When: Second and fourth Tuesday of the month, 7.30pm - 9pm
The group provides a safe and welcoming space for women who are new to the area, 'coming out', have just come out of a relationship or simply want other women to talk to and share experiences with.
To ensure that new and existing members are receiving a clear and structured programme, Stepping Stones is based on a 14 session which will run on a cycle throughout the year. New members may join anytime and will have the opportunity to complete all the 14 sessions no matter when they first attend. Once the 14th session has ended, the programme will start again with the same topics and discussions.
We are introducing the programme to provide more intensive support to women in a more focused way, which means group members aren't likely to need to attend long-term. Members who would like more of a social group will be signposted to Carousel. Click to find out more >>
For details on what is going on from session to session, please visit our What’s On section and look for the appropriate date.
Join the Facebook group!
The group is for women aged from 18 years old, with no upper age limit, the group meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 7.30-9.00pm.
Frequently Asked Questions for our groups
1. Where is the group held?
The group is held at Number 5, Richmond Street, Manchester M1 3HF. The offices are above Kiki's on Canal Street, however entry is on Richmond Street which runs behind Canal Street and is the same road on which Vanilla is on. Just press the buzzer, say you are here for the group, and you will be let in. We're just 5 minutes walk from Manchester Piccadilly station and is close to many bus stops.
2. Is it accessible?
There is a lift to all floors from street level, we also have stairs so if you don’t want to use the lift, say so when you ring the buzzer.
3. Is it anonymous and confidential?
Yes, at the beginning of the group you may be asked what your name is, you do not have to give your real name of course. We will also ask you to complete a monitoring form (postcode, gender, sexuality, age), this information can not be used to identify you and is used for data collection only. Again, you do not have to complete this.
What is discussed within the group is confidential, however there are times when confidentiality may have to be breached, for example if you or somebody else is at risk of harm, or where there is a requirement in law in the case of serious criminal offenses (in particular terrorism and money laundering). We also ask group members to be sensitive and tactful when outside the group.
4. Can I meet someone before the group starts?
Of course you can! The best way is ring us on 0845 3 30 30 30. That way we will know when you are arriving, so we can have a chat and a look round the building. It's a nerve racking thing coming to the group for the first time, and we want to make it as comfortable as possible, so ask us anything!
5. What's the age range of the group and how many people turn up to the group?
There is no maximum age range but the minimum is 18. This can also be a busy group (the more the merrier!) and we can welcome up to 20 people per session.
6. Do I have to speak?
Not if you don't want to! Some people like to sit back and listen and others like to partake in the conversation, it really is up to you!
7. What's the environment like?
We have a lovely group room on the second floor, with comfy sofas, a kitchen to make brews in, a PC to use, as well as a pull down screen to watch films, a Wii and a Hi Fi!
8. What do you talk about?
We have discussions around coming out, hate crime, confidence, wellbeing, politics… Anything and everything!
9. Do I have to be 'out'?
No! The group is for people who are unsure of their sexuality, as well as people who are out but feel isolated. Other peoples' experiences about coming out can often help people who are unsure. You don't even have to identify yourself if you would prefer not to.
10. Do you welcome trans people?
Yes! Although most of our groups are for a specific gender (ie, The Younger Mens’ Group), we regard gender as something people identify with and not necessarily what they were born into (ie, trans welcome are welcome at all of our mens groups). We will endeavour to plan discussions and activities that encompass LGBT experience free from prejudice or bias. Our groups welcome anyone who identifies as LGBT, but we also recognise that people may choose not to identify themselves this way, or in another way, and that’s fine! People who don’t identify within the binary are welcome to choose what group is appropriate to them.
11. What about bisexual people?
Yes! Bisexual group members are valued and welcome regardless of whether they are in a same sex relationship or opposite gendered.
12. And questioning?
We fully welcome and support people who are questioning – regardless of whether they are questioning their sexuality or gender. We fully support an individual’s journey regardless of what they choose to identify as.
Groupwork Agreement for all LGF groups:
1. Welcome all members to the group and help provide a friendly environment
2. We have the right to speak and also to remain silent
3. Anything discussed in the group should stay confidential, be tactful if you see other members of the group outside
4. Try not to talk over each other, especially when people are presenting
5. Try not to dominate discussion, other people may have an opinion
6. Treat all members of the group with respect, even if you disagree with them. Challenge the issue not the person
7. Aggressive behaviour towards other service users, volunteers or staff is not acceptable and you will be asked to leave the group
8. Do not access the group if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will be asked to leave the group and come back when not under the influence
9. Mobile phones should be on silent, please step outside the room to use
10. The group room in everyone’s responsibility, please help to keep the area clean and tidy
11. We have a number of groups that are specific to gender (for example, The Younger Mens’ Group), regardless of this, all of our groups welcome trans people, and those who identify on the gender spectrum. We will not tolerate transphobia, homophobia or biphobia in any of our groups.
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