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!

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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!”

Spring is in our steps

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

Continue reading “Spring is in our steps”

Stop Press: special guests Stu & Joe

Stu Maddux

You saw it here first – we are delighted to announce that Film Director Stu Maddux and Producer Joe Applebaum will be joining us at the SAND Spring Disco, Saturday 29th April. 

Joe Applebaum

Partners – in life and in talent – Stu and Joe gave us Gen Silent – the film that sowed the seeds of SAND and we are so chuffed that the trip from their home in California to Shropshire coincides with our Disco – they are both so supportive of SAND and we are looking forward to inviting them to dance.

With DJs Mike and Hat spinning the vinyl once more – and throwing some 80’s into the mix, it’s got to be a winner!

Get your tickets in advance here – TICKETS – or on the door at the Darwin Community Centre, Frankwell, Shrewsbury, SY3 8JS. £10 a pop – friends and allies welcome. If you want to dance, come on down. Doors open 8pm.

Getting to the nuts and bolts of it

We’re a bit late posting information arising from our March meeting but that doesn’t mean we’re not out there and on it! In fact we seem to be getting our feet in doors and standing up in front of people and talking to them a lot about SAND, which is great. To expand on that a bit:

We gave a talk to over 100 health & social care professional at a big event at the Shrewsbury Town Football Ground hosted by Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust. It was a challenging 10 minute input alongside other fascinating contributions and we were really pleased to get such a good response – lots of positive comments from people who found our presentation really interesting and thought-provoking. Continue reading “Getting to the nuts and bolts of it”