Saturday, May 29, 2010

Membership criteria changes

WGWG's constitution states that membership of the Group shall be open to those who:
- Are self-accepting queers
- Accept the constitution and rules of the Group
- Agree to be available to make a substantial contribution to the Group's work through one or more of its projects
- Are accepted by the Group on a consensus basis.

In May we agreed to amend our guidelines for accepting new members. You will now need to complete all initial training and:
- Do 8 duties with trained helpliners or
- successfully take at least 5 solo counselling calls whilst on duty with trained helpliners or
- be active with the Group for at least 6 months or
- be accepted for another reason as agreed by the members.

We will formally change the Helpline Rules shortly.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lesbian goings-on

An update for the Ladies! Here are a couple of goings-on in the lesbian community courtesy of Jo, our co-chair.

One of our group members - Lillian - is working on a short documentary that focuses on lesbian stereotypes for a school project. George, Krystle and Jo participated in the project sharing some of what they have experienced, mostly with humour.

The next Pines Dance for lesbians is coming up on June 19th - $12 for low wage and $15 for everyone else. Hope to see you there.

Stay warm as we head for the Winter Solstice. Jo

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Helene talks about the Cuthbert Funds

This month Helene Garland, a Social Worker at the Wellington Hospital, gave a presentation to WGWG regarding the value of Peter Cuthbert Trust gifts that have been granted to the clients she works with. Helene works with clients with HIV/AIDS and reported that she works with approximately 45 clients even though her hours in this role are limited to 10 hours a week. Helene spoke of the multitude of issues that can occur following a diagnosis of HIV / AIDS including disruptions in work and family relationships. She also reported that at times her clients are also coping with other health issues such as hepatitis or cardio-vascular disease.

Helene spoke of the isolation, poor housing and financial issues that some of her clients experience, as well as the physical issues such as fatigue, depression and opportunistic infections. She also talked of the limited assistance that is available through agencies such as WINZ. She sometimes attends WINZ visits and noted that often when grants are made for urgent assistance, these are made recoverable which means that deductions are made from their benefits until the grant is repaid. This is often unaffordable for people on benefits to repay. Helene also talked about confidentiality issues her clients face as some do not feel able to approach agencies.

Helene detailed all the contributions her clients had received from the Trust and how these gifts had helped with essential items such as transport, housing, furniture, childcare or healthcare when non-residents. She spoke of the value of the trust and the delight her clients experienced when their applications were approved.

We thank Helene for her presentation and for her work with her clients and we greatly appreciate the relationship she has built with us for the welfare of people with HIV/AIDs.

Friday, May 14, 2010

In Memorium

It was sad to hear that Kyle McIntosh passed away on 30 April.

Kyle joined Helpline as a trainee in June 2004 and became a member five months later. We have Kyle to thank for our website design and the Gay Wellington logo you can see on this blog page.

Kyle was an active helpliner as recently as April 2009 and he later became an Associate. A really lovely guy. We will miss you, Kyle.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Schools Out April Update

Here's Brendan's Schools Out update for April:

The first 2 weeks of the month were school holidays so we had 2 events, a queer DVD day and an art day at the 'Under the Rainbow' exhibition. We also had a great discussion on bullying leading up to 'Pink Shirt Day' and we had Carl Greenwood in for a chat about safe sex, HIV and AIDS. The numbers are sitting steady with around 16-20 youth turning up on a weekly basis, it can get quite cozy round the meeting room table at the Awhina Centre.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New Youth Group - "G.B.L.T. Sandwich"

A new group for 18-25yr old queer youth has been launched in Wellington. Here's an update from Brendan about "G.B.L.T. Sandwich":

The new group for 18-25yr old queer youth has finally been started. We had our first meeting on the 23rd of April with a small but good turnout. We came up with a whole list of name suggestions with 'G.B.L.T. Sandwich' thankfully winning the majority vote as some of the others were highly ridiculous and inappropriate. We also decided on a few other things such as time, day, frequency and what we were about.

The first official meeting of 'G.B.L.T. Sandwich' will be on May 7th from 6:45pm and starting at 7pm at Anvil House. The meetings will be fortnightly with some focus for the first part of the meeting and then social time after. For more info contact Brendan 0277639793 or find the group on Facebook.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

April Lesbian Drop-In

Here's Nic and Jo's April update from the Lesbian Drop-In:

There were about eight attendees at the April Lesbian Drop-In. Later in April we went to a dance together as a group. For some this was their first lesbian outing.

Each attendee has their own story. There is no pressure to share but as it is a safe and supportive environment the courage shown encourages everyone to contribute.

At the Drop-In we hear updates and happy news of personal triumphs such as telling family/friends, meeting someone, and finding other gay networks through work/social events. We also speak of how we dealt with an issue someone else might be tackling.

The two co-facilitators are well-skilled at guiding such groups. Their dedication to easing the way for ‘new’ lesbians is warmly obvious. They raise topics for discussion, help expand conversations and generously share their own experiences. There is some real joy and humour expressed.

The Drop-In meets on the first Wednesday of the month. The contact is Jo (email or phone Jo on 021 2480954).