Submitted by Options for Sexual Health
The numbers are in: last fall’s Chews and Brews in Nelson was a great success. Beyond the amazing financial contributions, which will go towards supporting sexual and reproductive health initiatives locally, it was also a great opportunity to get out and chat about sexual health with community members.
The team of staff, volunteers, and clinicians were out and about at the nine partner locations, and while eating and drinking in the delicious offerings from each venue, they were also able to provide sexual health information. Poutine and pot pies while chatting about pap tests? Filling a growler while discussing where to get tested for STIs? Definitely an information filled Saturday!
“It was a really great opportunity to have some informal conversations about sexual health in a relaxed atmosphere,” said Judith Fearing, one of the nurses at the Nelson Options Clinic.
“Some of the exchanges I had were more humorous and lighthearted, while others were more educational and informational. I had questions like, ‘Is there a lot of syphilis in Nelson?’ and ‘Where can I get testing done?’ I also had a lot of comments like ‘Wow! I didn’t know that!’ and ‘I wish we would have learned this in school.’”
Emily Deschuymer, one of the driving forces behind the event shared her experience of the event: “Overall, it was a great experience to connect with the community, raise some funds for our clinic, and build awareness about sexual and reproductive health. We are really grateful to our partner locations; without them this would not have been possible. The support we received from them was really affirming, knowing that they support access to our services is amazing.”
Local businesses helped raise over $1,200 for the sexual health clinic. The funds will help support sexual and reproductive health services in Nelson.
Although this was a new event for the Options Clinic, Deschuymer said that they were already planning for the next Chews and Brews for Choice event. “It was great to see so many people out and about, some who knew about the event, and some who happened upon it. It was a fun way to get people out and about, and also a fantastic way to build community. We can’t wait to do it all again next year!”
The Nelson Options Clinic is open Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m., at 333 Victoria St. Drop in for all services. For more information on Options for Sexual Health, visit optionsforsexualhealth.org or visit the clinic’s Facebook page (facebook.com/NelsonOptionsClinic).