Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Looking back to 2000

Ten years ago Ross and I were Helpline Newbies. I don’t remember too much from the intake day, but I know I was nervous about taking calls. Back in 2000 we had between 70 and 130 calls a month. Derek Cattley was the Chair, and Chris, Bill and Rod were as committed members then as they are now. The hot topic of the day was the same-sex relationship bill.

In 2010 WGWG is a lot different and so is the way we live our lives. But the energy in WGWG is stronger than ever. There were over 17 people at our June meeting and we’ve got 10 new male and female volunteers. I’m looking forward to the August AGM to celebrate our success. If you have memories to share for the next newsletter, let me know!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June reflections from our male co-chair

Hi there – I really enjoyed being part of the recent training day. We have always attracted good people for training days but this time it really helped that there was a much bigger and diverse group. There were also more WGWG members there to assist Bill and his team make the day the success I think it was.

Now we have a large new intake, it’s up to all of us to be there to do duties with trainees. We used to have a system of assigning new trainees to at least one Helpliner who would keep in touch with them and help in the process of becoming part of the WGWG group – I think this may be a good time to get this reinstated. Think about it for the next meeting.

We are also looking at the best way to introduce some additional training after trainees have had some experience doing shared duties – and include in this process people who are full members of the WGWG. We have money to advertise particularly our youth groups, and we are currently looking at re-vamping our brochures, business cards, posters and website. If you want to help with designing stuff contact Ted or George.

Next meeting we are discussing the update to the WGWG Rules, and want to hear your views on whether the re-drafted rules properly reflect how we all want to see the group operate. Chris

Monday, June 28, 2010

Newcomers goes into hibernation

This month we sent Newcomers into hibernation for the winter…

Newcomers is a support group for men of 18 years and older who are gay or think they might be. It usually meets fortnightly. There is more about the group on the Newcomers icon on the left of our homepage.

Just because it's in hibernation doesn't me we can't start it up again if there is a demand. But if we don't have any requests, it will resume sometime in spring.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Winter Solstice, from our co-chair

Happy Belated Winter Solstice! - from Jo, one of the WGWG co-chairs.

We had a great June training session with our new trainees. We are happy about the growing numbers of women helpliners. A group of us plan to meet in August to talk about the different experiences we bring to the organisation and how we are assimilating what we are learning about the experience of Gay men.

I am off for a much needed holiday shortly… See you when I return. Be Safe


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cuthert Assistance in June

In June WGWG used the Cuthbert Funds to help people pay for travel costs when they come from outside Wellington to receive counseling from the AIDS Foundation.

The Peter Cuthbert Trust remains available to respond to the welfare needs of people with HIV /AIDs when other agencies do not.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wellington Sexual Abuse Network

Our June training guests were Julieanne and Mel from the Wellington Sexual Abuse Network.

Their network provides people of all genders with support, advocacy and a drop-in centre. They help deal with Police and they will support people if they don’t want to involve Police. They operate a Crisis and Support Helpline (499-7532) based in the Old James Smith’s building Offices.

Their technique on the phone is to validate callers’ concerns, be reassuring and to let callers know that they will not be bull-dozed into doing something they don’t want to do. They have choices. They don’t use the word “counselling” because they believe that sends the message there is something wrong with the person who contacts them.

Julieanne and Mel’s information was interesting and well received. Julieanne invited WGWG members to visit their office and support space. She is available to answer any questions or give advice on specific situations.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

School's Out & G.B.L.T. Sandwich Update

Brendan reports that in May School's Out focused on sex, drugs, alcohol, relationships, break-ups and the ethics around these issues. Our numbers are steady and new contacts being made regularly. We plan to attend some Out Takes Festival films in June.

G.B.L.T. Sandwich has been going well with some good numbers to start with and hopes of bigger numbers as we go forward. In time I'm sure this group could work on its own with leadership from within the group. Brendan