Our work in Rochdale with LGBT people
Adrian Palmer is our LGBT Community Development Worker for the borough of Rochdale, including Heywood and Middleton (HMR).
Across the HMR area we know that there are no LGBT community centres or facilities to use to enable likeminded people to meet and socialise in. This means people either have to travel outside of the borough to meet and make new friends or live alone at home in isolation. Also it makes it particularly difficult for the LGBT community to seek help and support when they may need it most.
Part of the role of the community development worker is to engage with local people to identify the needs of the community, especially in regard to health and wellbeing and signpost to either local services or those of the LGF if these are more favourable
Adrian is holding advice and information drop-in sessions across the HMR area, where you can pop along to have an informal chat and find out more about the services and those that the LGF have to offer.
Recently, we have worked with Rochdale Borough Council and the Cohesion Hub Team as well as other partner agencies who helped support the creation of a short film about Adrian as he works with local community groups, organisations and individuals - offering support to the LGBT communities of Heywood, Middleton & Rochdale.
If you would like to be more involved in your community then perhaps being a “Community Leader” may be of interest to you?
We are currently recruiting, training and empowering a group of volunteers to ensure that the health and care needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual people are recognised across all NHS organisations. For more information visit http://lgbt.foundation/Take-Action/community-leaders/ or contact Andrew Gilliver for more information or to chat, call 0345 3 30 30 30.
Improving healthcare provision for LGBT people
Adrian is working with local health providers to better understand and meet the needs of the LGBT community.
He is meeting with local GPs and other healthcare service providers to encourage them to take delivery of our information resources and our magazine Out North West. Adrian is also encouraging them to sign-up to our Pride in Practice service, which supports GP practices to improvements in health outcomes for their LGB patients, as well as strengthen their engagement with, and understanding of, the LGB community.
To help ensure that health providers are being inclusive when delivering a service, we are encouraging them to monitor people’s sexual orientation, in much the same way as they would for age, ethnicity, and religion etc. The care needs of the LGB&T community can be quite different from heterosexual and non-trans people and as such, healthcare providers need to be asking all the right questions.
We are offering them a free training session on sexual orientation monitoring. By encouraging health providers to ask the question about an individual’s sexual orientation, this will allow them to tailor the health care provision for individuals more accurately.
If you know of a group or organisation you think could benefit from the training do let Adrian know.
We have a distribution programme for our information resources which has seen a gradual increase in uptake across the borough as the library service, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing and other organisations take stock and distribute to their service users.
If you know of any venue near to you that we can approach who would like to have our information resources, do make contact with Adrian and pass on the information.
We are working with a range of other organisations to encourage them to be more inclusive and supportive of the LGBT community in the HMR area, and we will continue to work with them to ensure that your views and needs are met.
These organisations include:-
Healthwatch Rochdale is your local health and social care consumer champion. They are here to make sure your views on local health and social care services are heard. We are working with Healthwatch to ensure the needs of the LGB&T community in the borough are being listened to and addressed.
The CCG for the HMR area is led by a group of GP’s who are responsible for deciding how local healthcare budget is spent and to make sure quality services are provided closer to home.
We are working with the CCG to help raise awareness of the LGBT community in the borough and to encourage local GP surgeries to make use of the LGF resources and consider signing up for our Pride In Practice scheme. Our Community Development Worker also attends the CCGs Patient Experience Assurance Sub-committee to make sure that the needs of the LBGT community are being considered.
This organisation hold a monthly public meeting on the last Thursday of the month and is a good opportunity for individuals to learn what is happening with the various public health providers across the borough. Representatives attend regular meetings on behalf of the group and feed back at the Forum. Below are some of the meetings that they attend…
- The local implementation group try and safeguard any cuts to services
- The Pennine care service user & carer involvement group
- The black and minority ethnic multi-agency forum
- The patient experience committee
- LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Trans) working group
- Psychotherapeutic forum
This is a diverse group and all communities are welcome to attend meetings and be as involved as little or as much as they choose.
Mind have set up their own service user LGB&T group that usually meet on the last Wednesday of each month. We have worked in partnership with the group to deliver an event to recognise National Coming Out Day as well as Mental Health Week.
Turning Point helps people find a new direction in life. They help people tackle substance misuse, mental health issues, a learning disability, or employment difficulties. They work across England and Wales, providing tailored personalised care that helps achieve positive outcomes for the people they support.
We have delivered training on sexual orientation monitoring and awareness to Turning Point to assist them in delivering a better service for those who identify as LGB or T. We will continue to help and support groups that need it
We have delivered training on sexual orientation monitoring and awareness to Petrus, an organisation that provides support to homeless people in the HMR area. Being aware of their services users and their needs; will assist them in delivering a better service for those who identify as LGBT.
Making Space provide care and support for people with physical and or mental health conditions. Making Space has referred people to our services and now also stocks a range of LGBT Foundation support resources.
Since May 2013 we have held a number of events at both the Middleton and Rochdale campuses. These include:
- IDAHO – (International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia
- Health Week – September 2013, event for new starters
- Anti-bullying week – November 2013
- And in the New Year we already have lined up…
- Drug and alcohol awareness week (14th & 16th January)
- Stay Safe week (mid-March TBC)
Where to get LGBT Foundation information resources in HMR
Our distribution programme is increasing all the time in the HMR area. Listed below are the venues you can pick a copy up from. Do let us know if they are out of stock at firstname.lastname@example.org so that stocks can be replenished.
Hopwood Hall College
Junction Community Library
Careers Resource Centre
Rochdale Boroughwide Housing
Simon Danczuk MP’s office
Sixth Form College
Nye Bevan House (medical Centre)
WHAG (Women’s Housing Action Group)
Rochdale Boroughwide Users Forum
Central Library Littleborough Library