Updated: Apr 29
As of 21st April 2021, Umbrella Lane is excited to announce that we are launching a brand new fundraiser!
Our “Making A Space For Marginalised People” fundraising campaign is our next big challenge. Through this fundraiser, we hope to raise enough money to find and secure a brand new community space!
(Donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/MakingASpace )
Due to the COVID19 pandemic, Umbrella Lane had to give up its physical community space to adapt our services to provide crisis financial, health and emotional support. This included developing a crisis fund for Sex Workers facing financial hardship, moving peer support spaces online, and creating new virtual services to reduce isolation and support community wellbeing.
As restrictions are beginning to ease and people are starting to be allowed to meet in small groups, Umbrella Lane is eager to once again secure a safe physical space for our community where we can also resume delivery of vital services.
As Sex Workers, our community members are amongst some of the most marginalised in society. Many are single parents, migrant workers, disabled or transgender individuals. Each of these groups faces distinct challenges but when compiled with being a Sex Worker many will face even further isolation and stigma.
That’s why having a safe space - specifically a physical community space - is so important. It’s a place for all of our community members to come together and to be safe from judgement or stigma. To share resources and knowledge but also to connect with other individuals that truly understand them and to create lasting and meaningful connections. The community space will also allow Umbrella Lane to resume services and create new ones in line with arising needs.
When we asked our community members how the Umbrella Lane community space made them feel these were some of the responses we got:
“Having the Umbrella Lane drop-in space has been invaluable. Although I wasn't always a 'regular' of the drop-in, just knowing there was an easily accessible safe space made me feel so much more comfortable, and less alone doing sex work. I loved the sense of community at the drop-ins, and of course access to free condoms, and the delicious food that was supplied! The space felt homely and welcoming, and I loved that it was so close to the train station which made it really easy to travel to.” - Gemma
“When I began sex work I felt really isolated, and there were not many people I could talk to about my work - I'm so glad I found Umbrella Lane, as I have not only made friends with other Sex Workers, I have a safety net, people I can turn to for advice, people who understand me and who don't pass judgement. Having a dedicated drop-in space also meant Umbrella Lane were able to run workshops that helped me learn some really valuable skills.” - Claire
“The first time I went along to the Umbrella Lane drop-in I was pretty nervous. I only knew a few other Sex Workers personally and I’d only really talked to people on the group chat so I wasn’t sure what to expect. When I arrived I was immediately welcomed into the group and made so comfortable. Everyone was so friendly! There was good food, tea, books, condoms and so much else. It was really cool. I’ve missed it so much since lockdown and I really hope we can start seeing each other again soon.” - Alice
We hope that you’ll see how important having a community space is and will help us to raise funds to secure a new physical space for the rest of 2021 and beyond!
Whether you are able to give a monetary donation or not we would really appreciate it if you could take the time to share our fundraiser on social media and with your friends and family.
Up for getting more involved? Consider becoming a fundraiser for Umbrella Lane!
You can find all of the information on becoming a fundraiser - including access to our Fundraising Pack - on our website (https://www.umbrellalane.org/makingaspaceformarginalisedpeople).
Donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/MakingASpace