Report on First Meeting Tuesday 7th June 2005
Outsiders Board Room, Leroy House, 436 Essex Road, London N1 3QP
* Tuppy Owens Outsiders (Chair)
* Pat Nutting Mencap
* Rosalind Hewitt Psychosexual Counsellor
* Ana Martinez Sex Education Forum
* Greg Sams Outsiders
* Ilaria Primoni Sexual Dysfunction Association
* Loredana Roiter RNIB Emotional Support Services
* Wayne Chapman RNIB Helpline
* Shital Shah Disability and Relationships Counsellor
* Sue Kristoffersen SCOPE Helpline
* Eleni Stephani Outsiders
* Richard Curen Respond
* Jane Gibbin NPP Cymru
* Lynn Heaton FPA Helpline
* Alan Richens Worcester Mental Health Partnership
* Alan Taylor Outsiders
* Julie Thomas Information Worker, Disability Wales
Introductions were made around the room. At the same time, we told the group about our work, and what we hoped to benefit from this group, how we envisaged the group would work, and how disabled people would benefit.
2. How we will benefit
* Advisors will feel supported and gain skills on advising on sexual issues.
* We’ll find out where to get training.
* We’ll find out about specific issues to build up a bigger picture.
* We’ll be able to answer our calls better with increased knowledge, learn appropriate language on sex and on disability.
* We will be able to make connections and refer/signpost on, with more confidence to deal with calls better.
* Expand our horizons.
* Pool ideas.
* Check that the info we are giving is correct and find out if there is more we can give
Swap ideas on what we offer
3. How the group might work
* Share helpline policies.
* Share experience and knowledge.
* Outsiders in touch with the Sex Education Forum.
* Bring our own individual expertise into the group.
* Represent a calm, rational voice.
* Get more resources onto tape and braille.
* Listen to the experiences of disabled people.
* Get the richer charities to contribute information.
* Improve on the sexual information available and combat the misinformation.
* Help dispel the myths about disabled peoples’ sexuality.
* Share issues – like SCOPE’s client group – parents worried about their children going through puberty, and the helpline having no emotional support services for face-to-face counselling like the RNIB have.
4. How Disabled People will Benefit
* Disabled people will become better equipped to deal with their own issues.
* Sex will be on the agenda of all rehabilitation with reduced embarrassment.
* Young people will be included in discussions and their rights acknowledged.
* Disabled people will have better sex education and learn how to be independent and not dependent.
* Attitudes to be improved to ensure disabled and non-disabled people are on the same playing field.
* More information to be supplied so that disabled people can catch up on what they may have missed out on in early years.
It was agreed that we should reach out to more groups and increase the size of the group, but we would need a larger room to meet in. It was also agreed that we would set up a yahoo group for members to be able to put forward ideas and problems and others to comment.
Future meetings would feature presentations by representatives from two of the organisations represented.
Ana Martinez had to leave at lunchtime but she told us that it would take some time to get this Alliance established. It is rather similar in structure to the Sex Education Forum, and it would be a long time before we can influence policies.
We agreed to start a yahoo group for online discussions, but that has not yet materialised.
Lorna Couldrick MSc, DipCOT, CertEd, MBACP (SnrAccred), Training and Development Consultant, has offered to speak to us about her PhD research project on health and social care professionals, occupational therapists in particular, including the topic of sex in conversations with clients.
If you run a helpline, it would be very good to have a copy of your helpline policy in advance, so I can “compare and contrast” the various policies in advance.
The next meeting will be on Friday 12th May in Room A at the SCOPE offices which are just up the Caledonian Road from Kings Cross. Address: 6 Market Road, N7 9PW. 11.30pm through to 4pm. Avril Jones at the CP Helpline will be our host, and she will shortly be supplying directions etc. Outsiders will be providing lunch for £5 a head, as before, so let us know if you are coming, and if you have any dietary requirements.
Dr. Tuppy Owens, Chair.
Posted: 1st March 2006