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Vigilante sprays condoms on graffiti penises to promote safe sex

PUBLISHED: 08:59 22 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:02 22 May 2017

The stencilled graffiti urges people to make use of the SHINE sexual health services

The stencilled graffiti urges people to make use of the SHINE sexual health services

Archant

An anonymous vigilante has been doing graffiti - for a good cause.

Known only as Dick, he has been covering up scrawlings of his namesake - with a stencil of a condom, and a link to Newham’s sexual health services.

The 28-year-old art director said he took up this hobby when he realised that hand-drawn penises were “literally everywhere”. “It was one morning while walking to the work a few weeks back that I noticed another and questioned why hasn’t anyone gone out their way to protect them? Let alone remove them?”

The very same day, he did some research and discovered that in 2015, there were 435,000 new STI cases in the UK, with most victims aged under 25.

Shocked by the information, Dick “stencilled a message out, got some spray paint and began this heroic condom protecting mission”.

The message is “Stay protected. Free condoms at shine.nhs.uk”.

SHINE is a free and confidential service where young people aged 24 and under can drop in for advice, contraception and STI testing, and Dick was full of praise for it: “The NHS are doing a superb job right now and I fully commend them for all they do.”

His graffiti has found fame on Buzzfeed and in magazines such as GQ and Teen Vogue, but Dick is keeping a level head about all the attention: “It’s just taking something that you see as non-informative vandalism, turning it on its head and reproducing it as a positive message that people can quickly understand and possibly get a little chuckle from as well.”

If you are 24 or under, (including under 16), you can visit Shine at West Ham Lane Health Centre from 4.30pm to 6.30pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, and from 9.30am to 11.30am on Saturdays.

Shine is at Shrewsbury Road Health Centre on Thursdays from 5pm to 6.30pm, West Beckton Health Centre on Tuesdays from 3.30pm to 6pm, and Lord Lister Health Centre in Forest Gate on Wednesdays from 3.30pm to 4.15pm.

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