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Women’s charity encourages us to have a ‘night in’ to raise vital funds

A charity which supports women experiencing challenges including homelessness, mental ill health and poverty is calling on people across the city to host a ‘MASH Night In’ to raise vital funds to keep women safe in Greater Manchester.

The new campaign, launched by Manchester Action on Street Health (MASH), is appealing for kind-hearted supporters to host their dream night in to raise money for the charity.

MASH (Manchester Action on Street Health) works with women in Manchester who sex work to empower them and promote health, wellbeing and personal safety.

The charity hopes to have ‘nights in’ taking place across Manchester throughout October and is encouraging supporters to be as low key or ambitious as they’d like to arrange their dream night in for MASH.

Janelle Hardacre, fundraising and marketing officer at MASH, said; “As the nights draw in, we all need things to look forward to. MASH Night In is the perfect excuse to get your friends together and have fun whilst raising money to support women in desperate situations in Manchester.

“You could have a pamper evening, Scrabble Tournament or a living room gig. Or gather a larger group of mates for a clothes swap, a Disney quiz or a comedy night.

“We were inspired by one of our fantastic supporters, Anna, who organised an empowering ‘Girls Night In’ at her bar which saw women get together with their friends in their PJs and slippers to enjoy an evening’s entertainment. It was such a great night that we thought – wouldn’t it be great if this could be rolled out across the city?

“We’ll also be hosting a pamper day at our drop-in centre where women who visit MASH can have their hair, make-up and nails done as well as enjoy some good music and party food.

“We’re excited to see what other events people decide to host to support MASH. We’re very lucky to have such fantastic supporters.”

MASH’s team of dedicated staff and volunteers support women via their drop-in centre and via their specialist drop-in vehicle which travels around the streets of Manchester late at night providing a safe space for women to step on and access support.

The charity relies heavily on the generosity of supporters to help keep the van on the road four evenings per week and to keep the drop-in centre open five days per week. Women who are sex working can access a wide range of expert support from MASH including sexual health screenings, counselling, advice on housing, free condoms and simply a safe space where they won’t be judged.

One Manchester woman who has been supported by MASH said; “I have made so many positive changes to my life since my first contact with MASH. Thanks to their continued support, I have built up a trusted relationship with the team and with their help I’ve been able to break the cycle of addiction and sex working. They have been there with me through all the ups and downs, supporting me at times where I was resistant to accept any help and being there when I felt more ready to engage. I rave about MASH to whoever will listen! They are amazing. I call them my ‘trusted support circle.’”

For more information or to register to host a ‘MASH Night In’ please visit www.mash.org.uk/MashNightIn

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