2011: LGF's Best Bits
Publish Date: 22/12/2011
This is after all the age of austerity which sometimes makes our work even more challenging to do, all the more reason to celebrate some of the ways LGF have made a difference this year (in no particular order and with lots of great stuff that is missing – but will no doubt be in our annual report)...
Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone visits
We might have moved in last September, but the Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone officially opened The Lesbian & Gay Foundation’s Community Resource Centre this March. She also took the opportunity to launch the coalition Government’s LGBT Action Plan. Watch the video here http://bit.ly/uIWWGT
The LGF’s mission statement is “Ending Homophobia, Empowering People”, and this year one of our priorities has been around encouraging lesbian, gay and bisexual people to know and use their rights. We published the “I Exist” guide in the summer and started the “I Exist” survey to help sustain and improve services for LGB people, and build up the evidence base about our lives and experiences. One of the things we are most looking forward to next year is sharing the results with you!
Safer Schools Packs
The LGF’s Enough is Enough! campaign launched a public appeal in March to get as many of our Safer Schools Packs into UK schools to challenge homophobic bullying, support lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils and promote understanding. We’ve had a phenomenal response from individuals and organisations, and by the end of January 2012 we should have 824 packs in schools making a difference. The packs also meant we had the honour of working with the late, great Roger Crouch. Watch Roger’s video A Father’s Story http://bit.ly/sKY5Dn and remember you can still donate to a pack here http://bit.ly/rkBNIT
International Coming Out Day
For the first year we offered 24 online and telephone support for International Coming Out Day in October. We had people popping in to chat about the challenges they were facing around coming out. LGF Patron, the lovely Julie Hesmondhalgh aka Coronation Street’s Hayley Cropper also popped in to help us out on the phones and raise awareness around coming out as LGB or T.
Award Winning Cervical Screening Campaign
We were overjoyed when Are You Ready For Your Screen Test? The LGF’s campaign encouraging lesbian and bisexual women to go for a cervical screening test won the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust Award this year. What’s even more rewarding though is hearing back from lesbian and bisexual women that as a result of the campaign they have now been for a test! Find out more about the campaign and watch our spoof videos of Pretty Woman, Gone With The Wind and Star Wars here http://bit.ly/roRv6d
Know Your Status - Get tested!
Our Know Your Status – Get Tested! campaign has been getting consistent messages out to gay and bisexual men all year about the importance of knowing your HIV status and taking responsibility for your sexual health. It was also the message carried by Manchester’s World AIDS Day Partnership this year, and saw 17 gay and bi men get tested at The LGF’s Same Day HIV Clinic on World AIDS Day. The LGF run testing clinics every week, to find out about upcoming clinics vist: www.lgf.org.uk/testing. Also, Patrick and Andrew shared their stories to highlight the importance of knowing your status! http://bit.ly/w3OLNq
Civil partnerships on Religious Premises
The topic of gay marriage and Civil Partnerships has rarely been out of the headlines this year. A consultation on same-sex civil marriage is planned for 2012, and recently the House of Lords threw out opposition to Civil Partnerships on Religious Premises. We wrote to every representative of the House of Lords urging them to back equality and CP’s on religious premises, and we know lots of you did to. We got lots of positive and supportive responses back from the Lords and see this as an important step forward.
Rainbow Asian Project
This year we had the pleasure of working with Trade Sexual Health on the Rainbow Asian Project which was funded and supported by Chaps. It was a groundbreaking piece of research with Asian men who have sex with men (MSM) who shared their experiences of coming out, accessing support and the barriers and enablers to engaging in safer sex. Find out more http://bit.ly/vipMID
Time to Change Pledge
Last month The LGF signed the Time to Change pledge to end mental health discrimination and stigma. It followed The LGF’s counselling services being praised in the coalition government’s Healthy Lives, Healthy People Public Health White Paper, and we recently started working with Manchester Mental Health & Social Care Trust in delivering a weekly mental health clinic. Highlighting that we are creating safe spaces where people can talk to us. It makes a huge difference, and gives people hope. We are here if you need us on 0845 3 30 30 30
Homo Hero Awards
This September we got a chance to celebrate those people who make a real difference for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Community leaders like Manchester Pride’s Jackie Crozier, were celebrated alongside celebrities like Sir Ian McKellen, in an awards ceremony that was voted for by you – the people, and Heather Peace even popped in to say hello.
There were many, many highlights this year that we’ve not mentioned like the fantastic Faith Book, our Sexual Orientation Monitoring work and the resource Everything you always wanted to know about sexual orientation monitoring... but were afraid to ask commissioned NHS North West, the work we’ve done around LGBT family and all the Prides and events we’ve visited.