Readers of my blog in November will know I recently started volunteering with the North Somerset LGBT+ Forum. The next part of my journey I was asked to present a £50 donation to the charity on behalf of our Community Connect service, which I work for as a Wellbeing Worker. With our area under tier three restrictions, that wasn’t going to be so easy.
I was informed by the charity that they would be holding their ‘Rumble in the Jumble’ event outside their office at Saxons Estate Agents in Weston-super-Mare. I got in touch with Thom Winter-Gray, the charity’s Treasurer and a fellow Curo colleague, to arrange to hand over the donation.
On a cold and sunny Sunday morning I made my way to Weston with my partner, son and dog in tow. We were warmly greeted by LGBT+ Forum chairman Steve Winter-Gray, Thom and other members of the charity. The stand looked colourful with merchandise and goods displayed across two large tables. The floor was marked out for social distancing and masks were worn by all attending. We posed for photos as I handed over the donation to Steve.
Steve then gave me a tour of their office space which they rent out from Saxons, who had also been kind enough to let them put their event on outside of the office. The space is amazing, with bright, colourful flags displayed around the walls and a comfy seating area in the centre of the room, surrounded by work stations, including two hot desks for others to use.
I also recently attended the first digital meeting of the new joint venture between NSLGBT+ and Community Connect: the 50+ Group, aimed at the over-50s LGBT+ community in North Somerset. Their event, previously held in a café in Weston town centre, had its first airing over a virtual platform on 24 November between 6 and 8pm.
We were happy to welcome LGBT historian Cheryl Morgan, who spoke about LGBT history through the centuries. This was really interesting and an education and eye opener for me. Anyone interested in joining can contact the group by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.nslgbtforum.com.
The 50+ group will continue virtually until the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, and we can revert to face-to-face group sessions.
The North Somerset LGBT+ Forum is always on the lookout for volunteers, so anyone interested in volunteering can also contact the charity using the details above. Their vision is that North Somerset is fully inclusive of, and engaged with, the LGBT+ population, and that North Somerset is a friendly and welcoming place to live and visit for members of the LGBT+ community.
I have been warmly welcomed into the charity and hope to continue to be involved as much as I can in the future. Community Connect and Curo are proud to be involved with such a wonderful charity.
Pictured, L-R: Steve Winter-Gray, Thom Winter-Gray and Andrea Hutchins