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Our Exeter office has moved!
And as you may have seen from our Facebook page (Intercom Trust) it's been a major project.
We're still unpacking, and some of us are still trying to catch up with all the e-mails that came in during the fortnight or so when we were in the middle of things, but the min message is...
...our Help Support and Advocacy services are now back up and carrying on as normal.
Please accept our apologies for any disruption, and our thanks for your forbearance!
We'll be putting out a further update when we've finally emptied all the boxes and got on top of all the work. Meantime...
...love to all!
Michael, Andy, Tina, Paul, Max, Richard and Vickie.
Referendum result, 24 June
The referendum decision to withdraw from the EU is potentially of enormous importance to LGB and Trans+ people.
Since 1999 virtually every step taken by the UK government towards equality for LGBT+ people has been taken in response to rulings from European Courts, or as a response to EU directives on equal treatment. And this equality, these rights, have been underpinned and assured to us by our membership of the EU and the Council of Europe which owns the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which Britain itself drafted in the 1940s and signed up to in 1950.
It is now clear that we are at the beginning of a process that will withdraw these protective frameworks from us all. We will have a great deal of work to do to ensure, during this transition period, that these rights and protections will be re-established, equally or more strongly, in UK law, so that we can continue to live safely as equals in the UK after withdrawal is complete.
Intercom will study the implications for our freedoms and our rights, and will publish our thoughts when we've got our heads round all this.
If you would like to let us know your thoughts, use our Facebook page (Intercom Trust) or e-mail Michael@intercomtrust.org.uk.
Important update: We understand the referendum result can be legally challenged via a petition to Parliament. Those who wish to can request Parliament to call a second referendum, on the basis that the majority was less than 60% and the turnout less than 75%. If you wish to add your name to the petition and request a second referendum, go to https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215.
At 11:00 this morning, 24 June, there are already nearly 85,000 signatures. The site is being rather slow, which suggests it is being overwhelmed.
Orlando, Florida — you are in our hearts
We are devastated by the terrible events in Florida over the weekend. Our hearts and thoughts are with all of you who have been affected.
With strong support from the Dean and Chapter of Exeter Cathedral, we held a vigil on Exeter Cathedral Green at 18:30 on Friday 17th. For the first time in history, a rainbow flag flew over the Cathedral, at half-mast.
It was a very moving occasion, with more than 250 attenders.
The event was launched by the Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor of Exeter, Councillor Cynthia Thompson.
Other speakers, in order, were
Two members of the public, Julia Boas and Richard Smith, then read the names of the 49 dead. A minute's silence was followed by thirty seconds of communal cheering in honour of the dead, and in commitment for the future.
The Spectrum LGBT+ Community Choir then sang two deeply moving songs, after which we fell silent while the Cathedral bell solemnly tolled 49 strokes.
We are deeply grateful to all our speakers, and to all the supporters of the event. Between you, you made the occasion unforgettable.
There is extended news coverage, with photos and videos, at www.itv.com/news/westcountry/2016-06-17/exeter-honours-victims-of-orlando-shooting/. Thank you, ITV Westcountry, for covering this important event so well!
"Lost in Transition" comes to East Devon
Gender identity conference for education professionals, school support workers etc. in Devon
Bicton College, Friday 8 July
Intercom has held two immensely well-received and informative conferences called "Lost In Transition" in Cornwall, raising awareness for professionals around the needs and experiences of young people who find they may be growing up Trans (including transgender, gender variant, gender fluid, and non-binary).
The third such conference will take place in East Devon, in partnership with our colleagues at Bicton College, on Friday 8 July. To download our flier, and to book a place, have a look at www.intercomtrust.org.uk/conference_Bicton.
We warmly welcome enquiries from all who have responsibility for supporting children and young people, their families, school staff, and all other such services.
Local Sustainability Fund
Intercom expresses our deepest thanks for an innovative project grant of £66,500 from the Cabinet Office's Local Sustainability Fund. This is the first time that Intercom has received development funding on this scale. The purpose of the award is to enable the Trust to analyse our operations, draw up and implement a strategic plan to make our income-sources more robust and more varied, and work with our stakeholders to make the Trust's critical community-led work more sustainable into the future.
For more information about this exciting new project see our Local Sustainability Fund Project page.
Tuesday 1 March. Intercom is launching our new grassroots-based campaign to to draw attention to:
Our campaign is intended to encourage the NHS, across the South West, to sign up to our "Aiming for Excellence" Charter, so that we can see improvement across the board in the mental healthcare services that the NHS is providing for LGB Trans and non-Binary people.
See our LGBT+ Mental Health Matters campaign page, and our Charter page.
Big Lottery Fund
Tuesday, 16 February 2016
We are delighted and very grateful to be able to say that the Big Lottery Fund have announced that they are supporting Intercom's Help Support and Advocacy Service in the South West with a grant of £469,483 over three years, beginning 1 March 2016. To read our press-statement about this immensely helpful and welcome development, click here.
Our latest community news...
... about Intercom and about the LGBT+ initatives across the South West, can be found as alwayson Intercom's community website, www.lgbtcollective.org.uk.
Untrue allegations by a local sex-offender
If you have recently received an offensive e-mail from a Cornwall sex-offender called Malcolm Lidbury, you may like to look at our response, which is at www.lgbtcollective.org.uk.
All change for the future!
(Intercom plays Musical Chairs...)
We've got some really terrific developments at Intercom.
Bye-bye Andy, Hello Andy! Andy has... moved across the corridor! He is no longer taking on casework, though he will continue to supervise the Help Support and Advocacy team. His main role is now strategic working across the entire South West, delivering:
Bye-bye Lizzie, Hello Lizzie! Lizzie is now moving on too! From being our Helpline Listener and Administrator Lizzie is moving into direct Devon casework, providing face-to-face help for LGB and Trans people. In other words, she's more or less doing Andy's old job!
And welcome... (guess who)! We've recruited a new member of the team who will be arriving at the end of the month to run the Helpline, now that Lizzie is moving on. Watch this space!
But don't worry — normal service continues as usual! During March the Helpline service will continue to be answered, either by Jacqui or Lizzie or Steve. Just ring the usual number, 0800 612 3010.
Phobic crime reporting project
Monday 16 February. We are delighted to be able to announce today that Intercom is one of the lead agencies in a new national LGBT project funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The new project is aimed at improving LGB and Trans people's access to help against homophobic, transphobic and biphobic crime, and making it easier for us all to report phobic crime when we meet it.
The lead agency is the national LGBT Consortium. The other agencies on the National Framework Group, with the Consortium and Intercom, are GALOP and Metro in London, the Manchester Lesbian and Gay Foundation, Yorkshire MESMAC, Unity Group Wales, Leicester LGBT Centre, Stonewall Housing, Regard, Trans MediaWatch, and Bi UK. We look forward to working with them all. We send our special congratulations and thanks to Paul at the Consortium and Nik at Galop for their immensely hard work setting up this national partnership and developing the project proposal last year.
Andy will be heading this project up for Intercom, working closely with Michael, and we will be working closely with our local LGBT partners in the South West.
It's a new project, so... watch this space!
Support for Victims of Phobic Crime
Our integrated phobic crime support service is now live across the whole of Devon and Cornwall, Dorset and Wiltshire. If you want information or support around harassment, bullying, assault, verbal abuse etc., just get in touch!
Our confidential community helpline is 0800 612 3010; or text 07934 25 17 29, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
This website and all Intercom documents accessible through this website are copyright The Intercom Trust. See our Resources page for our Terms and Conditions of use.
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