The project was funded by Greater Manchester Voluntary Sector Support, with a focus around supporting and promoting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender voluntary and community sector in the area, whilst developing community engagement and participation within Tameside. All with a key focus on raising awareness of LGB and T people within the wider community.
Initial research identified that there was very little provision for the LGB and T communities within Tameside, with the only current specific support group offered through Tameside Youth Services. However, some other voluntary and statutory organisations had elements of support available to staff and/or service users.
The core aims of the project were to:
→ enable the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities in Tameside to have better access to and increased knowledge of infrastructure services available.
→ to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans issues are considered and embedded within the policy and strategic environment.
→ to raise awareness and the profile of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities needs within Tameside.
In addition, a key focus of the project was to identify and establish community activities and groups, to engage the LGB and T voluntary and community sector in the area and develop relationships with existing groups and networks.
To ensure fair and equal representation within Tameside, a policy group was established to lead and deliver the project through a plethora of local organisations from all sectors.
This involved attendance at policy meetings and supporting a policy group with the responsibility of influencing the strategic direction of the project, ensuring sustainability and supporting the delivery of the outcomes and outputs.
Whilst there is no official census data available, it is conservatively estimated that approximately 9% of the community in Tameside are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Within Tameside, this would account for 19,174 people. This is based on government estimates that 3% of the population are gay and 3% lesbian, with at least a further 3% identifying as bisexual.
The Office for National Statistics estimates that 91%* of the population of Tameside are White British; this therefore indicates that the proportion of black and other minority ethnic communities in the area is the same percentage of people as the LGB and T communities. (*Office for National Statistics – Neighbourhood statistics; Resident Population Estimates by Ethnic Group, (Percentages) 2006)
Sexual orientation is not consistently monitored across services in Tameside, although some services delivered by the local authority have begun developing a framework of regular monitoring. Some services are looking into developing this area and have initiated trials of sexual orientation monitoring.
However, whilst there are no specific datasets available within Tameside, we are able to identify that there are a proportion of service users at The Lesbian & Gay Foundation who live within Tameside (see information details below).
Throughout this project, both Tameside Third Sector Coalition and The Lesbian & Gay Foundation have developed strong links with many organisations within Tameside: we have offered direct support to Age Concern Tameside supported the work of Outloud (the LGB and T group co-ordinated by the dedicated team at Tameside Youth Services) and we have also delivered a resource in partnership with Tameside and Glossop Primary Care Trust to celebrate LGBT History Month.
This work has provided the foundations to enable us to improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Tameside. Your commitment and support to sustain and develop this essential work will ensure that Tameside is working towards meeting the needs of its diverse communities and becomes a model of best practice for other areas.
Around 19,174 people in Tameside are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Of these people, many access the services delivered by the Lesbian & Gay Foundation each year.
→ 7% of people accessing the LGF Groupwork programme were living in Tameside
→ 3% of helpline calls were from people living within Tameside
→ 6% of face to face counselling clients lived in Tameside
→ 3% of individuals attending the LGF Outreach Sexual Health Clinic were living in Tameside.
(% of people is based on the Lesbian & Gay Foundation service users from within Greater Manchester)
These statistics strongly reinforce the need to support the local LGB and T communities and provide specific services that meet the needs of the community where appropriate, whilst providing training for staff in mainstream services around the issues faced by the LGB and T communities within Tameside and informing the wider community.
The Tameside Report
To read the full overview of the project incuding comments from Tameside organisations and service users, as well as in-depth key recommendations, download the report.