SAND started when a group of us went to see the same film. As part of LGBT+ History Month 2012, the Shropshire Rainbow Film Festival screened Gen Silent and hosted a Q & A with senior staff from the public, voluntary and private sectors working in social care in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin. Gen Silent revealed, a thought provoking, sometimes shocking picture of the fears and experiences of LGBT+ elders accessing care services. The film consisted of a set of interviews with LGBT+ elders in Boston, USA and got us thinking about how things might be for older & old LGBT+ people in this country, and particularly in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin.
After a few informal gatherings, SAND established a core group on 15th July 2013 (we call it an Action Group), which comes together monthly to gather feedback from older & old LGBT+ people and plan future actions. We also have a broader collection of people who want to keep in touch with us, to know what we are doing and perhaps take part in different ways at different times, a growing number of Named Supporters and a Campaign which encourages us all to EMBRACE A Culture of Inclusion.
In 2017 SAND won a National AgeUK Spirit of Age Award in the Equality & Diversity Category; in March 2018, SAND registered as a Community Interest Company and, in 2019, SAND was awarded a 5 year Reaching Communities Grant from the National Lottery Community Fund for our project EMBRACE A Culture of Inclusion!