Dates for you in 2023

7th February – SAND Public training LGBT+ Awareness – CLICK HERE

25th March – LGBT+ History Festival Event – one man show – Naked Hope – CLICK HERE

3rd October – Covenant Day – bringing together organisations to share & celebrate, all day event at Walker Theatre, Shrewsbury. Other details TBC


Resources – the materials we used and the ones we referred to:

  • Presentation – Powerpoint file – this is a link to it in Dropbox as it is 11MB (all those lovely pictures) – CLICK HERE –  give us a shout if you cannot download/access it
  • AgeUK Safe to Be Me – download the pdf file from our resources page (it has useful checklists in it) here: CLICK HERE
  • Strengths-based Questions for Social Work Assessments: Quick Tips (what to think about when asking questions of people) – webpage: CLICK HERE
  • Scenarios – video clips – the final versions of these are not yet ready so please nudge us for them further down the line
  • A network – you agreed you would have a go at a Facebook Group – here is the link – CLICK HERE. Lake has offered to help anyone who does not know what to do with it – you can contact them at:

5 Key Things

Identifying the core of your upcoming delivery to colleagues – out of everything you have learned – you came up with this as the heart of it all. This is where you start and this is what you call on if you get stuck!

You also agreed that – from this training – you have everything you need in order to press these points home, to illustrate them and to to encourage conversation and aid learning.

ONE: There actually ARE older and old LGBT+ people in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin

TWO: It is OK not to know everything, it is OK to ask if you are coming from a position of kindness. Ask yourself ‘for whose benefit is the question being asked’ and make sure it is not just for yours! Conversations are person-centred and everyone’s challenges are individual.

THREE: LGBTQ+ older and old people go back into the closet and have to decide in EVERY conversation whether to come out.

FOUR: The importance of explaining inclusion and exclusion to make people feel safe

FIVE: Be aware of an individual LGBT+ person’s life experiences – across a whole life – which accumulate over many many years.

Notes from the session

We asked for comments arising from homework where we asked you to think about:

How do we make every contact count and have useful conversations? As someone who wants to deliver the best service – from your perspective please consider:

  • what you need to know from someone
  • why you need to know it
  • when you need to find out
  • how can you find out in a way that is not intrusive

You said:

  • It is useful to have ‘key reminders’ about what questions to ask
  • Should the training be mandatory?
  • I am mindful and appropriate about domestic situations – with clients and for recruitment
  • It is about being brave enough to ask questions  to explain what you mean
  • Admission questions are one thing, then there are also questions later on – getting to know the resident, building rapport, notice what is unsaid ‘between the lines’. Ask about the ‘special relationships in your life’.

We looked at mapping a journey through a service, or contact with an organisation – initially using AgeUK as an example. We wanted to flag up the ‘touch points’ for an individual making contact.

  • Here we saw the individual starting with the reception where they are triaged
  • Next (in our theoretical example) they are put in touch with the Befriending Team where the conversation may be more about them: what they like, where they live. At this point they will be given information about different services, offered different types of befriending (incl LGBT+ specific), asked about their interests and what matters to them. (H ere Betty suggested adding something about ‘in terms of anything particularly personal what matters to you?’
  • Next is the matching process, where – in this case – the individual is matched to befriender and from there the conversations are different again as the two get to know each other more.
  • There is also a process for flagging up if the matching does not work.


  • First step is to fill in a form – don’t see anyone – or referral from another organisation
  • Process – not people – lettings V support/people side
  • Forms need to change – process driven – after bid come in and check details – standard EDI tickbox – impersonal
  • Support when move in – when conversations happen
  • Is there always choice?!
  • Planning & messaging for future planning

Care Homes

  • Via care manager
  • info may come from family, not person
  • handover from hospital/social worker

5 Key things discussions

  • There is a LGBTQ+ Older and old community in Shropshire – older and old is different
  • Inclusion V Exclusion – visibility Vs invisibility – don’t assume Cis/Heterosexual
  • LGBTQ+ people go back into the closet – how do we make them feel safe not to
  • LGBTQ+ people have to decide in every conversation whether to come out
  • Just part of people’s lives – don’t discriminate & effect services, history of discrimination
  • Invisibility – we don’t count. Making staff comfortable. Open. Non-judgemental
  • Don’t be afraid t ask – confidence
  • Fear of asking – find a comfortable/safe way
  • Inclusive introduction
  • Fear & hiding