The Lesbian and Gay Foundation
We provide direct services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning people, and their families and friends, when they need them. This includes face-to-face counselling, groupwork, befriending, sexual health testing, hosting external groups and delivering outreach outside the building. We work primarily with individuals who have reached or are reaching crisis point and who do not want to access mainstream services, or who are looking for support specifically around their sexual orientation to complement mainstream services. We also provide information and support through our website, printed resources and telephone helpline. We deliver and support a range of research programmes to increase the knowledge and evidence base regarding lesbian, gay and bisexual people to enable better targeting of and access to services.
- 11 April 2014
- North West
- Local Alliances:
- Manchester Dementia Action Alliance
1. Action Plan
1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?
As an organisation, we believe in a fair and equal society where all lesbian, gay and bisexual people can achieve their full potential. And we mean ALL, including LGB people with dementia and their carers. As such we see our role as part of the Alliance as two-fold:
1) We provide individuals with dementia who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual a space in which they can openly access services in their identified sexual orientation, therefore enabling choices to be made by the individual and their carer about accessing specific support (with both being able to access the support we provide). We are also an enabler to people being involved in community and civic life, as we provide opportunities for engagement and involvement in and with lesbian, gay and bisexual communities.
We contribute to greater dementia awareness and the reduction of stigma within lesbian, gay and bisexual communities.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
We are an organisation that provides generalist care to people of diverse sexual orientation, and dementia is not always well understood by staff and volunteers delivering the services. Improving awareness, knowledge and understanding would enable us to better support individuals living with dementia and their carers. In addition, sexual orientation is often something that becomes lost in the care package for people living with dementia, and their carers. Therefore, our services are infrequently signposted and referred to, which can carry the risk of ignoring significant aspects of lesbian, gay and bisexual people’s lives and not meeting their needs.
We will increase awareness of dementia amongst our staff, volunteers and the wider LGB&T community.
We will provide opportunities for staff, volunteers and the wider LGB&T community to increase their awareness and understanding of dementia, to better recognise and support individuals’ needs. This will involve:
- offering information sessions at the LGF’s Community Resource Centre (for staff, volunteers, service users, community members) and hopefully turn at least 80 people into Dementia Friends and possibly Dementia Friends Champions
- participating in Dementia Awareness Week by promoting key messages through our communication channels (e.g. e-bulletin, social media, Out North West magazine)
- extend our organisational knowledge of dementia by providing more in-depth training to relevant staff and ensuring that our relevant internal equality leads are able to champion the rights and needs of (LGB) people with dementia
Working with partners and using existing contacts and levers to improve health and social care for LGB people with dementia and carers
We will identify opportunities to work with partners to ensure that the needs and specific issues faced by LGB people with dementia are considered.
- Initial Scoping
We will contribute to building an evidence base of the needs and experiences of LGB people with dementia and carers.
We will seek to further our understanding of the needs and experiences of LGB people with dementia and carers through consultation. In a first step we will organise a coffee morning for LGB people with dementia and carers during Dementia Awareness Week to provide an opportunity to meet, socialise, provide mutual support, and feed back to us about challenges and solutions in an informal setting.