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Case Studies

"Here are some case studies to highlight the support we provide and how our clients lives changed over time with the help of the SWWOP team. We have no expiration dates to our support, clients can access continuously for years"

Case study 1

Client A is a 37 year old woman who has a long history of substance use, offending behaviour and homelessness. Her mother was a street sex worker who was murdered, and she has often felt undeserving of support and treatment as she feels she has chosen the ‘wrong path’ in life. She has been accessing SWWOP for 7 years and never had a consistent worker. When I met Client A, she was homeless, staying at punters addresses, hadn’t accessed substance use treatment (except in prison), had no mental health support, was street sex working very regularly and was in and out of prison very often. We began talking very briefly about her substance use – I would offer harm reduction advice and she started to come to the office more to learn about recent drug trends. One day in September, she said that she wanted to change, and we made a Likewise appointment to get on script and made a referral to Target Housing. Within a week, she had a tenancy and started on a methadone prescription. Both were done with support from myself. She is now engaging with her Target Housing support workers, mental health support and accessing substance use treatment. Client A now attends appointments independently, hasn’t fallen off her script once and hasn’t been seen street sex working since.

Case study 2

Client B is a historical street sex worker who now engages in transactional sex and survival sex, but has continued to access SWWOP for respite and relief. This was always very surface level engagement – food, a change of clothes or a hot drink. When I first met her, she wasn’t attending any appointments and was rough sleeping with her abusive partner. They had recently lost custody of their 2 children, and she experienced daily traumatization when she reminded herself of this. We put together an action plan and agreed that when she was ready, we would start making some changes. When her abusive partner went to prison, she felt she was ready to implement some changes. She has had her ulcerated leg dressed, attended the dentist (for the first time in 3 years) and attended her Likewise appointments. She is now in temporary accommodation, with the view of gaining an independent tenancy soon. We have now made a plan that I only support on alternative appointments to empower her to be independent, whilst also showing that I am still available to support if needed.

Case study 3

Client C is a 33 year old woman who moved to Sheffield in 2021 to flee domestic violence. She had a heroin and crack dependency, funded by street sex working and shoplifting. She recently had endocarditis due to drug use, and almost died in hospital. This was her ‘wake up call’, and with intensive support from myself (visiting on the ward regularly and liaising with her healthcare professionals), she decided to stop using substances. Since then, she is in her own independent tenancy, volunteers at several organisations around the city, is abstinent with the view of reducing on her methadone and is looking to start college next year. I still meet with Client C once a week, where we create relapse prevention plans and write down lists of her goals, which we tick off week by week. She texted me after our last appointment, “Mary I just thought in my head, you really are a legend of a drug worker! Ur dedication, kindness and understanding with me for the time you’ve worked with me has been PHENOMENAL!! X”. Client C is now in the process of writing some articles for the SWWOP newsletter about her journey.

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£1 for a pair of wooly gloves for winter

£4.20 for a bus fare to help a client get to her appointment on tim

£5 would help to buy sandwiches for our outreach sessions

£10 would help buy 40 chocolate bars