Did you spot the sunshine?

It’s been a long time coming and how lovely it was. In fact it has been so warm we didn’t need the heating on for our April meeting on Thursday. We’re running a bit later in the month than usual due to availability which, of course, meant a full – and very interesting agenda.

The first thing on it was SAND’s status as we are now, formally, a Community Interest Company – hurrah! We have the same Company Number, so all good there – and so we continue! Some of you may have picked up that we are once again on the search for a Treasurer:

As the advert says, we have 2 projects on the go at the moment – we also have a couple of fairly modest funding bids in to complement these projects.

Grains of SAND continues to progress nicely – next weekend will see a real boost for this project as 20 people take part in a workshop to learn more about the project, discuss the questions we need to be asking people and learn how to do this well. This project is focusing mainly on Oswestry, Ludlow, Telford and their respective surrounds which should see SAND out and about over the coming months. In particular – put 15th September in your diaries for a very special event (more on that soon).

Meanwhile, the Comic Relief funded ‘business plan’ is increasingly gaining clarity as we pull together an investment portfolio for local businesses and organisations – mainly, but not exclusively, in the health and social care sectors. Our timescale for this is to have the first stage completed by end July, by which time we should be able to competently reel off every detail!

We have also recently given some time to University Centre Shrewsbury first year students on the Applied Psychology course who received a presentation from us back in October, extracted some ‘problems’ then went away to think about solutions. They presented these back to us in March and have really given us some food for thought – amongst other insights:

  • they introduced us to The Social Care Elf
  • had ideas about running Creative Diversity Workshops using theatre and arts to encourage the introduction of – and discussion of -issues
  • one group mocked up a website offering welcome stickers and information leaflets that providers could use and then was, in its own right, an online information resource (not dissimilar to what we are planning with our Comic Relief funded project)
  • they got us to think about the theories underpinning our own work – talking about social identity theory, educational psychology and contact theory
  • they introduced us to some new (to us) academic texts such as: this one looking at the benefits of training care providers in these things: click here and this one which looks at an academic course which aims to help heterosexuals to be LGBT allies: click here
  • another group floated the idea of facilitated/mediated conversations alongside music and dance to encourage better communication in a free, open and safe space
  • they introduced us to a new (to us) little video cartoon – quite effective it is too

Other happenings on the horizon are 2 LGBT specific events for the Wilfred Owen Festival in the Autumn – now listed on the Shrewsbury LGBT History website.

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