I joined Sexpression almost exactly three years ago to the day, as secretary on the Leicester committee. Little did I know it would become such a huge part of my life since then. I joined, like many others, to gain volunteering experience, to get involved in something exciting and to make a real difference to young people by tackling such an unmet need in society.
I probably don’t need to tell you sex education is important. Personally, I believe it is a basic human right that all young people should be given the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about their own health and their own lives during such a confusing and complex time. All too often we underestimate the importance of letting young people decide for themselves, what they want to do. ‘Just wear a condom’ isn’t good enough.
Since joining Sexpression, I've spent two years as our branch coordinator, overseeing all of our activity including teaching, training and fundraising. We have some incredible volunteers and I believe we train them to a high standard. Yet we often struggle to make ends meet, we have difficulty sending our committee and experienced volunteers to important events and provide them with expert training, simply because we don’t have the money! Not for a lack of trying. Our treasurer is fantastic at organizing our budget, gaining sponsorship deals and ultimately keeps us on the right track to ensure we prioritise what little money we have to where it’s needed: travelling to schools and resources. But when it comes down to it, she’s only human.
Most of us are full-time students. By full-time, I mean 9-5 lectures, studying, essays and placements, yet we are committed and passionate about organizing and delivering sex education lessons because it’s important. To keep ourselves running, we charge members £5 to cover our costs (many branches have similar membership charges).
I cannot wait for the day I can tell our 40 members that their training packs are free this year (we’ve had feedback to say these are really useful).
I can’t wait to say we can pay for them to attend specialist training days to further their knowledge, interest and feed into our network to ensure we are the best we can be (I’ve had countless requests for such, but unfortunately had to say no)
I can’t wait to tell our treasurer that we are a registered charity (our network turnover is currently less than the £5000 required to become a charity and access charitable benefits like funding grants).
Ultimately I can’t wait to tell our hundreds of members nationally, you can come here to do what you came to do: teach and make a difference.
By donating to our fundraising campaign you are buying into a number of things. Firstly, the obvious, contributing to our new training programme to ensure each branch training coordinator is up-to-speed with the information and ability to train each one of their members. This will ensure all of our volunteers are competent and confident to teach sex and relationships workshops to young people.
Secondly, you are helping us to set-up a national grant-application system so that when our Bristol branch run out of condoms and have no money to buy some for their teach next week, we can hear their bid and provide them with small one-off amounts. Imagine this in 30 branches nationally and we foresee we may get many such requests!
Thirdly, (this one’s a little more complex to explain) you’ll be helping us to become more sustainable. This is our one-off fundraiser to raise initial funds for two training weekends, but with this money, we’ll be off the ground and ready to submit an application for charity status. This opens the door for us to apply for many more nationally-available grants, to approach companies and businesses for a regular source of income and gain national recognition that the work we do is important.
You can help us achieve this, by donating as little as one pound. As a thank you, we’ll give you a small perk in return.
To visit our Indiegogo page, find out more and make a donation see: http://igg.me/at/sxpgogo/x/6935603