Meet our Volunteer: Katherine
Published: 22 December 2016 Tags: lgbt, volunteer, womens programme By John Walding
Hi everyone, I’m Katherine!
I first became involved with the LGF (as it used to be called!) about six years ago. I had been thinking about volunteering for a while as I wanted to give something back to the community but my work commitments at the time meant I struggled to commit to anything on a regular basis.
Then I heard the LGF were looking for people to review and comment on leaflets as part of a virtual ‘Community Action Panel’. I felt I had the skills to do this as I had experience of developing patient literature in my role with the NHS.
I really enjoyed being part of the panel and when I heard about the opportunity to get involved with the women’s programme I jumped at the chance. I’m glad I did! Being part of a group with a shared interest and goal is really rewarding. It has been humbling and inspiring to hear other people’s experiences and it is satisfying to see what can be achieved with enthusiasm, imagination and the drive to raise the visibility of lesbian and bisexual women’s needs.
During the past four years women’s programme advisory panel activities have included helping plan events and campaigns, generate ideas for skills workshops and reviewing leaflets and resources. Being involved in the women’s programme has also complimented my job with the NHS and I am now a member of my Trust’s Equality and Diversity group and involved in the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme.
I recently attended the LGBT Foundation learning conference on behalf of my Trust, feeding back recommendations about how to engage effectively with lesbian and bisexual women. For example, simple things such as having appropriate leaflets and same sex couples on posters in clinics can help put women at ease, helping reassure them they will have a positive experience from their healthcare provider or giving them more confidence to challenge if this is not the case.
Being part of the women’s programme for the past four years has been great. I have been able to share my knowledge with others, learn new skills such as singing and crafting, and met lots of new and interesting people along the way.
I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to be more involvement with the community, learn new skills and make good use of your existing ones