Sexual Health Experiences

Yesterday marked the start of Sexual Health Week 2013, and Brook and FPA are using this week to highlight what they’ve found from the first year of the XES – We Can’t Go Backwards campaign.

The XES mapSince the campaign launched, over 100 people have come forward to tell Brook/FPA their stories on the campaign’s interactive map, providing Brook/FPAwith real life case studies.

This has given Brook/FPA really valuable insight into the range of experiences that people have had of getting contraception and support, from terrible difficulties to hugely positive experiences.

The insights from these stories have built on findings from the economic report, Unprotected Nation, launched earlier this year, which highlighted the impact of cuts to sexual health services and found that, as well as the effects on our health and wellbeing, the UK would shockingly be saddled with up to £10bn debt if cuts worsened.

Brook/FPA really need more people to rate their experiences of sexual health services, good and bad, so that they can gain an understanding of the bigger picture on the ground. If you haven’t done so, please add your experience to the map. See

If you’re a professional working in sexual health you can also tell them about the service you provide like prostate cancer service. Brook/FPA want to hear from you.

Please do forward this message on to your friends and colleagues and ask them to get involved and rate their sexual health service.

Small Steps in the right direction…

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I asked for the issue of name badges to be discussed at the last Honiton Town Council meeting on Monday 11th March 2013. Councillor’s badges have the names of the councillor on them (Eg Cllr F. Jones) and the female councillors have their marital status added to theirs so mine says Cllr Mrs S. Pavey. I think this is an outdated, old fashioned and incredibly sexist practice, and I’m glad to say that after a very short discussion, the council agreed to offer female councillors the option to change their badges and as new female councillors join the council, this practice to be dropped and male and female badges are to be exactly the same ie Cllr M Smith regardless of whether the councillor is male or female. I also requested that we ask the company we get the badges from whether our current badges could be recycled.

I’m pleased that Honiton Town Council voted to remove gender specific titles on our name badges. Whether a female councillor is married or not has no bearing on her position as a councillor.  This is a small step in the right direction. Bigger steps include seeing equal representation on the council. The current situation sees just six female councillors outnumbered by twelve men and I’m often attending meetings where I’m the only female councillor.

Don’t forget you can add your comments too, I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Sidmouth's Annie Leigh Browne founded the Women’s Local Government Society who lobbied for the 1907 “Qualification of Women” Act. This clarified women (ratepayers) were able to be elected to Borough and County Councils.
Did you know? Sidmouth's Annie Leigh Browne founded the Women’s Local Government Society who lobbied for the 1907 “Qualification of Women” Act. This clarified women (ratepayers) were able to be elected to Borough and County Councils.

Rugby Against Domestic Abuse

Mid Devon Police challenge the fire Service in ‘Rugby Against Domestic Abuse’ Charity Match

A charity rugby match will be played at Tiverton Rugby Club, Bolham Road, Tiverton on Monday 8 October. The ‘Rugby Against Domestic Abuse’ match will raise funds for the local domestic abuse service – Stop Abuse For Everyone.

The match organiser PCSO Dion Howells, from the Tiverton Neighbourhood Policing Team said, “This is the third of these annual matches that raises funds to support local victims of domestic abuse. In the last couple of years we have raised over £2000 and we hope to raise lots of money this year too. Both teams are fit and eager to go and the police team are keen to get their first win! This year we not only have a raffle but also a charity auction after the match so we hope many spectators will come and support this event and bid for the fantastic auction lots.”

The evening will commence at 6pm with a tag rugby event for local primary schools. Four schools are involved and the winning team will receive a cup. The main match will kick-off at 7pm with the cup being awarded to the winning school at half-time.

The Charity Auction will start at approximately 8.30pm with auction lots including a six month Zest Membership at Mid Devon Leisure Centres, tickets for Exeter Chiefs, a day at Yarak Birds of Prey, and a pamper session at The Stable Club Health Centre, Exeter.

Entry is £2 on the gate with under 12’s at 50 pence. Everyone is welcome.

Further information is available from:-

Julia Ryder

Community Safety Officer

Mid Devon Community Safety Partnership

Tel: 01884 234997

Honiton Role Model for Women


I spent a lovely morning with the Honiton Senior Voice (formerly Senior Council) hearing all about a truly amazing woman – our former Mayor Juanita Maxwell Phillips OBE. I got a photo taken with Dr Julia Neville (in purple) who wrote the book Viva Juanita which was launched today. I’m really looking forward to reading it myself – when I can find a little spare time!

This incredible woman – Juanita Phillips was a suffragette, Mayor of Honiton ELEVEN times, tireless campaigner for women, the poor and disadvantaged AND an actor and theatre producer. She was the FIRST female county councillor in Devon and to be honest…..just the sort of woman I would like to sit down and have a cup of tea with !!

Who would have thought such an inspirational woman lived here in my town and everyone should really know more about her. There was a suggestion that we should name one of the rooms after her in the Beehive Community Centre (being built next year) and I think we should have an exhibition about her on in town during the week of International Women’s Day next year (4th-8th March 2013). What do you think, are these good ideas – please add a comment.

If you are interested in reading Viva Juanita – ask your local library to get a copy or you can purchase it from the Honiton Tourist Information Centre. More details on the Devon History Society website




I have not been feeling well this week so a bit grumpy about not being able to get to any of the local events celebrating the 100th International Women’s Day TODAY! Seeing this in today’s paper has cheered me up though and made me feel that maybe I’ve done my bit today. If you want to read the whole article – click here and go to page 5

Is life predestined?

A few things have happened to me lately which make me wonder if my life is already mapped out, or pre-destined so to speak. I met Jacqueline today from Climate Rush, who are a growing group of suffragette inspired climate change activists. Jacqueline got me up to speed on what Climate Rush have been doing since the group was set up by 26 year old Tamsin Ormond in 2008. We chatted about what we could do down ‘ere in the west country to support the London based radicals who abide by the suffragette slogans “deeds not words” and “well behaved women seldom make history”.

So back to predestiny. During our conversation Jacqueline told me I was wearing the colours of the suffragette movement – teal green and purple, my two favourite colours at the moment, I am so into teal and purple. I just had to wear the clothes I wore today, they were a bit grubby, but something told me to wear them, and no others would do, so I guess that’s what I mean about predestiny. I was meant to meet Jacqueline, meant to wear those colours, meant to get more “active” in my involvement in helping to raise awareness of climate change and try to stop it basically.

I’m also quite into synchronicity – which I also find happens a lot when I feel my life is going in the right direction. Sometimes I feel there is a path mapped out and there are symbolic things in my life which happen every now and again which tell me I’m on the right path. Wikipedia explains that Swiss psychologist Carl Jung Jung (below) “was transfixed by the idea that life was not a series of random events but rather an expression of a deeper order. This deeper order led to the insights that a person was both embedded in an orderly framework and was the focus of that orderly framework and that the realisation of this was more than just an intellectual exercise but also having elements of a spiritual awakening.

The Competition Challenge

I’m watching This Morning on ITV and they have a fabulous competition to win £52,000, an amazing holiday in St Lucia and a BMW X1 car. So I thought, hey, I want a bit of that and entered today.

Then I got to thinking….some people enter a lot of competitions don’t they? And some people win loads of stuff. As a dedicated Green, I don’t need loads of ‘stuff’ of course BUT since my business closed due to the recession, and life has been pretty tough financially over the past year, I think maybe I’m due a nice treat.

So – here’s the idea. What if I enter 10 competitions each day for a week. That would be 70 comps. Would I win anything? Lets give it a try.

Thursday 13th Jan: 1. This Morning Comp, 2. Marie Claire Chateaux Holiday Comp, 3. spa break Comp, 4. Selfridges Comp, 5. Loose Women Comp, 6. Dyson Comp, 7. Classic FM Comp, 8. Local library comp 9. Classic FM ipad comp. 10. @MrCrabbyCrab’s comp on twitter

Friday 14th Jan: 1. holiday comp 2. Families Online holiday comp. 3. holiday comp. 4. Adsa Seaside Break comp 5. comp 6. Ideal Home Mag Buxted Park comp 7. Ideal Home Mag Bed comp 8. Ikea Shopping spree comp 9. Canderel M&S vouchers comp 10. Park Holidays comp

Saturday 15th Jan: 1. M&S vouchers comp. 2……………..gave up as far too time consuming trying to find the competitions!!!

Back on track salad

After a couple of weeks ‘off’ my diet, and Christmas officially over – it’s time to get back on track and start counting the calories again. My salad pictured is a scrumptious way to kickstart my new year efforts to lose two and a half stone. With only 200 calories, it’s a cornucopia of fresh salad leaves, carrot, onion, garlic, red pepper, beetroot and potato salad (the majority of the calories but deliciously worth it). As well as losing weight and getting my BMI down, I’m also raising funds for the highly respected Devon Charity Devon Air Ambulance and I’m absolutely thrilled to have raised over £150 so far, thanks to some incredibly lovely and generous people. Please check out my Virgin Giving page today and even if you can only spare a pound or two – please do chip in as it all helps us get closer to the £1000 target. Thank you.



Black Friday

100 years ago, on 18/11/1910, two women were injured and later died because they tried to enter Parliament. They were part of a group of Suffragettes who went to the Houses to demand a debate on the Conciliation Bill, a bill that would have given some women basic voting rights. Of the 300 who came, 200 women were arrested that day. There were 6,000 police. We call it Black Friday.

100 years have passed. Fewer than 1 in 5 MPs are women. Only 1% of the world’s money is controlled by women. For every 10 people displaced by climate change, 7 are women. There is a vigil being held at 6.30pm on 18/11/10 on College Green, Parliament Square to remember Black Friday. Bring a candle, a jamjar, a banner and a veil. Hear Caroline Lucas MP and Dr Diane Atkinson. Remember the Suffragettes. More details here. or you can see the Climate Rush Facebook page.

Here’s a link to the Climate Rush website – because “well behaved women seldom make history” !!!

Please add your comments below.