can resonate with. The death of Sarah Everard, who was killed walking home at night, was a manifestation of this deep fear becoming a reality.

Working together, we do all we can to keep clients and staff safe. We ensure clients are aware of the risks and give out personal safety alarms – something we shouldn’t have to do. We live in a world where women are the ones taking responsibility for not being attacked, and when they are, are often told they should have done something to prevent it from happening. They shouldn’t be out after dark, they shouldn’t have worn that outfit. They shouldn’t be a sex worker.

Our team have been a great support to so many women across Teesside. We have created a bridge in a gap between sex workers and the police, supporting clients to report sexual assaults. It should never be a question of if someone is a sex worker. Sexual assault is assault regardless, and our staff stand together women to women to ensure their voices are heard.

We are an advocate for safety for all women regardless. We want to ensure we are supporting our clients, and those across Teesside who need their voices amplifying.

If you would like to know information about the support, we offer or make a donation please contact us at or ring 01642 655071.

By Hannah Dodsworth - Administrator

Thursday, 25 February 2021

A Message of Thanks


How do you say thank you?  A quick thanks and a hug (back when hugs were permitted)?  A card through the post?  A bunch of flowers?  Or something personal which you know will express your gratitude in a very special way?


For the staff of A Way Out receiving a thank you from a client is always extra special, it means that a life has been empowered and changed, that a woman or young person now recognises the value of their own potential and self-worth and that their future will not be directed by past experience of crisis, difficulties or disadvantage.


Last month one of the young women who is engaged with A Way Out’s Blossom project received support whilst struggling with difficult life circumstances.  The young women was so impacted by the patience and care shown by her case worker that she too wanted to make a positive impact in the lives of other girls.  By arranging a fundraising campaign on-line the young woman raised £90 for the Blossom Project – giving such a sense of achievement and purpose, and a real boost to her own self confidence, whilst knowing she is helping the project to continue to support others.  We were so touched by the effort this young woman put into the fundraising – this was a huge lift to staff and clients alike!


If you would like to know more about how you could help support A Way Out, please get in touch via, or 01642 655071.

Friday, 29 January 2021

A Positive Impact


The ‘asset based’ support that A Way Out provides across all of our services, focussing and building upon the strengths of each individual client, is an approach we know is really effective.  This focus brings a real sense of achievement and helps each person to view their future with a real sense of hope and assurance. 

This attitude has spread beyond just our support of clients as the whole charity has embraced an asset based approach across the whole organisation.  We have changed and developed service delivery and operations to comply with restrictions, whilst ensuring that we concentrate on what we can do (rather than what we can’t).  This approach has ensured that A Way Out continues to support women in our area who are experiencing multiple difficulties and also local young people and families undergoing their own personal challenges.

Out in the community we see examples every day, all around us, people embracing what can be done to make a positive impact on the future of others.  Whilst we are out undertaking socially distanced welfare checks and delivering crisis parcels we have loved seeing many people in our local area incorporating litter picking into their daily walk, focussing upon what they can do as individuals to make our world a better place for us all to live in.

 Last month a young supporter of A Way Out considered his strengths and what he could do from his own home to raise essential funds for the organisation … and the result was amazing – an on-line quiz enjoyed by his family and friends, £150 raised for the charity and a huge sense of personal achievement! 

We would love to encourage others to follow this young man’s example – consider what you can do, think creatively for your community, contact A Way out on 01642 655071 or  We would love to hear from you!


Friday, 18 December 2020

National End Violence Against Sex Workers Day


This month A Way Out’s Training Co-ordinator, Rachel shares some thoughts…..

Recently I re-watched a movie from a decade ago - ‘Pay It Forward’.  It touched me back then, but resonated on a deeper level ten years on.   A key message of the film is by practicing random acts of kindness, there is the hope of leading the world to becoming a better place.   During my time at A Way Out I have witnessed an abundance of such acts, alongside those our incredibly supportive community who are  beacons of light for the women and families the organisation supports… time gifted through volunteering;  financial donations; donations of clothing, toiletries, food and Christmas gifts … for the individuals receiving support these are so  greatly valued, without this support their world would be a very different place.


As a  lead practitioner in supporting women who have experienced sexually exploitation,  I am thankful for having been part of a team who experience the privilege of paying forward hope, safety, acceptance, empathy, trust and respect to some of the most vulnerable and marginalised females who have experienced violence, exploitation, complex trauma, and abuse.  Some of these women sadly their lives have been cut short and on 17th December A Way Out marked International End Violence Against Sex Workers Day by remembering these women.  We took some solace that their legacy now lives on through my current work.  As Training Co-ordinator I train and develop professionals across the North East to be more effective in their support, by adapting practice and service delivery using the approach informed and ‘paid forward’ the experiences of these women.  Through this platform their voices are not lost but amplified and live on for all to hear and learn from.

 How might you be able to pay something forward that could cast the first ripple ….? 

By Rachel Johnson.

Contact or 01642 655071 for more information.

Friday, 20 November 2020

Hope For The Future


Evening Gazette Column by Orla McLoone, Blossom Project Worker for A Way Out


What do I contribute to the world? What is important to me? What motivates me to succeed and meet my goals? These are questions I have often asked myself throughout my life. Questions like these are not easily answered, and they are not questions we typically spend a lot of time in our day to day life trying to answer. Despite this, the answers to these questions are important for helping us figure out what makes us tick and what we want out of our lives.


These questions form the basis of my work at A Way Out. My role within the Blossom project, is to support young women to find the answers to these questions. To help them find out what makes them unique, to match their strengths with their education or employment goals and in doing so increase their confidence and self- esteem. Ultimately empowering them to go out into the world and find their own way.


I firmly believe that hope is the foundation on which motivation is built. The ability to plan and have hope for the future is something that a lot of us feel, has been taken away from us during this pandemic. This is a particularly stressful time for young people, who may be questioning their futures. One thing that the charity A Way Out do well is bringing hope to those who need it. Hope is contagious, if I can inspire it in the young women I work with, then they can go out into the world and do the same. As I am writing this, I am reminded of a powerful quote from Maya Angelou:


“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”


To support the work of A Way Out TEXT ‘AWAYOUT 5’ to 70085 TO DONATE £5, texts will cost the value of your donation plus 1 standard message rate

Friday, 23 October 2020

Community Support

COMMUNITY SUPPORT is vital to my role as A Way Out’s Fundraiser. Over the last four weeks I have had an opportunity to meet some of our supporters and see first-hand how caring and generous local people are.

It’s October and if you have children in school, you will have most likely heard about Harvest Festival. Traditionally a celebration when farmers would share their crops after a successful harvest, in more recent years Harvest Festival has become about giving and sharing, most especially with those experiencing tough times.
A Way Out appealed to local schools to consider collecting food donations for us to include in our crisis parcels passed on to women, families and young people we support as they experience the impact of increasing poverty. Three headteachers kindly replied with a ‘yes!’ expressing that their pupils and families would love to support this Harvest Festival.  The staff and clients of A Way Out feel so very grateful that these 3 schools heard and responded to with love and 100% effort to this appeal.
‘Every charitable act makes a difference’ and whether it is one person donating a coat they no longer need or one school making a harvest festival collection. Every donation is very gratefully received and assists A Way Out’s clients towards real positive change in their lives.
As Tees Valley responds to CV19 virus, A Way Out is revising and developing service delivery in order to meet the needs of those we support whilst operating under required restriction that are impacting us all… A Way Out would love you to consider donating the cost of a coffee to help us…
TEXT ‘AWAYOUT 3’ to 70085 TO DONATE £3 , texts will cost the value of your donation plus 1 standard message rate.
Natalie King, Community Fundraiser

Friday, 25 September 2020


Reflection is something many people will have had time to do during these last six months as life has changed for us all in some way. Everyone has a story and whether this is from childhood or as an adult, that story is part of who they are.

Since joining A Way Out this month, I have told my own story to colleagues about where my passion and driving force comes from and why community fundraising is so important to me. I went back to myself aged 15, and reflected upon what life would have looked like for me if I had not by chance received a single leaflet from a charity at a gala day which  became my lifeline.

Now as A Way Out’s Community Fundraising Co-ordinator  I’m excited to be that person who promotes the work they do and fundraises to keep the organisation’s vital services running.  I am also thrilled to be recruiting a team of community fundraising volunteers to help me do it.

The global pandemic has actively demonstrated how caring a community is when they come together, and it also means that A Way Out’s services are needed more now than ever to support vulnerable women, young people and families who have suffered hardship during the last six months.

If you have passion for community fundraising like me and want to help make a difference to people’s lives then email for an information pack and join our team!

Natalie King, Community Fundraiser






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