The staff at Basildon Council did an LGBT charity cake bake for LGBT history month and the proceeds (over £180) were donated to Transpire on Thursday 23rd March, when we attended the Basildon Centre. There the Mayor, David Harrison handed over a very BIG cheque. We had a chance for a photo, with the Mayor, Cllrs Terri Sargent and David Burton–Sampson and Ndunge Kivuitu the driving force in all things diversity at Basildon council! Of the Cake Bake, Cllr Sargent said, “It was lovely to see so many people take the time and effort to bake their own cakes to bring in for the sale. All the entries demonstrated brilliant creativity and I’d like to thank all the bakers and everyone who contributed to donations by buying their tasty creations. We hope that this donation helps this continue to provide the invaluable support they (Transpire) give.”
The money which the generous people who supported the LGBT cake bake have donated will really help Transpire have financial resilience to provide much needed support to our membership. We will use the donations to help increase people’s confidence and reduce feelings of isolation. We aim to reduce the approximately 40% higher rate of suicide by the trans community, who suffer isolation, hate incidents or domestic abuse. Any donations like this are really are gratefully received.
In just over a week or so Transpire will have it’s 1st birthday! Its incredible how one persons determination and passion to form a peer support group has brought about such a change in our community. People from all walks of life and backgrounds have been able to meet in a safe, friendly and welcoming environment.
So what have we achieved in the last 12 months?
- Well, we wanted to do things properly so we got ourselves an elected committee
- Sorted out an official bank account which was so important to enable us to accept donations from funders
- Formed working relationships and friendships with other local businesses and charities
- Together we have raised over £1,800 in donations
- Held 15 events throughout 2016 from our meet and eats, quiz nights, Christmas party and community events to raise awareness of trans issues
- Grown our membership to over 240 on Facebook
- Helped those that had problems with GPs misinforming them about their next steps
- Worked with the NHS to create training material that will be used to better train staff such as GPs
- Established working relationships with a number of secondary schools around Southend. This allowed us to conduct presentations at assemblies or in smaller groups to raise awareness but also to reach those students that felt they needed our support
- Basildon Council are now working with Transpire to create a training program to better support their trans colleagues
- Arranged ongoing meetings with local MPs to help raise key trans issues that need to be addressed in Parliament
- Working with Essex Police and the Hate Crime Prevention team to help escalate incidents of hate crime against our community.
These are just some of the highlights of our main achievements. But there is still lots to do in 2017. We’ve already put a bid together to form hate crime ambassador roles within the group. With feedback from our members it was identified most of you felt more comfortable reporting to someone you know within Transpire. We see this becoming a valuable service to the wider community in Southend and surrounding areas.
It has been amazing watching this group grow and to see the positive impact Transpire, its members and supporters are making each and every day to those that need it most.
We are super excited and humbled to have had the pleasure of interviewing Caroline Cossey yesterday evening. Jordan and Gina co-hosted and asked Caroline a series of questions about her personal experiences of being trans and the impact of having support groups.
This week we sat down with Gina Denham and our younger members fired off a few questions to better understand what it means to be transgender. Continue reading Being trans – An interview with Gina