Technologies and sex work charities

National Ugly Mugs (NUM) is a pioneering national organisation which provides greater access to justice and protection for sex workers, who are frequently targeted by dangerous individuals but are often reluctant to report these incidents to the police. NUM performs a range of activities, from providing training for police and charities to advocacy and policy work with criminal justice courts. NUM delivers these services through its website and by signposting to local support services.

A collaborative partnership between the digital civics team and NUM was developed as part of NUM’s commitment to continuous service improvement for its members. Digital civics researchers engaged with NUM members and conducted extensive ethnographic research with staff to understand their experiences of accessing the service, as well as gaining an understanding of the space to innovate within. The ultimate aim was to bridge direct service delivery and advocacy work through design.

This research has directly informed the redesign of the NUM system to improve services, increase member interaction with the website and encourage greater staff engagement with technologies for innovative service delivery. Data gathered through the research has also helped NUM staff to understand new areas of their work and has been used in police training.


For more information please contact Angelika Strohmayer.