An Update from our Netreach...

An Update from our Netreach Project

June 2024

1 Min Read

Debra Cowey our National Lead Adult Sexual Exploitation (ASE), Survival Sex & Sex Work and Hannah Gowland Netreach Manager reflect on the success of Netreach.

The Netreach model has went from strength to strength, we are immensely proud of the team and all they have achieved to ensure that support for those selling sex online is accessible and available. In addition, the Netreach team aim to respond to concerns with the aim to make online spaces and forums as safe as possible.

From mobilising the National Netreach in January 2023 our data shows the team have:

  • Reached out to 480 people online
  • Made 60 onward referrals to Sex Work-related support (NUM, ISVA/IDVA, Sexual Health, Report Harmful Content and Client Eye).

Further still, a total 112 people have attended our group drop-in support and a further 148 people who have received one-to-one support from our Netreach caseworkers for, emotional wellbeing, to report crimes against them, housing and financial issues.

Here are the voices of some people wanting to share their experience.

My Netreach caseworker has gone above her remit in so many ways. Due to agraphia, I struggle getting out in the community and attending the women's centre. I am finally conquering my fears and focusing on myself and my wellbeing. With support my mental health has started to improve, and she has provided me with sexual health resources and safety planning helping to keep me safe while working from home.
Feedback to our Netreach team
Netreach has provided me with a non-judgemental and safe space to explore the issues I have faced. I have been supported with harm minimisation and attending the sexual health clinic which is something I would have not done before due to dear of going by myself.
Feedback to our Netreach team
Netreach has supported me in a few ways such as giving me a person I can contact if I need and meeting with that person face to face and that led to attending …. with other sex workers and being able to talk freely about my job and any issues and knowing there is no judgement which is a great support. Also being able to get STD tests and supplies such as condoms etc. A really great service and support system.
Feedback to our Netreach team
Thank you so much for my clothes 🎁 I love them! First real smile Changing lives thank you for all your support🙏 xx
Feedback to our Netreach team
…….. i just wanted to say thanks. If it werent for all of u, especially U i dont know what circumstances i would be in now. U literally have had my back throughout this whole experience, so thanks again……..X
Feedback to our Netreach team

We also acknowledge that there are many dangers online, and our Netreach team report all concerns to the relevant specialist agencies such as Force Intelligence, TOEX, and ROCU and others. Since the project started there has been 91 reports submitted with concerns around adult sexual exploitation (ASE), modern slavery, human trafficking.

One of the specialist units comment how useful the model has supported them in identifying concerns:

The intelligence that Changing Lives Netreach team send in is really valuable. Operations often start out from a single strand piece of intelligence, so keeping the flow of intelligence is vital. We also update the region on trends that are highlighted from the intelligence reports we receive to see if the other forces are seeing a similar picture.
Quote from Intelligence Analyst at WMROCU.

Learn more about the Netreach programme here.