Spring is Busy and So Are We: Andrea and Rachel Update

It’s a bustling spring!  Thanks to all of the volunteers who have made our recent events such a huge success, your commitment inspires all of us!   

It’s really been a spring of growth here – with fantastic new relationships with the labour community – so many unions and locals stepped forward with sponsorship and support for the Occupy Love Screening, it was very exciting!  We’d like to thank all of these community minded groups and Marlene Riviere… she drew on her networks to build enthusiasm and bring in the financial commitment that made this fundraiser a tremendous success!   The panelists who joined us for the evening gave profile and insight to the event, we thank Clayton Thomas-Muller, Gabriel Bourdon, Chris Cormier, and James Brummel for sharing their time with us and look forward to deepening our relationships with each of their organizations. Big thank you as well to all the unions who supported us and made the event successful: OPSEU- Ontario Public Service Employees Union Region 4 Women's Committee, and Locals 443, 446, 454, 466, 499; OSSTF- Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation Ottawa Carleton Human Rights/Status of Women Committee; PSAC- Public Service Alliance of Canada National Capital Region and the ODLC- Ottawa and District Labour Council! Thank you so much for all your support!

The team is now busily planning for a Rockalily Burlesque show in the July (stay tuned!) and for our 50th Anniversary celebration. This is a special year, “Golden” in fact, and we are delighted that Zen Kitchen has generously offered to host and cater a small plates event for us in their beautiful restaurant on September 30th.   The “Choice is Golden” event will be Chaired by local celebrity, political commentator, marketing guru and SRH advocate Ian Capstick, we are so lucky to have him join us again with his enthusiasm, savvy and networks. Already, our new insurance provider Jacqueline Hunter of The Cooperators has stepped forward as the first sponsor of this delicious event, things are off to a stellar start.  Watch for more details and remember to share our events on Facebook!

The ambitious MSW Research team from Carleton University has recently wrapped up and delivered to us the results of their hard work on the Youth Sexuality Survey 2.0.  This project sought to identify what kinds of barriers youth feel they experience when accessing sexual health information and services, and what they recommend to improve access.  It is a remarkable piece of work which we look forward to sharing with our partners, and which will influence our approaches moving forward.  You can read the report here, on the PPO website.  One of my favourite parts of the paper is an answer given in response to a question asking what their ideal sexual health clinic would look like, they said “Venus Envy meets Planned Parenthood”!  Thank you Brittany, Courtney Danielle, Christine and Lauren for your excellent work here!

We would also like to thank Yasene Mawji and Sarah Murphy as they finish their placements here at PPO.  Yasene, an MSW student at Carleton, was assigned to working with the Insight Theatre Program and Sarah, a BSW student at Carleton, worked in Community Education.  Both of these women contributed to Planned Parenthood Ottawa in innumerable ways, we are so grateful you chose to work with us and wish you the very best as you move forward with your very promising careers.  We hope to see you here often!

We have set the date for PPO’s Annual General Meeting; mark the date, June 19th at 6pm.  We will send out the official invitations shortly!

Finally, please welcome Carol Harrison, our new Book keeper!  Carol comes to us with loads of experience to help us manage our business activities really well.  She is in on Wednesday mornings, pop in and say hello!

Happy Volunteer Week – we think you rock!
Rachel and Andrea