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. Continue reading “Did you spot the sunshine?”

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Our meetings seem to be getting longer

In fact … we’re seriously considering changing the way we do things to have more qualitative conversation and process the business stuff more efficiently – watch this space (and/or share innovative and interesting ideas!)

One of the things that struck me about our meeting last night is the number of dates we have in the calendar (which reminds me – note to self – we are due to update our Out and About page which keeps a tally of where we have been and what we have been doing). Coming up we have dates for meetings with others (Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia Action Alliance and Out of Hospital); upcoming SAND events – including a training session in interviewing techniques and a play related to issues around dementia; plus events elsewhere that we have an interest in, such as a Social Policy Forum in London on issues affecting  Trans people, Ludlow Pride, Celebrating Age in Telford and the Wilfred Owen Festival) – it is one whole job to keep track of all these – but we’re on it!

Continue reading “Our meetings seem to be getting longer”

A day in the life

…… Just setting out on a typical SAND day and thought it was worth a share. So, we’re up and ready to travel by train from Shrewsbury to Ludlow where we will meet up with a couple of people who are expressing interest in helping to get the Grains of SAND project up and running in South Shropshire, We’ve got about an hour with them before heading to a meeting of the Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Dementia Action Alliance –  at their request – so we can discuss how SAND can be involved. We’re hoping to snatch a bite to eat before heading back to Shrewsbury for a meeting with another agency who are as concerned as we are about the lack of any LGBT specific support in the County. Phew – deep breath after that because we then have our own SAND Action Group Meeting at 5.30pm – these usually last 2.5 hours so we should be home by 8.30pm, ready for a bit of food and a cuppa. At the moment we are lucky enough to have a diddy  bit of funding for our train fares – other than that all of this is unpaid, so do consider being a SAND Well-Wisher for a small amount a month: Click here to download the form.

We’ll be back with more after our meeting, to keep you up to date with what’s what

Changing structures – still standing firm!

The big news is that we have taken a decision to change our structure from a Not for Profit Company Limited by Guarantee to a Community Interest Company (CIC). Once upon a time we took advice to stick with the least complex of structures and there was a notion that CICs may be a short-lived phenomena but that has been proven wrong and they are well recognised (much more so than the Company structure) as being not for profit – which is all important when approaching finders – especially in these tough times. The CIC structure is also more readily recognised by potential partners – so, here we go, on our next big adventure!

Meanwhile, our funding from Big Lottery (Grains of SAND Project), Comic Relief and SPIC (Business Plan development Project) means that we also have a cunning plan to be in the office on a more regular basis. It’s looking like Thursdays will be the day when we’ll be there. This is the first time we have ever had the capacity to make a regular commitment and we believe it will make all the difference to SAND and the plans in progress.

Last week – as part of our Grains of SAND – we took the train to Ludlow to meet up with NP of the Ludlow Fringe to chat about how SAND could be involved – particularly in the Ludlow Pride event and how we can help each other to outreach to LGBT people in South Shropshire – exciting plans afoot. So, it is all starting – next stop Oswestry and Telford.

With so much going on it is right and proper that our social media has come alive with one SAND volunteer totally on the case – check out twitter and Facebook to get (almost daily) updates on what’s happening! You may also like to take a little peak at our Youtube channel – we get everywhere!

Settling in for a busy year

Indulging in a little reflection and looking back on our blog this time last year, we have come a very long way and the path is coming ever clearer!

We started the year reporting back on our developing contacts with care providers and these have been quite fundamental to our progress. We have spent a busy year piloting training with Coverage Care Residential Care Providers, the Community Health Trust End of Life staff, Robert Jones Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital,  Shropshire Partners in Care and more recently, newly qualified GPs. And we have our eye on the ball in terms of domiciliary care providers, other help at home services, befriending schemes,  and more – including the legal sector! All this whilst making friends and keeping in touch with organisations like AgeUK, the Dementia Action Alliance and the Alzheimers Society. Continue reading “Settling in for a busy year”

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

Continue reading “It’s nearly the end of the year”

Step out of that shadow

Somewhat grabbing centre stage is the news that SAND has just been awarded an Awards for All grant, hurrah. The news dropped in to our inbox yesterday as the Action Group arrived at the office for our monthly update – so perfect timing and fantastic news!

The Lottery Funded “Grains of SAND” project starts in January and will give us loads of scope to build on the upcoming Spirit of SAND Event on 17th October and develop resources to realise the theory that if service providers understand more about LGBT experiences, they are more likely to be able to provide an equitable and accessible service. Continue reading “Step out of that shadow”

Spirit of SAND

Book Now: SAND Tickets – free 

Tuesday 17th October 12 – 4pm at The Hive, 5 Belmont, Shrewsbury SY1 1TE

We are delighted to confirm our first couple of panelists for our Spirit of SAND event:

  • Cath Molineux, Nurse Consultant, Shropshire Community Services who we have been working with to deliver sessions for staff working in End of Life care across the County
  • David Coull, Chair of the National Care Forum, Chair of Shropshire Partners in Care (we have been delivering sessions to SPIC members in different parts of the County) and Director of Coverage Care who we are currently working with to undertake some research to identify appropriate points of intervention to improve working practice.

The panel will be Chaired by Dr Jane Traies, author of The Lives of Older Lesbians: Sexuality, Identity & the Life Course

The event is open to everyone interested in LGBT people accessing health & social care in later life and the programme is taking shape nicely and looks a bit like this:

12.00pm Reception – tea, coffee and light lunch on arrival

12.30pm Film screening Gen Silent (NEW 25 min version)

12.55pm Welcome

1.10pm PANEL – health & social care providers

1.40pm Q & A

2.00pm BREAK

2.15pm Input from SAND

2.30pm Tables discussions & feedback

3.30pm Summary & what next

4.00pm End

We would like to thank our sponsors for making this event possible and look forward to seeing you there, please book your ticket/s here: SAND Tickets – free 

 

Terry Jones Solicitors

Shropshire Rainbow Film Festival

 

 

Small tasks – big ideas

Shrewsbury Carnival

Did you feel a flurry of activity start a couple of months ago? We certainly did, as SAND got a injection of fuel in the form of new volunteers, new plans, and new funding applications.

We have also started talking about sub-groups and promotions strategy!! This is to add to our growing field of Research & Development: we have now delivered 3 sessions to staff working in End of Life Care, 3 to members of Shropshire Partners in Care, one research session with Coverage Care and one research session with Radfield Home Care – these last two with more to come, plus we had a presence at the Community Health Trust Observe and Act and Equality Diversity System 2 events. There is plenty more to come and connections to made to the Housing sector, GPs, Social Work Teams and more – watch this space as we forge ahead. Continue reading “Small tasks – big ideas”

SAND has won!

Hurrah – that was the subject line on an email which dropped into our inbox last week!

It’s true!

Unbeknownst to us, SAND has been nominated for a National AgeUK Spirit of Age Award in the Equality & Diversity Category – and we have won!

This is amazing – real recognition of SAND’s work and our progress over the last 5 years since that very first screening of the film Gen Silent in February 2012, which started the whole thing off! Continue reading “SAND has won!”