Eastbourne Rainbow October 2012 - October 2013
A Review of our Second Year
Our second year has been successful with very good attendance at our Venton Centre afternoon monthly meetings and monthly coffee mornings. At the afternoon meetings we have had guest speakers from the Library Service, Terrence Higgins Trust, Eastbourne Council, East Sussex Adult Social Care and the new CEO of AGE Concern John Trainor.
The weekly social evenings at the Da Vinci Hotel have proved to be very popular sometimes attracting over 20 people; the age range being broader than for the other two monthly meetings.
We had a Christmas afternoon tea at " The New England" attended by over 30 people with a large and varied spread of sandwiches, cakes and pastries made by Phil and Steve and we are looking forward to another happy afternoon there this year on the 18th December.
In January Ken and I gave four presentations, the first was at Sussex Oakleaf's Brightview Drop-in- Centre in Saffrons Road to their service users about our group. Sussex Oakleaf is a charity that delivers services to people who have mental health needs and to people at risk of homelessness.
The second was at Ashley Gardens Care Home, we were contacted by the manager asking us to meet the staff and give a talk about concerns that older LGBT people may have about being in a care environment and how to make the home LGBT friendly.
The last two presentations were at the East Sussex Older Peoples Forum and Residential Workshop entitled "Breaking Down Barriers" - Care and Support for LGBT People in East Sussex.
We put forward the issues and concerns that older LGBT people have when they require care and how care providers can help. Both of these presentations were very well received.
Ken continues to attend the Sussex Police LGBT External Reference Group meetings where topics such as Hate Crime, Transgender issues inside and outside the force are raised, also discussing the new "Sussex Police's Public Sexual Activity Policy" and other subjects appertaining to the LGBT community where the police are involved to try and gain a better understanding of problems facing LGBT people across Sussex.
In May a group of us joined 800 others in Stonewall's 10th Equality Walk which took place in Brighton,we raised over £350 towards their campaign of combating homophobia in schools.
Our second Garden Party in July was a great success with over 40 people attending, we were lucky to get the first warm day of the year.
In July and October we were involved in two more training sessions provided by East Sussex Adult Social Care to enable staff and organisations to understand the needs of older LGBT clients and carers.
Throughout the year we have organised outings to the cinema and theatre seeing for example, The London Gay Men's Chorus Christmas Concert, Priscilla, The Mousetrap and Cissie and Ada together with a visit to the Museum of Shops and a conducted tour of the Towner Art Gallery.
Zara O Brien, the Community Services Manager is initiating an LGBT Befriending Service as an add on to the befriending service already available from the Venton Centre as well as working towards an LGBT friendly register of care providers. Ken has devised a questionnaire about expectations,fears and concerns that older LGBT people may have which was given to our members and has provided valuable feedback for Zara.
Finally Ken, Chris and I would like to thank the people at AGE Concern Eastbourne for their help and advice throughout the year and thank you to all our members and supporters for the continuing success of Eastbourne Rainbow.