Bristol BASE project

What we do

At BASE we try to make sure that young people feel they are getting support that makes a difference to their lives. What young people do when they meet their worker varies from one young person to the next. Some young people will want to sit and talk about problems they face; others will do activities with their worker; others may just want practical help initially before they feel ready to address the difficult experiences they have faced.

The plan of work is decided between the young person and their BASE worker and is individually tailored to their needs. We know that some weeks will be harder than others for young people and we work hard to stay in touch, particularly during the times when a young person’s life is very chaotic.

All of the workers at BASE are qualified in Social Work, Youth Work or Mental Health Nursing. We receive clinical group consultation as well as reflective and case supervision. We are trained and able to work with young people who are experiencing high levels of trauma and distress, and whose behaviours reflect this.

Barnardo’s 4 A Model:

Our approach is shaped by the Barnardo’s 4 A Model which has been identified as the most effective practice for working with sexually exploited young people.

Support Offered:

A young person’s support at BASE is likely to include the elements in the table below but this will take different lengths of time for different young people. Young people tend to work with their BASE workers for, on average, two years but it varies between 3 months and 6 and a half years depending on their level of need. All young people are supported with travel to and from their sessions.

Engagement & Assessment Period

Therapeutic Support Period

Moving on Period

Harm reduction & safety planning work such as about: developing safe networks; strategies for leaving risky locations and situations; reducing missing and runaway risks; how to access emergency help; sexual health access; personal safety plans.

Practical support regarding contributory issues such as homelessness; drug and alcohol use; and poverty.

Written assessment provided to young person and professionals.

Structured CSE support sessions in areas such as:

  • Grooming
  • Consent
  • Power and control
  • Abuse recognition
  • Risk awareness
  • Emotional regulation
  • Perpetrator & Rape myths and resultant core beliefs
  • Supporting to reduce feelings of shame, guilt and blame
  • Gang networks and associated criminality

Exiting exploitative relationship work

Trauma recovery work

Court support

Promoting aspirations and hopes

Developing skills and interests

Reducing isolation and reintegration with safe networks

  • Crisis Intervention Support
  • Completion of the National Referral Mechanism for victims of internal trafficking
  • Emotional containment/regulation support
  • Family Work & Placement Stability Support
  • Court Work – Family & Criminal Court
  • Access to BASE sexual health nurses and CAMHS nurse when/if required
  • Intensive multi-agency working
  • Perpetrator identification, mapping, and implementation of multi-agency disruption plans


BASE Hub is in central Bristol close to transport links making it easy for young people to access. It provides:

  • a safe environment at the project for young people whose lives are unsafe or violent
  • a service for both males and females under 18
  • drop-in support 9am-5pm (mon-thurs) and 9am-4.30pm (fri)
  • co-located missing preventative services Safe Choices and Barnardo’s BYL Sex and Relationships project
  • a sexual health nursing service on 3 afternoons a week for confidential contraception, STI testing and treatment, Hep B vaccinations, pregnancy and abortion advice from nurses who are experienced at supporting young people who have psycho-sexual trauma
  • a mental health nurse
  • washing machines, showers, clothing and food stores for children who are missing, homeless, sofa-surfing or live independently
  • advocacy with and for young people, so they can get the help they need from other organisations
  • training on sexual exploitation to adults who work with young people