The future of a project to protect vulnerable women across Preston has been secured thanks to funding from The National Lottery.
The Foxton Centre, based in Avenham, was given a grant of almost £300,000 for their work with sex workers.
And the cash boost has allowed project to employ staff, train volunteers, and secure the service for years to come.
Rev Tim Keightley, director of The Foxton Centre, said: “The project is called Street Link, and the aim is to work with vulnerable women - some of them engaged in street sex work - to move away from that vulnerable way of life and achieve a better physical and mental health.”
He said: “On average, we see 40 to 50 different people in a whole year.
“There might be six to 10 people out in a particular evening, so it’s not a massive situation like other cities, but the people who are out are of complex needs.
“Some we see a lot of, and others work occasionally in order to pay a particular bill.
“The ones we work with consistently might have complex needs - they may be homeless with alcohol and drug dependencies.
“They may have a background of family breakdown so it’s a combination, what we call complex needs.”
Rev Keightley said the new funding helped the project to form partnerships with other organisations, and said most of the project’s funding came from the Lottery.
He said: “Without that it would be a severely reduced service and we would have to find other funding.
“We employ staff and have to pay for the building and train volunteers in order to provide enough contact.
“It has stabilised the project and we know we are going to be around for the next few years.”
He said that without the funding it would be a “very reduced service”, and said: “It’s definitely had a huge impact on the project.”
Rev Keightley said the funding, over five years, would give the project stability.
He said that the biggest affect if the project didn’t exist would be on the women, who may become more vulnerable and less safe.