Strange things are happening in the SAND camp – absolutely loads is on the cards locally and we have some great contacts, various sessions lined up and lots of interest – and meanwhile a sniff of wider connections further afield are back in the air. This is a great combo for us – we have never wanted to bury our heads in our own local sand (intended pun)  to the exclusion of a broader context, so this feels good.

Joe (Left) and Stu

Some time ago we had funding from UnLtd which gave us the resources to travel to events further afield, learning and sharing our own experiences. this is very valuable and it is exciting to see some more of this type of thing on the horizon. One of our broader connections is with colleagues in Chester who are holding an exciting looking event in July; another is our ongoing and growing relationship with Stu Maddux who started all this off with his film Gen Silent. Stu and his husband – and Gen Silent Producer – Joe Applebaum – were over here from their home in California this month, voicing huge support, joining us at the SAND Disco and promising their own ‘letter from America’. This photo was taken at the disco after they had raided various wardrobes in town to find a cool 70s/80s look to fit the disco theme – they did pretty well!

More on the disco later – after a quick rundown on upcoming events. This week is Dying Matters Week and our recent training session with End of Life Care staff in Shropshire quite rightly brought this to our attention. SAND has always talked about the experiences and expectations of older and old LGBT people – of course, we need to include end of life in this, which increases our own learning again. There will be some activity in The Square on Friday 12th May and SAND leaflets will be out and about at that.

We are mindful that the Jo Cox Campaign officially ran until the end of April when we were running to catch our tails but AgeUK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin is keen to carry activities forward throughout the year which is great news for SAND so we will be talking to them about that, which is easy as they are well represented on the SAND Action Group and have always been so supportive of what we do.

Also coming up are Cultural Diversity Day and Multicultural Fun Day (both local events in July) where SAND will have a presence alongside the Shropshire Rainbow Film Festival and LGBT Shrewsbury.

Those are the public events – on the more targeted side SAND continues to move and shake with an ever-growing address book of partners. We are delighted to be on the brink of working with GPs – making modest inroads with trainees and practising GPs in a formal training environment; as well as with local domiciliary care providers Radfield who are working with us to identify the potential key moments for intervention; Residential care providers Coverage Care, where we will be talking to staff and understanding more about how the care process works and identifying where we can most help to inform practice.

It is worth here giving a heads-up that we are planning a public event – later in the year – to give a whole load more information on what we are doing, who we are working with, what is happening as a result and what the next year or so looks like. Please follow the blog to
keep informed of that.

On a more retrospective note, we are grateful to Shropshire RCC for a small grant which is helping us to edit some of the film footage we have been capturing over the years. The result so far is 2 short films – one is a minute long, the other is 3 mins long – not much out of your day so take a look – we’d love it if you do  🙂

 

And now – a little bit more disco – this was a very unusual event for us – in response to specific requests we ran an event which was a social rather than a fundraiser – and which was 70s (usual) and 80s (new) music and …. we had  blast!!! Thank you to everyone who came along and danced and generally enjoyed a great night. Special thanks to DJs Mike and Hat .. and if you enjoyed (or missed) it – you can catch them on their Funky Friday Nights at the Hole in the Wall on the first Friday of every month, hosted by the anti-austerity club.

While we’re at it – do diary in 17th June Shrewsbury Carnival – the LGBT float is such a massive event in itself – check it out and join in for next year.

And finally …… 2 of the SAND Action Group: Sal Hampson and Sue Gorbing, will be accepting a Mayor’s Award from the Mayor of Shrewsbury on 10th May for their services to the town – specifically for their contribution to the work of SAND and the LGBT History Festival. A proud moment for us all and one to reflect on current world events and potential threats to our rights and freedoms – we are totally committed to SAND and the concept of older and old LGBT people ageing well.

 

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