It’s nearly the end of the year

…. and it’s been all go since we last blogged!

17th October was our big Spirit of SAND event and we couldn’t have been more proud. Over 40 people came along to share an afternoon of film, song, conversation, presentation and ideas. Amongst them were many service providers from different sectors as well as representation from our LGBT community. There is a whole load of information for us to collate  here’s a taste from when we asked everyone to share a WOW moment from the afternoon:

  • the importance of sharing experiences in the form of stories, so the issues come to life
  • the difference between acceptance (behind closed doors) and celebrating/embracing the difference between people – and the size of that impact
  • The Too Old to Remember song highlighted that everyone’s story should be celebrated no matter who they are and every relationship is beautiful!
  • The fear that LGBT people may have of open intimacy with a loved one
  • If individuals don’t feel safe/accepted – how many people are pretending every day?
  • Given the statistics we have seen today….8 or 9 of our service users are probably not living as themselves
  • It’s not about me. I ,may be comfortable but we need to make others comfortable living in their own skin
  • Saying “we don’t need to mention inclusivity – we’re ok” is actually making a choice to do and be the opposite

We will be reporting back more fully from the event when we have caught our breath – sign up to our Mailing List to make sure you receive it: Get on the list

In November a couple of us went over to the first gathering of a new LGBT group in Wellington/Telford. There was a really diverse and engaging group of 15 introducing themselves, sharing information and making plans for the future. This group is continuing to meet with a really good turnout and will be hosting an event during LGBT History Month in February.

A few of us also went down to London to the Just Giving Awards, as one of our Directors was a finalist in the Life Changer Award category – quite an honour to get into the finals, and to applaud the winner who raises money for women and girls surviving domestic violence.

We’ve also presented to CEOs and Trustees from across the West Midlands at the AgeUK Regional Meeting.

Our presentation at the Healthwatch Shropshire Annual event was one of  a number applauding their small research grants (with a big impact) which led Jane Mordue, the Chair of HW England, to pledge a personal financial contribution – hurrah!

Most recently we delivered  3 hour session to local (newly qualified) GPs, where we mixed exercises on terminology with role play, scenario discussions and film – which all worked well, receiving really positive feedback.

Coming up – LGBT History Month is at the forefront of our minds – see the programme here: Shrewsbury LGBT History, and there will be  paper brochure out and about in the New Year

Also, our new Lottery funded project Grains of SAND will get underway – we have already started some prep.

As if that is not enough, we have also received a small amount of funding from Comic Relief Core Strengths as a contribution towards the development of a Business Plan, so watch this space.

All looking good for 2018 then!!! Next month we’ll be doing our annual Social Medai count so do go and like our facebook page and follow us on twitter!

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