Although 2020 has been a challenging year for the group, we can justly take pride in how we responded to the difficulties we faced. Here are a few of our highlights and achievements.
Whilst the first cases of coronavirus were appearing in China, our Chair, Maurice, went on a solo adventure on the opposite of the world to the Caribbean island of Cuba. It is somewhere he had longed to visit and was not disappointment. He shared a brief overview of his trip at the group’s February meeting at the American Clubhouse in Cobridge. Click here to see video
February saw the first ever LGBT Conference organised by the North Staffordshire Combined Health Care Trust. Congratulations to Lesley Faux for a well organized and well attended groundbreaking event.
In February, some group members assisted Deborah Rogers in her creative evaluation of B-Arts, with whom the group has been closely associated for many years. The result was an astonishing collection of mandalas created at our monthly meeting in March…the last one before lockdown.
March 2020 National Lockdown
The June Newsletter featured Angie. whose voluntary work inspired a street sculpture created by Richard Redwin and Jodie Gibson as part of ESSENCE …a public art installation commissioned by Festival Stoke.
A Small Challenge
Maurice takes up the challenge.
For me, there is lots to be proud of over the course of last year….but I will just mention one thing that stands out. Although I am confident in performing in public, I have a very low estimation of my practical artistic skill. You can imagine my surprise and delight when I, along with everyone else in the workshop, succeeded in producing a booklet at the end of inspirational Deborah Rogers encouraging online tutorial.
Unlike performing arts, like singing and dancing who’s benefit you can feel immediately, crafts offer a more gradual sense of achievement. Of course, there is a surge of pride when you complete a task. However, the benefits don’t have to stop there. Workshop participants went on to create more items or embellish the one they have made. This means you have an enjoyable activity to occupy your attention and creativity over as long a period as you wish.
Below is a photo of the book Maurice continued to work on after the Zoom session. Others, like Andrew, have created some impressive pieces…but Maurice is proud of his minor triumph.
We are delighted at the number of people who have already signed up to the project ..You can still take part and don’t be afraid to invite a friend who might appreciate doing something creative… just email Maurice at email@example.com
For further advice on mental health there are lots of helpful sources. MIND UK have helpful guidance for LGBTQ people
LGBTQ Bereavement Support
When someone close to you dies the sense of loss and feelings of grief can go on for a long time. Talking to other people who have experienced bereavement can help but for LGBTQ people this is not always easy. Our relationships may be private or even secret, and we cannot always be certain that those around us will value our relationships or validate our grief. LGBTQ people may therefore choose to share less with those around them and so may receive less support from their non LGBTQ colleagues, friends, and family members.
Joining a mixed group isn’t easy so I’d like to find out if anyone is interested in creating a bereavement support group just for LGBTQ people. We could meet on Zoom as a peer support group to talk about our experience of bereavement and building a life around our loss. We can also talk about whatever people find helpful and it doesn’t have to be serious all the time, we can laugh together as well as shed a few tears.
Andrew Colclough. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone Mobile: 07770 016978
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