Amber has been running as a charity for over 20 years (formerly called The Gate). We started life as an informal group of individuals from local churches reaching out initially to women selling sex on the streets of Southampton. In 2012 we became part of the City Life Church charity and in 2018 we became a chaplaincy service in response to women telling us their biggest need was for emotional support and they valued prayer. The rise in women advertising sexual services behind closed doors meant that we extended our scope to massage parlours, lap dancing clubs and women advertising online. Our rapport with women can take time to build, sometimes years.
Over the years we have learnt that the most vulnerable women benefit from a multi-disciplinary approach and we recognise that partnership working is key. We collaborate with other professionals in the city – the police, social workers, sexual health care teams, substance misuse teams, housing providers, pastoral and voluntary organisations. We are part of the Commercial Sex Workers and Love Southampton Chaplaincy Network and we work closely with the Modern Slavery Partnership (Hampshire & Isle of Wight).
‘Amber make a valuable contribution to helping women selling sex on the streets stay safe and report assaults.’
Southampton Police Officer
Our aim is, and always has been, to walk alongside women offering them a sense of hope, promoting safety and wellbeing, and offering tangible solutions.
Where negative labels are associated with women involved in the sex industry, we seek to challenge them, as we believe women should be treated with dignity and respect.
Our Christian faith underpins all we do. We believe that God made us and loves us, we are each of great value and worth, and we want to demonstrate this by showing women they matter. No woman is ever excluded from receiving support due to any faith held or not held on their part.
We embrace diversity, welcoming all and seek to offer a place of belonging for those to whom we provide chaplaincy.
We seek to give people the tools to enable them to live well and thrive. We are committed to justice for all, respecting each person’s beliefs and choices.
We are responsive to the needs of those within our community and in the communities we serve, finding creative solutions, breaking new ground, and courageously embracing the challenges that come with change!
We value the courage to reflect, learn and express ourselves creatively. We celebrate creativity in every action, expression, response, and collaboration.