Until recently, the Bristol-based One25 project was a little-known charity that was quietly trying to improve the lives of vulnerable sex workers.
But now, after a visit from the Duchess of Sussex, he has gained worldwide fame, even receiving his very first donations overseas.
In an example of what is known as the "Meghan Effect," the charity has received hundreds of pounds sterling from donors in the United States, New Zealand, and Jamaica. Donations were also received from Switzerland and Canada.
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Photographs of the Duchess visiting the project – and writing messages of support to sex workers about bananas included in food parcels for them – have been seen around the world., the number of visits to the One25 website has increased, and thousands more have logged in to learn more about their work. "data-reactid =" 20 ">Photographs of the Duchess visiting the project – and writing messages of support to sex workers about bananas included in food parcels for them – have been seen around the world.This resulted in more visits to the One25 website, while thousands more logged in to learn more about their work.
Following the media coverage of the Duchess's visit, others also sent out items for distribution to sex workers operating on the street, such as umbrellas, socks and gloves.
Anna Smith, the association's director, said, "The interest in our work as a result of Meghan's visit has been incredible. We received our first donations from abroad. America, but also other countries have attracted a lot of interest.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex meet Anna Smith, Executive Director, during their visit to One25, a charity specializing in helping women fight street sex work and addiction. Credit: Toby Melville / PA
The Duchess, who visited the foundation alongside Prince Harry to see for herself her work of helping women break free from sex work, homelessness and addiction, decided that she wanted to send a personal and handwritten message to people in need.
During a visit to the kitchen at One25, she asked for a felt pen to draw hearts and notes, including the words: "You are strong", "You are loved", "You are brave" , "You are special".
While the royal couple was getting acquainted with the bags of food being prepared, the duchess said, "Oh, actually, do you have a sharpie marker? I have an idea.
"I saw this project that this woman had started somewhere in the United States as part of a school lunch program. On each of the bananas, she wrote an affirmation so that the children really feel, as if, empowered. It was the most incredible idea – this little gesture. "
The fruit was made into banana bread included in a food package for sex workers and then delivered by van, along with blankets, condoms, hot water bottles and advice from the charity's experts to street women.
Ms. Smith stated that the women who had received the banana bread and the photographs of the Duchess's messages had been deeply touched by her gesture.
"One of them said it was so nice to think like that," she said. "The users of our services were so happy that she visited the project."
Ms Smith said the royal visit highlighted the work of the charity, whose annual turnover amounted to £ 1.2 million. trying to encourage and help women trapped in the sex trade on the street to break free and build a new life away from violence, poverty and addiction.
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "The Duchess's interest in an old-fashioned cause the sex work was compared to the visits of Prince Harry's mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, to people living with HIV and AIDS, at a time when they were still being rejected by elements of wider society. "data-reactid =" 42 ">The Duchess's interest in an old-fashioned cause The sex work was compared to the visits of the mother of Prince Harry, Diana, Princess of Wales, to people living with HIV and AIDS, at a time when they were still rejected by elements of society.
Ms. Smith said, "The fate of our women is often misunderstood, they are stigmatized and hidden from the world. The Duchess's way of visiting has had a tremendous impact on how our work is perceived. "
After the visit, a former sex worker named Sam, who now works voluntarily at One25, said: "By being there, without judgment, you've all made me understand that I could be more – and for that I will always be forever grateful! "