Friday, October 29, 2010

Strategy day in Jan/Feb 2011

We decided to schedule an overnight get together at Strathene (near Otaki) in Jan/Feb 2011 to do some future strategic planning for WGWG and the Gay & Lesbian Helpline. Everyone’s invited. We’ll sort out the exact date soon.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Helpline and the i-world...

I splashed out and bought an iPhone a couple of weeks ago. The idea of having google available 24/7 was irresistible. So was the idea of having a new toy to play with.

It took me a week to find the gay man’s "must have" iPhone programme. If you haven't heard of Grindr then you are living in the dark ages of cruising. At the touch of a button you can see profiles of gay men close by, some within walking distance. Anywhere. Anytime.

Grindr made me realize how relevant technology is for GLBT. And the Gay & Lesbian Helpline needs to figure out our role in this new i world. What can we offer the person who has the local queer community available at their fingertips?


PS The 16th November training topic just happens to be about online dating...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Discussion about suicide prevention

Our October guest speakers were Jenny Jones and Denise Steers who talked about suicide and mental health. We had a good turn-out with 18 attendees.

At the Gay & Lesbian Helpline we know that we can’t stop suicide. We don’t want callers to suicide, but we’re not going to make judgements against it. We encourage callers to explore other options and we’re here to listen.

We learned from the speakers that there have been just under 50 deaths since January in the Wellington region, with most being 30-55 year-old males. There are a number of NZ prevention initiatives underway, including the John Kirwan depression campaign on .

Jenny and Denise gave us some good tips, including:

- don’t shy away from asking direct questions such as ‘have you thought about killing yourself’. Research has shown that you won’t seed the idea by raising it
- social networking can make people vulnerable so ask if callers have their own site on the web
- find out if the caller has any ‘support people’
- ask what music callers listen to – music does influence people’s moods
- if a caller has been to the doctor because they’re depressed, ask about their prescribed medications – they can make them feel worse in the short term
- it may be useful to reassure the caller that a lot of us have felt like that, but we are still here.

We invited WGWG associates to the October training session. In future we plan to extend invitations to the wider queer community – especially for the more interesting and widely relevant topics.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Money Stuff...

In September we were very grateful to receive $1,000 from the Armstrong & Arthur Charitable Trust for Lesbians. This money orginates from the Lesbian Helpline - when it closed a few years ago it passed its money on to A&A. We will use this to support the monthly Lesbian Drop-In.

The Funding Committee met on the 28th to plan future applications through to March 2011. If anyone has bright ideas about raising funds, let one of us know. We'll report back at the October business meeting. [If you're reading this and you have some spare money waiting to go to a good cause, don't forget that you can donate to us and claim a tax rebate - there's more detail on our homepage!]

Over the last month we provided $250 worth of New World vouchers to the Awhina Centre using the Cuthbert Funds.

At the September business meeting we agreed to provide financial support to Tranzform for the next six months.

Finally a big thanks to James for auditing/reviewing the accounts and sending through the final review report last month.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Outcome of September Intake Day

Our third intake day for the year took place on 18th September. There were 15 people, 8 newbies and a great show of support from current members. Bill did an excellent job as trainer and Ted kept the day well organised and everyone well fed.

The newbies broke the record for the database quiz, generously sponsored by Butlers Chocolates (Jerad & Alexis managed to do it in 5 minutes – driven by the desire to win the chocolate prize no doubt!).

Lesbian Drop-In Update

The Lesbian Drop-in continues to flourish. There will be 3 new attendees next week. George and Jo will hire a shuttle to take a group to the next Women's Dance on Oct 30th at The Pines in Houghton Bay. As it is close to Halloween women can dress-up or wear a mask if they choose.

It’s great to have the Arthur & Armstrong Charitable Trust for Lesbians funding to help support us now. Spread the word if you know women who may want to attend the Drop-in.