Chapter 8

Chapter 8 — Becoming Professional
I decided that so many of the members needed help with their personal lives, that I should have some professional training. Going on a course would also give me a chance to see how to run one, so I could learn how to train others to run Outsiders. I took the two-year course in Human Sexuality at London University, from St George’s Hospital, and obtained a diploma in sex therapy. I offer my time freely to any member who requests it. My workshops at St George’s on sex and disability for medical and sex therapy students carried on for several years.
Outsiders does not supply surrogate sex workers, even though that has been the perception of many who know about us. This inaccuracy was brought about by a very irresponsible feature in The People tabloid newspaper. They used the heading “Lords and Whores involved in Disability Group (the Lord being Lord Holderness who I had consulted —see chapter 2) and my assistant, Vieta, who’s other work involved erotic imagery.
This article made us feel grubby and we decided that we didn’t need publicity if that’s the sort of thing the press want to say. We became an even more private club and continued to be run in a very professional manner. In 1982 we set up a registered charity with sex therapist Patricia Gillan, writer Dr Tony Lake (author of “Loneliness”), campaigner Ann Darnbrough, therapist Mary Lynch and GP Dr Christine Pickard becoming trustees.
In time, both Outsiders and myself have gained an enormous amount of respect. In 2004, our website won an award from the National Information Forum for “presenting a substantial amount of information presented in a sensitive way. In 2009, I was named one of the Family Planning Association’s 80 most influential achievers. And in 2013, I was invited to a brain storming dinner at the Wellcome Foundation as an expert on sex and disability for their year long exhibition on studying sex and changing attitudes to sex.

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