About Us

A Way Out is an outreach and prevention charity which aims to engage, empower and equip vulnerable and excluded women, families and young people to live lives free from harm, abuse and exploitation and to reduce life limiting choices and behaviour.

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What is A Way Out

A Way Out is  an organisation of excellence, tackling and preventing exploitation of vulnerability of women and young people.

We are an outreach and prevention charity which aims to engage, empower and equip vulnerable and excluded women, families and young people to live lives free from harm, abuse and exploitation and to reduce life limiting choices and behaviour.

Our service users include women and young people with substance misuse problems, involved with sex work, homeless or living on the streets, often engaged in offending or victims of abuse.

A Way Out is based in Stockton on Tees at a support centre called The Gate.  This centre provides the base for many of our projects, offering a safe and secure place for women to come and receive support and get involved in a whole range of activities.

Our Ambition

A Way Out started in June 2002 when our founder, Jessie Jacobs, met a young girl walking the streets of Stockton trying to sell her body for sex.

That brief encounter motivated Jessie, two friends, and a small group of local people, united in their faith, to begin a project reaching out to these girls and helping them to find “A Way Out”.
 

Today, A Way Out continues to reach out to Stockton’s women and young people supporting them to live health, safe and whole lives.

A Way Out works in partnership with the relevant agencies and is supported by the local Christian community.

To hear some of the real life stories of the amazing women and young people we’ve worked with and our future vision, you can watch the video below.

Our Values & Beliefs

We believe that everyone should be able to live the life they choose without experiencing of fearing abuse, harm and exploitation.

We prevent abuse, harm and exploitation by empowering women, families and young people to have control over their lives and by tackling the injustice and inequality that they experience.

Our values are:

Compassionate: using a non-judgemental approach that builds on individual strengths and addresses recent and/or historic trauma.

Connecting: creating opportunities to access support through proactive outreach and by building trusting relationships

Caring: providing the right support at the right time in the right place whether someone is in crises, needing support or advocacy to address immediate needs, or ready to make lasting changes.

Choice: building hope for the future through individuals having the freedom to make informed decisions and opportunities to achieve their potential.

Community: enabling lasting change and providing support at times of need by building positive relationships with friends, family and the wider community.

Change: addressing the causes of injustice and inequality, and wider stigma and discrimination, by ensuring that learning from lived experience is used to change the language, behaviour and views, and process and systems, of other individuals and organisations.

Christian values of love, truth and justice underpin everything we do to support those with a Christian faith, another faith or no faith.

Our strategic objectives:

  • Using ongoing learning to ensure our services are informed by and responsive to the changing needs of our clients.

  • Building genuine and influential partnerships that increase our reach, impact and financial stability.

  • Changing the beliefs and behaviours and policy and practice of others to overcome the challenges faced by those we support.

  • Creating a culture that is empowering and inclusive so that staff and volunteers thrive.

  • Providing robust leadership and governance to enable growth and future sustainability.

Driven by Christian values:

A Way Out is a charity founded upon a Christian vision and is driven by Christian values. We do not expect all staff and volunteers to subscribe to the Christian faith, but to understand and acknowledge the Christian values which are at the heart of A Way Out…

We believe in the power of prayer and faith in our work amongst the most marginalised.  Hope gives us a vision of a changed life.  Faith helps us believe for it. We welcome staffvolunteers, supporters and service users from all faiths and denominations and those who are agnostic or atheist.  We do not expect anyone at A Way Out to subscribe to the Christian faith, but to understand and acknowledge our values.

What do we mean by Christian values? From its early beginnings the Church and later many Christian organisations have tried to reflect Jesus’ concern for the poor and marginalised.  It is this which is the basis of A Way Out’s thinking and actions as an organisation.

Love, compassion and  truth are values which the organisation seeks to demonstrate along with  a willingness to go the extra mile.

We acknowledge that these values of Love, Justice, Compassion, Truth and a willingness to see things through, are not exclusively Christian values, although in the case of A Way Out they are seen as values demonstrated by Christ, therefore we recruit and are glad to embrace those of other faiths or no faith, provided they are willing to practise these values and understand that A Way Out is organisation founded on a Christian ethos and driven by Christian values.