Sex workers' toolkit

The Workbook came about when SCOT-PEP became aware that our funding was under threat, and that our days as a service provider to sex workers in the City of Edinburgh were numbered. We had in the past developed a number of resources to distribute in printed format - see for example our safety handbook Protect Yourself, and were in the process of developing a sexual health resource. When we realised that we would be transitioning from an active service provider with seven members of staff and dozens of experienced volunteers to a largely voluntary workforce, and that the services that were "replacing" us were either short-term or narrowly focused, we decided to attempt to distill our 20 years of experience of the streets, saunas, flats and escorts of Edinburgh into an online resource.

Our outreach work, both on the street and to the indoor establishment, had been funded to provide sexual health supplies and advice, mainly from a blood borne virus prevention angle - condoms, femidoms and needle exchange services. In reality we provided a far more 'holistic' service, including advice and information on a wide range of subjects, from further education to domestic violence, including partnerships with a wide range of organisations in Edinburgh, many of whom volunteered their time on our mobile unit to be 'on hand' to offer support. We supplied a wide range of sexual health supplies, including sponges, an assortment of lubricants, a dozen varieties of condoms, disposable gloves and clotrimazole cream. We set up and ran an Ugly Mugs scheme and operated as a Remote Reporter for Lothian & Borders Police.

The Workbook is, and will always be, a working draft. Please feel free to use the Comment button in the menu on the right, to contribute, contradict, amend, edit or suggest. Feel equally free to download, print and distribute the content as you see fit.

We owe thanks to so many individuals and organisations for their help and advice, but especially:

Jane Ayres and the nursing team at the Praed Street Project in London, for their help with the content of the Sexual Health pages.

Online resources that we have drawn upon for inspiration include: website - please note though that SW5 has now become SWISH, part of the Terrence Higgins Trust, and the information on the site may not be updated on a regular basis.