I started my volunteer journey in June 2016. Cara from the Sex Matters Too project came in to the school and spoke to us about the project and what it was about. My friend had already told me about the project as he was a volunteer and really enjoyed it.
I knew I wanted to work with children and young people and thought this would be an amazing opportunity. Before starting volunteering I was attending sixth form and not doing so well. I was initially thinking of dropping out and going on to do something else. Volunteering on the Sex Matters Too project helped me to realise my passion in working with young people and look at opportunities of going on to university and making this passion a reality. I knew to do this I needed to stick it out in school and get the grades I needed for university.
Sex Matters Too volunteer Matthew
I decided to take part in the Sex Matters Too project because when I was younger I had experience of a domestic abuse situation. I knew it was important to get men/boys to be a part of the project because men are more likely to listen to other men when it comes to getting advice on domestic violence, as well as other issues. They are able to relate, talk, and empathise, as people often forget that men can be affected by domestic violence too.
Sex Matters Too is great as it’s not targeted at one particular sex, its open to everyone and through young people like myself developing the workshops we are able to put in what is relevant in our areas or to the audience we are delivering to. It helps men to speak out about their issues with domestic violence, a lot of men suffer in silence because they don’t know where they can go for help, or they don’t have the confidence.
It would be great if more men could speak out against domestic abuse against men I would there are many support groups and organisations that can help.
I have developed a larger knowledge base around relationships, sexual exploitation and healthy relationships and I have also been able to use this knowledge to help my own friends and spread the word about volunteering in my own school.
I have developed my communication and people skills since being on the project and this helped me gain the confidence to apply to a number of universities to undertake my Youth and Community degree. I will be starting university in September and I can’t wait to continue my place on the project as a student helping to develop other volunteers just like me.
Matthew, volunteer in the Sex Matters Too project, run by Volunteering Matters in Wales