On the 11th of September I will be doing the Hokey Cokey Swim Run, while I train I'm fundraising for Gather Cornwall a service I was lucky enough to benefit from this past year. I thought I would share a bit more about why this organisation is worth you supporting and how it helped me when I didn't realise how much I needed it at the time.
I hope you keep reading, I really appreciate it! To donate go to my Just Giving page here.
Why should you support this CIC?
Talking about sex in general can cause people to feel uncomfortable at times, let alone start a conversation about sexual trauma. There is a lot of shame around it but Gather Cornwall is a place where there is no shame. Being able to talk and share with others in a safe space encourages the healing of the mind and body.
By donating you are helping to pay for a space for people to process their traumatic experiences with the support of others, which ultimately will improve their lives and relationships for the better.
Not only are there peer support groups offered but yoga classes. These classes are trauma informed and help people learn to connect back to their bodies if dissociation is a way they have learned to cope.
There are not enough of these services available - I hope that Gather is able to grow to be able to cater to more people.
How has Gather Cornwall CIC helped me?
Our brains are extremely good at protecting us. For me, my brain put all my sexual trauma into a box to be forgotten about. It wasn't until my first relationship ended that suddenly it all caught up to me at once and I had a tough time processing it all. I realised I hadn't really forgotten it at all, I'd been carrying it with me this whole time and it had deeply affected how I saw myself.
The first peer group I attended I remember crying my heart out after introducing myself because I didn't think I should be there. I didn't think my experiences were traumatic enough or worthy of attending a support group.
Gather has helped me really unpack and process my experiences. My self-esteem and self-worth has drastically improved. The shame around me slowly faded away and I realised that this version of me had always been here. There's that saying "the only way out is through" and Gather held my hand while I got to the other side.
I attended a group every 2 weeks for 6 months and with the support of the women around me I began to accept that I am someone that has experienced rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment. That it's a part of my story.
The heartbreaking part is it's statistically part of your story too or someone you know.
I hope by sharing to raise more awareness and encourage others to heal! If you would like to donate you can on my Just Giving page here.
Happy Swimming & Running,