Newsletter: September 2018

Thursday September 13, 2018

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In this month's newsletter:

Chief Executive's Introduction

As we start the new school year, there are lots of new and exciting things happening at DRM. Last year was a year of change and review, yet I am pleased to say that we were still able to both reach all of our targets, and reach an amazing 19,116 young people.

We start this year with new members of the team - Chloë, Lana and Adam - and also with a renewed sense of vigour. With our young person’s voice group and our educators’ steering group giving us excellent support and direction, we continue to aim to reach more young people, reach young people in less supported areas and to grow our services in line with that direction. The feedback we receive from staff, parents and young people continues to be outstanding. One person recently wrote to say “I am lost for words; I have never seen a more empowering session”.

Undoubtedly there will be some bumps in the journey this year. Small charities are massively feeling the financial pinch, and we are no different. Schools too are increasingly having to scrimp and save, particularly on non-core areas, such as funding for external groups like us. But that just means we need to work smarter, work harder and work as a DRM Family, as the lived experience of young people means we are still very much needed. We have an amazing staff team, and an even more amazing set of volunteers. Together we can face any challenges and continue to make a difference to the next generation.

Claire Harvey, Chief Executive

Meet the Team: Chloë

Chloë joined DRM at the beginning of this month as our new Relationships and Experience Lead, following a highly successful career in relationship and events management. She has grown her own successful catering business and has been crucial in developing community engagement with Pride in London. At DRM, Chloë will be responsible for developing engagement strategy for all of DRM’s stakeholders. We have asked her to tell us a bit about herself in the below interview.

What inspires you?

My sons – watching them grow into themselves and develop their own beautiful personalities.

My friends – when you surround yourself with great people the energy just keeps rising.

What was one of your most defining moments in life?

Becoming a mother, that was the day that my life changed for the better. I had a pretty great life but that was the moment that my life gained true focus.

What piece of advice would you give your teenage self?

Your road is going to have many twists and turns and at times it’s going to be very stormy weather but be strong, don’t give up and don’t let anyone make you doubt yourself. You know who you are, hold that to your heart as time goes by and you will never stray from your path.

What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you?

We had a cultural day at school to go visit a mosque, we could either wear a long skirt with socks or a shorter skirt with tights. I had on a long skirt with tights and socks. My friend Skye only had on a shorter skirt with socks so I said I would let her borrow my tights.

Imagine a packed district line train full of school kids from the local all-girls and all-boys schools, I think I’m shimming out of my tights and instead my tights have dropped down but so has my skirt and then the doors opened on the platform and hundreds of boys were walking past...

How do you define a ‘good’ or ‘successful’ life?

By the people around you, good or success means different things to different people, for some it’s monetary, for others it’s recognition but for me it’s about who I have to call friends and family, they empower me to achieve the things I continue to achieve daily.

Why do you believe in DRM?

Not only am I a parent myself but I am a member of the LGBT+ community and I am a survivor of bullying, if this organisation existed when I was at school 20 years ago I think so much would be different and I would not have struggled so much or gone through so many dark times because of it. I love my journey because without it I wouldn’t be who I am now, but for my son, future generations and our children now, this organisation is vital.

Our Favourite Quotes

After every school workshop we run, we collect feedback from students and staff in order to form reports on how the sessions went for the schools and Role Models to see. Here is a collection of the quotes that stood out to us the most from the final term of 2017/18:

“I learnt that there's communities for support everywhere, and after this I will attempt coming out to some people I know.” - Secondary School Student

“I liked learning about the personal stories as it showed different perspectives.” - Secondary School Student

“It's very interactive and informative and taught us a lot about LGBT+ that I did not know before.” - Secondary School Student

“I could listen and relate to it because my granddad is gay.” - Secondary School Student

“I liked that it made people a lot more aware and will hopefully mean more people who are LGBT+ will feel comfortable with 'coming out' at school.” - Secondary School Student

“I love how open it was and how comfortable the environment was. The stories told were really moving.” - Secondary School Student

“I learnt to be accepting of people who are LGBT+ and to stand up for them.” - Secondary School Student

“From now on I will call out bad language and make sure to never assume someone's identity.” - Secondary School Student

“I learnt you should watch the way you speak because some of the words you say will really affect people.” - Secondary School Student

“The personal stories are very powerful. A brilliantly delivered workshop that encourages reflection from students.” - Secondary School Teacher

“This is the second year we have welcomed DRM and the sessions are incredibly empowering and enriching. The students clearly benefit from meeting such inspiring role models.” - Secondary School Teacher

“Thank you thank you thank you for delivering such amazing workshops and being available for students to talk to confide in at lunchtime. Having someone listen and understand meant a very great deal to them.” - Secondary School Teacher

While our delivery statistics demonstrate the overall impact of our work in schools, these quotes reflect the true impact on the individuals and what they have personally gained from our workshops. Thank you to all of our volunteers and supporters in the DRM family who have helped us achieve this on both a personal level and wider scale.

Last Year in Numbers

Click here or on any of the infographics below to open them full screen


Upcoming Events

Soho Bucket Shake for DRM – On the evening of Thursday 4th October we are going to be visiting the bars of Soho to Bucket Shake for DRM and we would love for you to join us! We’ll be working in small groups so you can sign up on your own or with a group of friends. If you would like to volunteer to help on this date, or to register your interest in future collection dates, please email us.

DRM Sits Down – Our DRM sitting volleyball tournament returns on 10th October 3pm - 7pm at Poplar Baths Leisure Centre! This event will be hosted by none other than Team GB’s Team Captain for 2012 and our CEO Claire Harvey and special guests, with places at £100 per team or £15 per individual (plus booking fee). Book here to get your place!

Royal Parks Half Marathon – On Sunday 14th October, #TeamDRM will be running in the Royal Parks Half Marathon to take a tour of four of London’s eight Royal Parks in the wonderful autumnal scenery. But don’t worry if you missed out on applying for a space, as we will shortly be advertising our places for the Vitality Big Half on 10th March, so keep an eye out if you are interested!

Let’s Ride Liverpool – Our friends at HSBC are holding this year's Let's Ride cycling event in and around Sefton Park on Sunday 23rd September and would like you to join team DRM in participating in this free event. Even if you don't have a bike, you can still get involved - as we are hoping to be gifted some that can be provided for you! If you are interested in joining us, please send us an email by 5pm on Friday 14th September. We're really pumped for this event, and look forward to seeing some of you there!

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