The Outsiders Trust is registered charity No 283350. With Trustees and Patrons, we enjoy strong support with our many projects and events.
The Outsiders Club is autonomous but the Trust is responsible for supporting the all of our projects where necessary, plus finances and projects.
We have taken a long time to collect a Board of Trustees the members who are both sensitive to our needs, serious in their responsibilities, and willing to contribute their expertise for free. Some are themselves disabled and all have experience of disability. The Trust ensures Outsiders is run as tightly as possible, and no salaries are paid, as we have very little funding, despite all our pioneering work.
Dr Tuppy Owens
The founder, Dr Tuppy Owens, is supported by the Trustees and others in many ways, and would like to thank them all for their generosity.
Trustees meet four times a year. All trustees have been trained in governance and good practice.
Mikey Argy MBE (Chair) — Mikey is the youngest person to be born with short arms because of Thalidomide and has led the Thalidomide campaign for more funding for people like herself, with brilliant results. She has experienced running a charity and dealing with Trustees, so understands the dynamics to our advantage. Mikey is a presenter at some of our events and attends our London lunches when she can.
Jonathan Werren (Secretary)
Jonathan works in and around public affairs, central and local government organizations and supports a charity for widows in troubled areas of the world. Jonathan initiated our Freedom of Information survey (often quoted as valuable research), handles publicity and negotiation.
Richard Sheppard — Dick came to us as Door Manager at our fundraisers, as he runs Festival Gates at all the major festivals in Britain and some abroad. He has great organizational skills and contacts. He has been following the progress of Outsiders for many years before he became a Trustee, and his contributions are invaluable.
Els Payne — Els had been helping in Outsiders for some years before she became a Trustee: at the V-Group gatherings for women, our Jamboree, etc. She originally came to us offering her professional massage skills to our members. Being the coordinator of SHADA, she is now the SHADA representative on the Board and contributes in many ways.
Suebie Willbourn (Vice-Chair)— Sue is a project manager and event organiser who came to us through our fundraising events. As ex-Chair of a grass roots charity taking young people with special needs on holiday, Sue was responsible for fundraising activities returning over £25k over 3 years. Her adventures include working as a Boson’s mate on a tall ship, teaching physically disabled people to sail.
Romina Puma – Romina is a talented comedienne, writing her own show, the first of which was called ‘Not Disabled Enough’. She is a member of the Outsiders Club and often appears on television talking about sex and disability rights.
Nicola Howard – Nicola is a very old friend of Tuppy and has always supported her in her work. Nicola is employed in marketing, normally in the medical world. She hopes to use her skills to benefit Trustees meetings and support us to eventually obtain the funding we deserve
Jaspre Bark — novelist, children’s author and comics writer. In 1999 Jaspre was awarded a Fringe First at the Edinburgh International Festival.
Caroline Bowditch — Caroline is an independent disabled dancer, performance maker and choreographer, passionate about creating work that is accessible to audiences using clear ideas or concepts.
Dr Petra Boynton — lecturer in International Health Services Research, Petra lectures on evidence based healthcare and has received a large number of prizes and awards.
Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon — Reader in Psychology and Social Policy at Birkbeck College, London, recently diagnosed with chronic inflammatory disability Lupus erythematosus. She is a member of SHADA and inspired the Outsiders demonstration on Westminster Bridge.
Laurence Clark — Writer, comedian and presenter Laurence Clark has topped Shortlist magazine’s Britain’s Ten Funniest New Comedians and plays sell out Edinburgh Fringe shows. Lawrence has cerebral palsy and his work centres around disability. Shows have included Spastic Fantastic and Inspir
Mat Fraser — famous Thalidomide martial artist, drummer, actor, disability activist, MC and cabaret artist. Mat spends half his time in London and half in New York with his wife who is also a performance artiste.
Barry Humphries AO, CBE — Australian comedian, satirist, Dadaist, landscape painter, artist and character actor perhaps best known for his alter ego Dame Edna Everage.
Phillip Hodson — broadcaster and author who popularized phone-in therapy in his role as Britain’s first agony uncle.
Alison Lapper MBE — British artist born without arms and shortened legs. She leapt into fame when a sculpture of her pregnant body was mounted in a plinth in Trafalgar Square.
Mouse — one of Britain’s top performance artists who creates disability friendly interactive attractions for our events and, being a popular attraction, helps us to raise money.
Susan Quilliam — author of the “New Joy of Sex” and of many other publications, “Body Language Secrets: Making Love Work”. She is an agony aunt and writing a book on online dating.
Gregory Sams Greg is a high profile wheelchair user, pioneer in natural foods, a fractal artist, social thinker and author.
Diego Soto Miranda Diego is a barrister who has spinal atrophy. He is from Columbia but lives in London and is married, He is a active member of our Sexual Health and Disability Alliance,
Mik Scarlet — famous disabled musician, TV presenter, radio host, actor and newspaper columnist. Mik carries out access audits and assists companies ensure they are DDA compliant.
Dr Annie Sprinkle — sexual evolutionary, artist and freestyle pioneer, currently living in San Francisco and touring the world with her Ecosexual Adventure show. Annie has enjoyed many disabled friends and clients.
Victoria McKenzie — Victoria was trained in sex and disability as part of her work with a huge charity, in New York. Back home, Victoria ran the workshops at the Outsiders London Lunches until she became ill with ME. The experience of this illness confirmed to her how very important Outsiders is.
Roger Clements FRCS FRCOG (Ed) FAE retired Consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician, Founding Governor of the Expert Witness Institute, Fellow of the Academy of Experts and member of the Clinical Disputes Forum.
Susan Quilliam author of The New Joy of Sex and sex educator.
Claire de Than — is Senior Lecturer in Criminal and Human Rights Law at City University.
Angel Daden — Angel is a film-maker and editor and is creating a short promo film on Outsiders for our website
Frankie Mullin — Frankie is a journalist specialising in sexual health who writes articles about us in the broadsheets
Pinky handles our social media
We are delighted that academic institutions are at last carrying out research to validate our work. For example, Kerry Dyer of the Institute of Health, Life and Social Sciences and Roshan das Nair of the Institute of Work, Health and Organizations published a paper in 2012, “Why don’t Healthcare Professionals talk about sex?” This confirms to us that at last we are being taken seriously. This validates our Sexual Respect Tool Kit.
Some of our own research is done via our Sex and Disability Helpline. Callers with certain difficulties go away to experiment, and report back to report progress. Quite remarkable discoveries have been unearthed.
In 2009, Outsiders carried out a Freedom of Information survey together with the TLC Trust, to find out how Social Services around the country view the importance of disabled people being able to enjoy a personal life, and what freedoms they provide/allow. Results can be seen here.
Some research is done in our workshops, simply listening to members speak about their lives. It was there we discovered that, for example, some disabled men are actively discouraged from starting friendships with women by their health care professionals.
Other research is done using the telephone, asking members questions about their lives.
Outsiders campaigns for disabled people to be allowed sexual expression. We reach out to health care professionals, including surgeons, therapists, and social workers, via the Sexual Respect Tool Kit, to persuade them to include issues of sex and relationships in their services and heath care packages. This Kit was produced after our conference “Disability: Sex, Relationships and Pleasure” with the Royal Society of Medicine on Friday 13th November 2009, where we realised we were merely “preaching to the converted”.
Outsiders ran the Free Speech Campaign for people with speech impairments to be accepted as sexual partners and be better understood. The climax of this was one of our members with very limited speech starting a relationship with another member, after three years of their friendship getting closer and closer.
On Tuesday 26th February 2008 around 50 disabled people lined the south side of Westminster Bridge in London to protest about the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill which aimed to make it illegal to pay for sex or download extreme pornography. They had collected testimonies that sex workers and porn stars work of their free will. Banners were held with slogans such as “Don’t disable my Libido” and “Disabled and Horny”. That afternoon, the section on pornography was dropped from the Bill.
Our Sexual Advocacy project is the final jigsaw in our campaign to support health and social care professionals in initiating discussions around sex with patients and clients, and to support disabled people with their sexual expression.
Our fundraising is done is a wide variety of ways:
Members themselves give us donations when they pay their membership fees, to show their appreciation for everything we do to help them improve the quality of their lives. The Club treasurer Norman Wand took great pride in announcing our annual accounts total at AGMs, describing how donations almost equalled the fees in total. Only once have we been given any money in members’ legacies, as members tend to shy away from letting relatives know they belong to Outsiders.
We do get donations from other people, sent through GoFundMe and online on this website.
2) Stalls and Activities at Events
We have stalls at events when we get them given to us and raise funds through raffles, while giving disabled people a place to rest and chat. Our Outsiders Island in the Disability Field at Glastonbury raises over a thousand pounds, for which we charge batteries, provide teas and coffees, entertainment, massage, face painting, magic and interactive games. Our Jamboree raises funds through second-hand book sales, treats and betting on the human snail racing.
Photo: Human Snail Racing.
3) Running our own Events
We run an Annual Ball and an Awards Night specifically to raise money for Outsiders, and are pleased that they normally manage to raise at least half our funding needs.
4) Grant and Bursary Applications
We apply for grants and are pleased that sometimes we have small successes. In particular, Awards for All, part of the National Lottery has funded several projects including our training film for the Sexual Respect Tool Kit, and this website. We hope funders appreciate what value for money we provide, using small sums to do projects which would normally cost many times the amount, by getting much donated and professionals charging low fees.