On 1st August, Harbour Housing ran a sexual health awareness day with representatives from the Eddystone Trust, Brook Cornwall, and the Hepatitis C Trust all in attendance.
Harbour’s Outer Properties Team Lead, Bella Moore, organised the event as way to provide our residents with access to information and testing more easily, regarding various sexual health issues. Our Cosgarne Hall property’s training room provided the location for this event.
Harbour’s residents and staff members were able to engage with each of the agencies for different things. The Eddystone Trust is an organisation that is committed to encouraging open discussion about sexual health and more specifically to improving the lives of those with HIV. Throughout the day, staff from Eddystone carried out rapid HIV tests and gave out very helpful advice.
The Hepatitis C Trust is a charity working to eradicate Hep C and remove the stigma surrounding the disease by raising awareness and ending discrimination. Members from the Trust came to do Hep C and B tests and give educational advice and support to inform our residents about Hep C.
Brook provides sexual health clinics, advice, training, and wellbeing services on a national level. Staff from Brook Cornwall joined us to do tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and provide advice.
We were delighted to welcome colleagues from all of these brilliant agencies to make sure our clients and staff were able to access tests and information regarding various sexual health matters.
By bringing together all these agencies, we were able provide our residents with access to many different resources in one place. Rachel from Brook explained the need for days like this: “Especially in a place like Cornwall where geographically everything is quite spread out and we only hold clinics on certain days of the week in certain towns. We love coming to meet people and provide access to services when it can be really tricky to if you haven’t got means to travel or internet access.”
It was a very busy day with excellent attendance from both residents and staff, who also had access to the testing services too. It was important to come together and help to destigmatise sexual health. As Bella from Harbour attests: “I just think it’s important that all members of staff and our clients are tested as it’s still your health, whether it’s sexual health or otherwise.” Bella highlights how crucial it is for our residents to be afforded the opportunity to interact with these services: “We have a lot of people come through our projects who have been rough sleeping, so haven’t had access to these services or don’t know that these services are available.”
The day of testing and advice was very well-attended and, as a bonus, the excellent weather meant that all were able to enjoy a delicious BBQ, cakes, and other refreshments throughout the day.
We would like to say a massive thank you to Eddystone, Brook and the Hep C Trust for their willingness to join us and make this event so successful. Hopefully we can do something similar again in the future!