Is that title a bit cryptic? Well-wishers is the great name for our new Donations scheme where we encourage people like you to donate a bit of something on a regular basis – click here to download the form: Well-wisher wonders. We have been waiting until we changed our bank account following formation as a Company and now that’s done we canwishing well 2 get up and running. We talked about calling it a ‘friends’ scheme which may feel more familiar for people – but we have another idea up our sleeves which involves awareness training and this will be called ‘friends’ or something similar, so we took it to yesterday’s meeting and came up with the name – Well-Wishers … nice! Long ago we looked at different scales of donation and what we could achieve and we’ll be looking back at this to help us in our leaflet design, so keep an eye out for it or contact us if you would like some.

We have been absolutely buried in writing funding bids of late – this has really got us to apply ourselves to our Action Plan and thinking realistically about what we can achieve. In our core work we want to:

  1. Develop a befriending programme for older  and old LGBT people – this entails doing a bit of research to identify all the different befriending schemes which exist across the County, building relationships with those organisations providing it (we are already connected to Age UK and RVS), designing appropriate training, piloting it with existing volunteer befrienders, revise it and then offer it out.
  2. Build our networks of older and old LGBT people in the County – this is about events – Rainbow_cakebringing people together to discuss issues impacting on them (as identified in our recent research) – this might be on a small scale over tea and cake, and at larger gatherings. We also want to continue offering opportunities to take part in discussions and consultations – oh, and have some fun!
  3. Continue our work to impress on health and social care providers – including care homes – the need to consider issues which may impact on older and old LGBT people, to raise awareness and improve practice.
  4. We also want to carry on our work to engage with solicitors in the County, to heighten their awareness of issues and to encourage more LGBT people to a make wills and arrange Powers of Attorney. This links to other work with professional services around housing, finance and funerals. (To that end we are off to Terry Jones Solicitors on Tuesday to deliver our first session :-))

That’s the core of it (a bit more refined than when we last shared it) – and on top of that are the projects we are looking at – and there are 4 of those at the moment! So, in order to do all that we need some money, so have just put in another (first stage) funding bid – fingers crosseTwoFatsCaked (and big thanks to PA Consulting who lent us a hand with or bid-writing skills), we’ll know within a month if we have made it through to the second stage; we are mid-way through writing a second bid for one of the projects, we are setting up the Well-Wishers scheme and we are so so appreciative of your fundraising activities – so here we want to thank the Two Fat Rascals coffee shop who just keep on collecting for SAND!

Meanwhile we are still following up after our fabulous event Personal Lives – Personal Care when we talked to service providers about our research. We want to follow up on our recommendations and make things happen.

We helped out the University of Surrey last month by inviting lovely folk in Shropshire to come along to one of two focus groups to talk about housing options – this is part of a bigger piece of pilot research called the Safe Housing Project. We anticipate being asked to circulate an online survey so there is a wider chance for people to take part. The focus groups prompted some interesting discussion including some reflection about the nuances of ageing in a rural setting, general issues and concerns around the changing practicalities of housing and the additional layer of consideration for some LGBT people. We are expecting some feedback from the University of Surrey and will share it when it arrives.

With all this going on, SAND is now looking at inviting volunteers to come and lend a hand – this means having some way of asking people what they would like to do, keeping hold of their contact details and preferences (and availability?) and more so we are now looking at various existing Volunteer Policies so we do it ‘right’ (whatever that means!)

So, as always, plenty to do 🙂

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

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