Coming Out!

The SAND launch to the LGBT community in Shropshire – and straight allies – took place on 5th July 2014 and was a hit. Numbers shifted over the 4 hour session – between 30 and 40 people turned out to have a look at archival displays, hear our special guest Jane Traies speak and get a look at the SAND presentation that is making the rounds of agencies in the area. There were messages of support from Sandi Toksvig, Peter Tatchell and Sue Sanders – we’ll put a page on the website to write these out and keep a record of the day. After all the input we had a ‘Discussion Cafe’ (with cake) to draw responses and ideas out of the people who were there and to add to the information now coming for our research interviews. We’re going to feed the information from these into the ongoing research we are doing.

Banners

As well as the launch, SAND popped up at the Shrewsbury Carnival along with other local LGBT organisations and groups – this was the second year of a rainbow presence and it feels like it is well received and making a good mark. SAND made links there with a local nursing home which had a float and many a badge was given out to people in the parade. It was great way to make some contacts and be seen – looks like a good one for next year too.

The banner popped up again at the Shropshire Older People’s Assembly Public meeting and this sort of visibility is really building confidence amongst the Action Group and local LGBT community who are increasingly engaging – coming along to the launch, taking part in the research, connecting on facebook or twitter.

At today’s Action Group meeting we revisited our SAND priorities – brushing them up a bit. We reflected that we have been doing quite  bit on the first one (empowering older LGBT people), are just about making a start on the second (targeting organisations) and very little on the third (influence) so – quite rightly – we will be moving into a slightly different era in the Autumn. We changed some of the wording as well to help us be clear about our intentions – changing ‘priorities’ to ‘outcomes’ and tightening up some of the messages – so they now look a bit like this:

Outcome one        Empowered older Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans people
This means that: LGBT people in care settings raise issues; LGBT people access the information they need; LGBT people ‘come out’; Older LGBT people are engaged and embraced (not isolated)

Outcome two        Empowering organisations
This means that: Providers ‘get that there is something to get’! Organisations improve practice; Service provision is appropriate to LGBT need; Organisations are held to account; Providers are proactive and come and ask us for help

Outcome three     Influencing Policy
This means that: Commissioners and influencers know that there is ‘something to get’ and come to us for help; Organisational culture and strategies change to proactively engage with and respond to LGBT people about their health & social care needs; Good working practice is supported by policy; SAND practice is informed by research, evidence and statistics

These are our aspirations for the next part of our journey and we will be working up jobs to help us to achieve them.

Quite a lot going on again

This Blog records what is happening at which point of SAND’s development.

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