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”


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”

Happy Wotnots

End of Life
End of Life

So, it is 2017 and, despite world events, things are looking fairly rosy for SAND so far. We have meetings this week and next with a variety of care providers and are hoping to arrange to deliver some pilot training – giving us the opportunity to work with  providers to develop the most relevant learning that we can.

We have started costing out training delivery so we can fulfil that ambition to work to a social enterprise model – we are simply not attractive to grant funders and we need to earn if we are to survive and take this important work forward.

Continue reading “Happy Wotnots”

Shifting SAND – in a good way!

flyer-picBefore we start this month’s blog – don’t miss our November Fundraiser – always a good night. This year we’re having A Night at the Races – only £5 to get in if you reserve or buy your ticket in advance, £7 on the door. It is bound to be a great night.
You can reserve a ticket on Eventbrite here: Race Night

……. is shifting SAND usually an uncertain thing? It just seemed fitting to use that as a header when we find ourselves in a time of cautiously exciting forward motion! Continue reading “Shifting SAND – in a good way!”

Catching our own tails

Apologies from us flyer-picfor our lack of communication – don’t know about you, but time in the SAND camp has been cracking on and running away with us good and proper. Talking about running away, you may be interested in our new fundraising event – the great SAND Night at the Races – click here for more info: Race Night

These fundraising events are massively important to keep SAND functioning – as mentioned before, we are not the  most popular of ’causes’ for mainstream funders so we do a lot ourselves and the annual November ‘gig’ brings in about a third of our annual income – and it is FUN – so come on down and join in. It is lovely, informal, friendly, low maintenance and a good laugh – what’s not to like?

Continue reading “Catching our own tails”

Learning it and sharing it

phaseSomehow or other it really does feel as though SAND is moving into a slightly different phase. We have some research underway; some training lined up with a care home; a meeting with a domiciliary care provider and (as always) lots of ideas in an ever-stuffed pipeline!

Our meetings are – without fail – great – a diverse, committed group with loads of staying-power!

Continue reading “Learning it and sharing it”

What a turn out!

The new office AGM 2016Our new meeting time and venue seemed to draw the crowds as we had more SAND Action Group members turn up on Wednesday at the SAND Office than we have had for a while and how lovely it was to see everyone – and to welcome our new Treasurer, Maria (in the middle in red)! So, lots of ‘new’ things going on – and we’ll get some pictures and rainbows up in there very soon.

When we’re a bit more settled we’ll identify a slot for a tea/coffee drop-in thingy and get the word out via our New Newsletter – so make sure you are signed up to receive it – click here: Lovely Newsletter.

Meanwhile, we are delighted to report that we have a couple of new Well-Wishers so come on, don’t be shy – you too can join the merry band of folk who give £2 or £3 per month to keep the SAND castles in development! Click here for the info: Well Wishers Form.

Our 2 major bits of work at the moment are:

  1. our research funded by Healthwatch – where we are talking to health care professionals about what they know about specific issues facing trans people and how they currently provide trans appropriate healthcare.
  2. the development and delivery of training to residential and domiciliary health care providers to raise awareness of older and old LGBT people.

In the background, we are also planning some conversation with AgeUK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin about their befriending service and what their volunteers can do to support older and old LGBT people.

As the sun shines with the start of Summer, so too are we feeling a burst of bright energy. You may recall that we have started identifying little volunteering jobs so, if you want to get involved without making a mega commitment then we are the ones for you.

Volunteer jobs for June:

  1. We need someone to do a bit of a trawl to identify magazines targeting older people in Shropshire. Once we know these we can include articles/editorials about SAND to try to find more older and old LGBT people. We need a list of magazines/newsletters with contact details – importantly WHO to contact and where they are.
  2. We want to start a little library of non-fiction LGBT books. We need someone to write to publishers and ask for donations of books.

The secret is to assume that we need you – please don’t leave it for someone else if you are interested 🙂

And – we are still after some bits and pieces for the office (in bold below) so if you can donate any of these then please do:

  • A table – approx 5ft x 3ft
  • 2 wooden kitchen chairs
  • 1 office chair 
  • 3 folding chairs
  • 1 tub chair
  • 2 bookcases 
  • 1 small set of drawers (or set of small drawers!)
  • 1 colour laser-jet printer – preferably one of these http://www.brother.co.uk/printers/colour-laser-printers/hl3150cdw 
  • 1 standard lamp
  • 1 desk lamp
  • 1 table lamp
  • 2 cushions
  • 1 two-drawer filing cabinet 
  • 1 rug 
  • a 2-drawer filing cabinet 
  • 1 coat stand
  • 1 umbrella stand

This Blog records what is happening at which point of SAND’s development.

Oh what a night!

Indeed – what a great night we had at the SAND fundraising auction & 70’s disco where we raised £2,200 – thank you all!

DSCF067790+ people turned up to a thoroughly enjoyable evening of manic bidding, champagne game, curry and boogie on down. It was a great team effort and we had generous donations to the auction which, on its own raised over half of the night’s income so big thanks to everyone who pitched in and especially to Jeremy from Hall’s who did us a great job.

DSCF0735Many people have already commented on the great atmosphere as our LGBT community, friends and straight allies descended on the Darwin Community Centre in Shrewsbury and there have been demands for a repeat which the SAND Action Group discussed at our monthly meeting yesterday. So, you have heard it here first – that SAND will run a similar event on 21st November 2015 so put the date in your DSCF0621diary and look out for tickets when they go on sale next Autumn. We expect it to be popular following this year’s success.

All of this is about raising SAND’s profile and fundraising to take the work forward. The event worked on both fronts as more people have been asking about SAND’s work and hits on the website have

DSCF0631increased – remember you can also follow us on twitter, like our facebook page and follow this blog.

As usual, we have been busy attending events which touch on the issues we are working with. In the last month we have been to London for a conference put on by the Campaign to End DSCF0682Loneliness and to Worcester for a seminar at the Centre for Palliative Care The Watershed: Sexuality, Assisted Dying. LGBT Issues in Palliative Care. Details about all our activities are recorded on our website which we update regularly. There is a slot at each of our Action Group meetings to feedback and discuss what is being learned from these events and the information will go into our DSCF0619research pot to reinforce or question our own local findings, as well as inform the development of our Action Plan.

Talking of which, the latest reincarnation of the SAND Plan is coming along nicely. We still have our 3 key priorities which we reported on in July and over the last 4 months we have worked our way through each key priority to identify the outcomes we want to achieve DSCF0780under each of these and the activities we want to prioritise in line with those outcomes.  Our next job will be to revisit the list of contacts that we identified at our Away Day and link them into these activities – so we start by contacting the people that we already have some form of relationship with. Does that make sense?

Alongside this we have just worked up our ‘offer’ to organisations. This means that we are now Trainingin a position to offer some training and consultancy to raise awareness of issues impacting on older – and old – LGBT people.

Yesterday the SAND Action Group took the deliberate decision to adopt the language of ‘older & old’, reclaiming the word ‘old’ as an affirmative strategy – recognising that many people are proud to be old, to let people know their age and appreciation of their life experience, health and development over the years. This is an important move for us and we will begin changing the language on our leaflets and other materials.

Thanks for the Auction & Disco photos! www.mairiturnerphotography.co.uk

This Blog records what is happening at which point of SAND’s development.