Out2gether Worcestershire LGBT HM Report

What did we do?
Out2gether worked with Worcestershire Pride and the Worcestershire Mermaids group to
provide the following information, activities and events during February 2019:

‘LGBT History Month – In and Around Worcester’
A joint programme listing Out2gether and other organisations’ events was made available
both electronically (for use on websites and social media), and in printed form. This was
distributed amongst Out2gether members and to venues and public places around
Worcester and Malvern. The aim was to reach a wide audience and promote awareness of
events and the organisations supporting LGBT History month locally. (Appendix 1.)

Worcester News article 2 Feb 2019
Out2gether provided a press release to Worcester News and we were pleased with the
resulting article. (Appendix 2.)
Some negative comments were posted on the Worcester News Facebook page but this only
serves to remind us that Out2gether and support for the LGBT+ community is still needed.

‘Celebrating LGBT History Month 2019’ a PowerPoint display created from Schools Out UK
resources (with permission) and local event information by Out2gether – was distributed to
local libraries, statutory bodies and organisations for their use during February, (for example
through the members of the South Worcestershire Hate Crime Forum).
This was well received and created new contacts, notably with the ‘Talk to Me Worcester’
team and library services at The Hive. During February we were invited to a meeting at The
Hive to discuss possible future Out2gether projects that could be hosted there, such as a
book club, and LGBT+ youth club. We’re looking forward to working with The Hive on these.

‘LGBT History Month Launch Party’ 8pm Saturday 2 Feb
The month’s social events kicked off with a special early evening opening event hosted by
drag queen ‘Rockella’ at the Flag. A complementary glass of wine or juice, complementary
Belizean snacks supplied by Café bliss, networking and socialising opportunities, and a raffle
were enjoyed by around 40 people.
Information about LGBT+ history month and supportive local organisations were displayed.
Free LGBT History Month badges were given out to the first 30 arriving. Many people who
came had never attended an Out2gether event before. We do not usually meet here, so the
Flag hosting it enabled us to reach a new audience, many of which stayed on to enjoy party
night at the Flag and are now Facebook members. We recognise this as a small but
important step in bringing our fractured LGBT+ community closer.

Photos taken (with permission to share) at The Flag, 2 Feb 2019

‘Out2gether Tea Shop Tour’ 10.30-12.30 Sat 9 Feb
This is a regular ‘travelling’ event, visiting a different venue every month. This time it was hosted by Tom at House of Coffee in Worcester city centre. It was advertised as being for “all members of the LGBT Community, their families, friends and
allies are welcome to join us for a morning’s friendly chat.”
We usually get between 8 and 15 people for this event but due to all the extra publicity we were thrilled to welcome a record 24 people. There were a couple of
people who had met us for the first time at the launch party, plus at least 6 new people.
These included a young bisexual woman and her Mum who were new to the area; a lesbian woman in her sixties who was looking to make some social contacts, a young trans man of 18 and his big brother. The broad appeal of our coffee mornings was in evidence, and by embracing supportive allies makes it accessible to some who might not have the confidence
to venture out alone.

Worcestershire NHS Acute Trust event Monday 11 Feb
Out2gether were contacted by the Acute Trust in January requesting support for launching their new LGBT+ Champions Staff Network. After discussing the possibilities, it was decided
that we would offer support in 3 ways:
1. Help with display materials and volunteers for staffing the display stand that was set up in the entrance lobby of Royal Worcester Hospital for the week 11-15 Feb. 5 Out2gether volunteers met and worked with NHS staff on the stand, talking to passing
staff and patients, handing out information and answering questions.
2. Delivering an LGBT+ awareness session for the Trust’s HR team (about 30 people). This involved 4 volunteers from Out2gether, Worc. Mermaids and Worc. Pride talking about their own personal interactions with the NHS. The statistics around LGBT+ Health were highlighted and some of our experiences growing up were shared to give context and understanding. There was a Q&A session at the end. This was very well received.
3. Attending the Trust’s Equality and Diversity Committee to further explore these issues and suggesting ways things could be improved. New contacts were made and the
possibility of future partner working discussed. Most importantly the new LGBT+ Champions Staff Network has got off to a good start
with senior staff understanding the needs and benefits and lending full backing.

Nicola and staff at Worcestershire NHS Acute Trust

Talk to Me Worcester – the final two events of the month were registered with this campaign as we felt that our approaches of bringing people together coincided closely. It was another opportunity to increase our visibility and let more people know about Out2gether. It was also interesting for our members to learn about the campaign and see what other events were happening.

Out2gether Saturday Brunch Social’ 10.30-12.30 Sat 23 Feb This was our regular monthly meet-up in Coffee Warehouse where all members of the LGBT Community, their families, friends and allies are welcome to join us for a morning’s friendly chat. We had 10 people attend; whilst fewer in number very much still a worthwhile event
as some great conversations were had.

LGBT History Month Curry and Quiz Night’ 6pm Sunday 24th Feb
This was hosted by the Balti Mahal who had recently been in the local press declaring their support for the LGBT+ community and work with local homeless. The Quiz was written and presented by Sarennah Longworth-Cook and tested entrants’ knowledge on all things related to this year’s theme, Peace, Reconciliation and Activism, and the wider LGBT+ world. 22 people enjoyed the Quiz and delicious food. Some came as a team, others joined together there, making new friends. Everyone had a laugh and at the end of the evening the winning team were the ‘Camp Hillbillies’ who enjoyed a goody bag of prizes. The ticket price of £10 included food and quiz. Nina M Das Gupta from BBC H&W radio attended the quiz and interviews from the evening were broadcast on the early evening show the next day, 25 Feb.

 

Nicola and Maz from Balti Mahal