Working in sexual health, you get to hear lots of creative and cheeky double entendres and puns. We're quite the fans. Terrence Higgins Trust have cornered one of the best ones with the naming of their annual pancake making fundraiser, Toss Off so this year we decided to try our hands at it. Here's our pictorial document of the occasion alongside 5 reasons it's important to do it...
1. The THT Direct helpline answered 17,500 enquiries in 2015/16
Terrence Higgins Trust's staff and volunteers provided 45,000 hours of support on the dedicated helpline during 2015/16 to answer 17,500 enquiries. They provide emotional support to people who are worried about their sexual health or have concerns about living with HIV. They also help people to access the right local service that can help them beyond the phonecall.
2. Nearly 12k people are registered on biggest online community for people living with HIV
MyHIV.org.uk is an amazing resource for people in the UK who are living with HIV. Not only does it provide online counselling and tools to help people manage the virus, but also has online forums where people can share experiences, support each other and learn more about the virus.
3. Terrence Higgins Trust had a big role in the successful campaign for statutory sex and relationships education (SRE)
Last week saw the huge and much-welcomed announcement that sex and relationships education will be made compulsory in all schools. All children from the age of four will be taught about safe and healthy relationships and children in secondary schools will be given age-appropriate lessons about sex. Many young people don't receive adequate information about consent, LGBT+ relationships, pornography and other issues relating to sex and relationships. This can affect their sense of self worth and their ability to make healthy choices for their lives and bodies. Terrence Higgins Trust have been a strong voice in the campaign including working with National Student Pride and the NUS LGBT+ to send over 400 Valentine's cards to MPs asking for statutory SRE.
4. Their work benefits everyone
Dispelling stigma and misinformation around HIV, campaigning for PrEP, providing at home HIV test kits to those at risk, delivering sex and relationships education, campaigning for rights and justice for people with HIV - the services Terrence Higgins Trust benefit everyone.
5. Pancakes are fun AND delicious
Marathon running, knitting woolly hats, jumping out of planes and scaling mountains - these are all valid ways to raise some money for charity depending on what you're into. Pancakes, however, are universally enjoyable, both to make and to eat. There are many substitutions that can be made for allergies or intolerances and don't even get us started on the host of toppings you can adorn them with. The only limit is your culinary imagination.
If we've tempted you to get flipping now you can still donate via the Toss Off site https://tossoff.tht.org.uk/donate/ Or donate to Terrence Higgins Trust here: http://www.tht.org.uk/get-involved/Ways-to-give/Donate-to-us