Authors : Kasia Rżanek, Monika Grotecka
Party workers activities are some of the environmental action that are a part of outreach working. It consists in the fact that the activities are carried out in places where consumers of the program come and are supported by a stationary counseling (drop in center). Specifically partyworking to work at parties, in clubs, discos, saunas, pubs and, events , etc.
The basic premise of partyworkers action provided by Lambda Warsaw Association is the philosophy of harm reduction. It is focused on reducing the negative consequences of risky behavior, such as taking psychoactive drugs, unprotected sex – as opposed to ignore, penalize or unrealistic desire to the absolute eradication of social life.
During our work, we operate in accordance with respect for values such as freedom of speech and self-determination, equality of all people, respect for others, openness, respect for yourself and your health. We believe that every person has the right to make their own decisions, so our party workers do not judge customers, they do not impose solutions, but provide information and show different possibilities, so that man could make a conscious choice.
Lambda partyworkers work in places of different character – both in clubs, pubs and, saunas and special events related to the topic of human sexuality (eg. Days of Pussy, Night Red bows, Festival of Equal Rights to love).
For several years, the Association has developed duty work rules, which are designed to ensure the safety of its pickups and party-clerks. To bring reliable help and support partyworkers:
protect the privacy of its customers and their self
do not work under the influence of psychoactive substances,
not accept any gifts from customers, also in the form of soft drinks,
at work do not participate in the party at the club, they also do not stay in the club after work
privately should not come to the clubs where they work
don’t get involved in private relationships with client, not exchange phone numbers
always work in teams of at least two people (depending on the nature of the event),
in an emergency should seek help from a service club.
In Each club partyworkers have permanently marked place, if possible located in a chill place where music plays softly and is able to talk.
Partyworking as education and prevention
Partyworkers action in the clubs are mainly preventive, educational. People can talk to them including topic such as psychoactive substances, the risks and consequences related to their use, safer sexual behavior, subjects of HIV / AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (including prevention, testing, treatment, etc.), as well as other issues related to health, particularly sexual health.
During a conversation with customers partyworkers inform them of the consequences of drug use, as well as how to protect themselves from unknowingly taking them – in particular, GHB and ketamine -”rape pills” which are popular for some time in Poland. Motivated to follow the rules of safer play in clubs, take part in preventive or therapeutic actions. Sensitize the consequences of risky sexual behavior, which often are made after taking psychoactive substances.
Partyworkers in addition to talk and answer questions, distribute information and educational materials, leaflets, stickers, accessories prevention – condoms, lubricants, intimate wipes tests to detect the presence of GHB and ketamine in beverages and preventive and promotional merchandise.
An important element in contact with customers is to make sure whether they know how to use preventive measures. If necessary partyworkers show how to use it properly.
Partyworking as a “bridge”
During the roster, partyworkers meet people with different problems that need professional help or advice. The atmosphere in the clubs (the crowd, loud music, etc.) does not allow to establish a deep relationship between partyworkers assistance and the client. Therefore to complement it, there are provided shifts (drop in center) held by Lambda association, for which the recipient of the project can come to talk in a peaceful atmosphere about their problems and to consider possible solutions of their situation. If needed they have the opportunity to consult with a psychologist, a lawyer, social worker, etc. Lambda Association is the only organization in Poland, which has a wide range of assistance for LGBTQ people. Added value is that the different specialists are available in one place, making it much more likely that interested client will benefit from the aid. In this way, our party workers actions serve as a “bridge” between people who need help and the place where you can get it.
Lambda Warsaw Association cooperates with many institutions providing specialized assistance and other organizations implementing party working projects, both from Warsaw and the entire Poland. If client need other assistance than what we can offer, we directed him to the appropriate institution.
Organizations involved in partyworking in Warsaw are set to different types of clients. Lambda Association and Social Committee for AIDS work in places for LGBTQ individuals; the Association of Program STATION – for youth and young adults, including students; Alternative Dance is working in high prevalence of psychoactive substances places, also providing first aid in emergency situations.
Lambda Warsaw Association is one of the first organizations to implement the method of partyworking in Poland. Club environment is dynamic, constantly changing, there are new needs. Therefore, a lot of inspiration and challenges before us.
Lambda Warszawa Association www.lambdawarszawa.org
The Association STATION www.programstacja.org.pl
Association of Social AIDS Committee www.skaids.org
Association of Alternative