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Year One Evaluation Report

We’re IN. Are You?

EMBRACE A Culture of Inclusion: is a 5 year project funded by the National Lottery Community Fund Reaching Communities Programme. It began in 2019 and focuses on the experience and expectations of older and old LGBT+ people accessing health & social care and, at its launch event in October 2019, the project introduced the Campaign – to EMBRACE A Culture of Inclusion in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin.

The Campaign is complemented by:

  • outreach to LGBT+ people to connect and share experiences
  • information events identifying, exploring and addressing issues impacting on LGBT+ people as they age
  • awareness training for staff and volunteers in health and social care settings
  • consultancy support to explore more inclusive practice
  • development of workplace champions
  • development of resources to support more inclusive practice
  • development of a process for health & social care providers to commit to and celebrate change

There are many common issues that affect all of us as we age. However, there are additional layers of experience that can impact on LGBT+ people s they age. EMBRACE recognises that:

  • Past societal experiences of illegality, abuse, brutality, ridicule, intimidation or non-acceptance mean that an older generation of LGBT+ people has likely adopted sophisticated ‘risk assessment’ processes to gauge personal and emotional safety. These same processes may well keep them hidden from health and social care providers.
  • Health and social care environments can be a frightening prospect for older and old LGBT+ people. EMBRACE understands that  LGBT+ people may have had negative experiences of authority, experienced discrimination, learned deception, had secret/forbidden lives, been told to keep themselves to themselves, been witness to public denouncements of ‘their kind’ and denied their identity.
  • Many LGBT+ people are fearful of being ‘outed’ or made vulnerable in situations where they feel trapped. This can occur through speech or actions of self, partner, friends, staff, other patients/residents.
  • Issues for trans people often get subsumed into those impacting on lesbian, gay and bisexual people and yet there are distinct social, medical, psychological and physical implications which need consideration.
  • LGBT+ people have recorded difficult and variable relationships with their blood families – often the ones on whom reliance is built for care provision or information about them in later life. People have lost friends and family through disapproval or condemnation, or they may have families – or parts of families – in complete ignorance of their lives.

The LGBT+ community within Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin is barely, if at all, visible.  This is particularly true of people who are approaching or over the age of 60.  SAND has worked since 2013 to research and capture the experience of older and old members of this invisible community, and our campaign to encourage everyone to Embrace A Culture of Inclusion comes as a result of that research.

The campaign aims to:

  • increase the visibility of the older and old LGBT+ community
  • create communities that are safe and inclusive
  • improve the experience of every LGBT+ individual and those who care for them.

Individuals can join – whether you identify as LGBT+ or as an ally

Individuals representing groups, organisations or departments interested in inclusive practice can join

By joining the campaign you are acknowledging that there is a need to create communities where LGBT+ people are safe to be their whole selves, all of the time; whether those communities are social, professional or in care settings.  Through your conversations and engagement with others, we ask that you champion the rights of the older and old LGBT+ individual and keep encouraging everybody to Embrace A Culture of Inclusion.

Sign up to join the mailing list and receive more information about the Campaign