Worcester News Article – 10th February

February is LGBT+ History Month. The aim of LGBT+ History Month is to promote equality and diversity, by increasing awareness and visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Also to ensure that places such as our schools and health services are safe spaces for the LGBT+ community.
To coincide with LGBT+ History Month and as part of our current work focus, last week we welcomed members of Worcestershire support group Out2Gether to run a workshop for the Healthwatch team, volunteers and guests. This was extremely valuable in helping us to gain a better understanding of different LGBT+ identities and the issues that the LGBT+ community experience. Which include mental health inequalities and difficulties and barriers when accessing health and social care services.
Our LGBT+ surveys are open until 16th February. LGBT+ Experiences of Health and Social Care Services and Young People’s LGBT+ survey for 16 to 19 year olds. The feedback gathered will help us to represent local views and experiences and make recommendations to Worcestershire services about how they can better support the LGBT+ community. Further information about our LGBT+ work and links to the surveys can be found on our website www.healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk
As well as running training and awareness sessions Out2Gether organise support and social events. They can be contacted via their Facebook page.
Our engagement over the past two weeks has included running a workshop for Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy students at the University of Worcester, attending a Men’s Health event in Kidderminster, visiting Worcester Community Trust’s JOY Project and running a LGBT+ focus group with students at Worcester Sixth Form College.
We have participated in a number of meetings including the Carers’ Partnership, a Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting looking at the quality of Acute Hospital services and presented our Screening and Immunisation Report to the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Cancer Steering Group. We also attended the AGMs of Sight Concern and Community First.
If you would like to know more about our work or have an experience of health or social care to share with us in confidence, please contact us on 01386 550 264 or info@healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk