Exploring the future

Dear Village,

Below you will find two lists of events. Firstly our own list of community events and church events (Village events are in red). Please check this list regularly and I will try to update it each week with any new events. Hopefully you will hold an event that you’d like to invite your church family to, or are part of a group and would like your event posted on this list – please let me have the details as soon as you can and I’ll post it for you. Then secondly I’ve included The Health and Inclusion Project list which has some other notable events listed, along with a description.

There’s always so much going on, both in the community and at church, choose the things that you will enjoy, that will connect you to friends and support causes that you are passionate about. I’m currently exploring the LGBT youth homelessness issue in Brighton and having some very interesting conversations with both the city and voluntary sector organizations.

I’ll let you know what I find out as we go along. Did you know that there is a group in Brighton that already tries to place homeless LGBT youth with LGBT volunteers who can accommodate a young person for a while? Did you know that there are ‘befrienders’ who volunteer an evening or two to be on call just in case a homeless LGBT youth needs someone? Maybe they they simply need a ride from where they are to the home of someone willing to put them up for a couple of nights, or maybe they need a cup of coffee and a listening ear. Do either of these volunteer roles interest you?

I’ve found that it’s really difficult to gather information on what group are providing what service. It’s difficult for me – and I live in Brighton, and have excellent internet access. What must it be like for a homeless youngster? How can we change that?

We are a small church but one that has a huge diversity in terms of gifts and talents, interests and hobbies, callings and passions. What are yours? Exploring these brings us closer together as a church, and supporting each other in ways that express these helps us more and more to be the body of Christ in the community.

I pray you have a blessed week and hope you get the chance to join us for supper after worship on Sunday.


May 2015

1st – 31st May: Brighton Fringe

Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd May: Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus Concert Back to the Bond Age

Sunday 3rd May: Supper with Pastor Michael and Chris. 8-10pm, 3 Portland Mansions, 134-136 Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1DF. 01273 679812. Come for supper and to hang out.

Friday 9th May Older and Out 1pm -3pm at Somerset Day Centre, 62 St James’s Street.

Saturday 9th May : Discovering Church – what it means to be community. Come along as Mary facilitates an afternoon of events followed by a shared meal. Please bring a dish to share! 2:30 – 6:00 at Mary’s unit in the Hove Enterprise Centre.” (Meal is served at 5pm)

June 2015

Friday 12th – Sun 14th June: Hand in Hand, National LGBT choir event in Brighton. The Village MCC is volunteering for this event – Can you offer some time?

Saturday 13 June CELEBRATE! a concert by Brighton Goes Gospel Saturday 13th June 2015 @ Holland Rd Baptist Church, 71,Holland Rd, Hove, BN3 1JN Time to be arranged.

Friday 19th – Sunday 21st June: Brighton Bear Weekender 2015 – lots of woofy events!

Saturday 20 June: Portsmouth Pride.

Saturday 20 June: Church BBQ on the beach – by Mary’s beach hut. 6:30pm onwards. The beach hut is number305 , it’s at the end of langdale gardens in Hove

Saturday 27th June: London Pride

Sunday 28th June: Special worship service facilitated by Mary Bacchoo, A Meal for the Rich, a Meal for the poor. Exploring the communion of opposites in the sharing of bread.

July 2015

Friday 17th and Saturday 18th July – two chances to catch The Rainbow Chorus 18th Birthday Concert.
Saturday 25th July: Trans Pride Brighton

Sunday 26th July: Doggy Pride Brighton

August 2015

Saturday 1st August: Brighton Pride

Sunday 2nd August: Brighton Pride street party in Kemptown.


Hello Michael,

Now’s the time to be heard!

Spring this year brings lots of opportunities to get involved in national politics and local campaigns. There have been a number of Election Hustings run by the LGBT Community Safety Forum and Terrence Higgins Trust throughout March. If you have not already decided who will get your vote on the 7th May, we have included information on where to find the main parties’ LGBT pledges and policies.

The 17th May is another important date in the LGBTQ calendar. International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) was created in 2004 and aims to eliminate violence and discrimination against LGBTQ people and communities globally. The 17th May has special significance as the anniversary of the World Health Organization’s decision to remove homosexuality from it’s list of mental disorders in 1990. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved locally and please get involved with LGBT HIPs fab new #Selfie4iDAHOBiT campaign.

We have all the latest news on LGBT HIP’s engagement work including NHS Health Checks and an upcoming event for LGBT people with learning disabilities. Throughout March we have celebrated LGBT Switchboard’s 40th Birthday Party. Thanks to everyone who has wished us well. As part of the Switchboard team, we hope to enjoy many more years of supporting and engaging LGBTQ people in Brighton & Hove.

As usual, we have our events section where we highlight local community LGBTQ events, which this month includes a taster of the LGBTQ events included in Brighton Fringe Festival. Check it out and see what’s going on this month.




LGBT HIP is celebrating International Day against Homo/Bi/Transphobia by asking LGBTQ people to take a selfie for IDAHOBIT! The campaign launches on the 1st May and runs until the 17th May. Simply take a picture of yourself, showing us what freedom from homophobia, biphobia and transphobia would mean to YOU.

Maybe it means feeling safe to walk down the street holding your partners hand? Is it being able to come out at school, work or to your GP? Is it being able to express your gender identity or is it a celebration of LGBTQ families?

Whatever it means to you, tweet or Facebook your photo to us, tag it #Selfie4iDAHOBiT. Let’s take over social media and the twitter-sphere and spread the love to beat homophobia, biphobia and transphobia!


LGBTQ Domestic Abuse Survey

LGBT people who are in abusive relationships may find it hard to seek support, or might not know who to tell. Earlier this year LGBT HIP teamed up withRISE LGBT* Service to map out workers’ confidence and awareness in the LGBT sector, with regards to identifying signs of abuse,
responding to disclosures and referral pathways.

As a result of the report, the RISE LGBT* Project is exploring funding opportunities to deliver training to LGBT staff and volunteers in the city, following a successful bid to deliver training to Switchboard staff and volunteers. If you have any concerns around domestic abuse, please call 01273 622822 or email lgbt@riseuk.org.uk to discuss in confidence

LGBT Identities and Learning Disabilities



You might remember that LGBT HIP held a roundtable discussion around LGBT identities and learning disabilities. A key finding was that there are few places that people can go to, where their needs as a person with a learning disability and an LGBT person are met.

In response to this, LGBT HIP are teaming up with Brighton and Hove Speak Out to plan an exciting LGBT & Allies Community Fair and consultation on the 18th June for LGBT people with learning disabilities. LGBT HIP is also presenting the findings of the report to the Learning Disabilities Providers Forum in April. Watch this space for more updates and publicity about the event. If you want to get involved, please email meg.lewis@switchboard.org.uk.


LGBTQ People’s views on Health Checks

We recently conducted a survey into LGBTQ people’s views on NHS Health Checks and had loads of great responses. Amongst other things, we found that it’s important to address LGBTQ people in the wider community, but that there’s work to be done on developing health professionals’ LGBTQ awareness and understanding.Thanks to everyone who took part! Your responses helped us to put together a picture of how the NHS can engage and include the LGBTQ community in NHS health checks in Brighton & Hove. We’ve put all of that information into a report which we’ve fed back to the local NHS CCG that you can read here. We’ll keep you informed of any feedback or developments.


3ea94616-faa9-4945-b52b-4ef1104c7859[1]LGBTQ Support around Drugs and Alcohol

You might remember that LGBT HIP held some focus groups with Pavilions earlier this year to consult on how the new drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services could best meet the needs of the LGBTQ community in Brighton & Hove. Pavilions have now launched the new service and will be holding ongoing LGBTQ focus groups throughout the next year.

Pavilions provides information, advice and treatment for anyone who needs it. Gary Smith is the LGBT Support Worker and he can be reached on 07884476634 or gsmith@pavilions.org.uk. If you would like LGBT specific support around drugs and alcohol, please contact Gary and arrange a time to meet up and talk about your support needs. There is also a 24 hour helpline (0800 149 819 FREE) which provides support around the clock.

B&H LGBT Switchboard News

Brighton & Hove LGBT Switchboard Celebrates 40 years!!


Switchboard celebrated its 40th birthday on Sunday. It’s been 40 years since Switchboard’s predecessor, The Lavender Line, took its first call!

Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate with us at our birthday party at Dr Brightons! We look forward to many more years working with LGBTQ communities in Brighton and Hove.

Thanks too to our fab volunteers Malcolm and Scott who made us this great video (below) to celebrate, and to everyone who appears in it wishing us a happy birthday.



Switchboard Firewalk Challenge!

What better way to mark Switchboard’s 40th Birthday than coming to support those brave souls facing the Switchboard Firewalk Fundraiser on Thursday the 30th of April? If you would like to sponsor our brave firewalkers, it would be much appreciated! You can do so here.
Community News

General Election & Local Elections 2015


The general election and local elections are approaching fast. Do you know who you’ll be voting for?
The LGBT Consortium has done a round-up of all the main parties’ policies on LGBT issues which you can find here (this is just their take on it – it’s not endorsed by Switchboard and has not been formally verified, but it’s worth a read). They’ve also put together a Trans Manifesto, asking parliamentary candidates to pledge support for Trans rights if they get elected at the general election. Find out if your local candidates have pledged their support at www.transmanifesto.comIf you’re interested in finding out about which of the main parties’ other policies best reflect your own opinions, visit voteforpolicies.org.uk



A Celebration of LGBT Lives- IDAHOBIT 2015

The Community Safety Forum is coordinating an event to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) on Sunday 17th May, from 5-6pm at the New Steine Gardens.The evening promises to be an alfresco evening of LGBT excellence, which will include to celebrate LGBT lives across the globe. There is a great programme of events including a procession of the Rainbow Flag, a performance by The Rainbow Chorus and a minute’s ‘noise’ to remember the international victims of homo, bi and transphobic violence (make sure you bring a whistle, horn, bell, tambourine, trombone etc to make some noise!)


Sussex Beacon Garden Gadabout

The Garden Gadabout started 21 years ago as a small number of local gardens opening to raise funds for The Sussex Beacon, a HIV charity based in Brighton. Since then, numerous kind gardeners have opened their outdoor spaces to the public to help raise money for people affected by HIV and it is now one of the largest open garden schemes in Sussex.

If you would be interested in opening your garden and raising vital funds to support men, women and families affected by HIV to live independent and healthy lives, you can find out more information here.

LGBTQ Arts at Brighton Fringe Festival

35d446e8-9102-4919-b499-88701a395837[1] It’s that time of year again where we celebrate art and creativity in our vibrant city with the Brighton Festival and Fringe Festival. Pink Fringe have some fantastic offerings (check our events section for dates) –
Eggs Collective present Eggs Collective Get A Round

Pinned on the arse-end of a night out, this is a show with lipstick on its teeth and Wotsits on its face. A wayward exploration of friendship and kindness that spills out towards its audience. In a world that tells us we’re not rich, thin or successful enough, Eggs Collective wonder if the basic principles of a good night out might make the world a better place. Eggs Collective are a trio making sharp, funny, politically-motivated performance that falls between the cracks of theatre and cabaret.
Kate O’Donnell presents Big Girl’s Blouse

Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman… Who knew what being trans0f2d43a8-de9d-4622-9231-3c9fcaa2fcbc[1]gender was in the 1970s? Not Kate’s family. To be fair, crispy pancakes had only just landed in the Midlands so she had her work cut out. Big Girl’s Blouse sees Kate make a song and dance about her life using humour, music and costume to tell her story.
Miss Behave presents Miss Behave’s Game Show

Important: BRING-BRIIIIING YOUR PHONES! A renegade Gameshow for the austerity generation. It’s part Gameshow; part Variety Show, part Disco… and everyone’s a winner! Games, acts, fun… and phones. A brand new strain of idiocy, fun and chaos from Miss Behave (award winning star of La Clique/La Soiree), aided and abetted by her glamorous assistant Harriet
Christeene presents The Christeene Machine

Enter THE CHRISTEENE MACHINE: A gender-blending booty-pounding perversion of punk dragged through a musical theatre gutter, commanded by CHRISTEENE, a human pissoir of foul hilarity and raw unabashed sexuality.
In this furious ritual, Christeene is sacrifice, calling the world to bring their burning anger, their tawdry secrets, and their stained hopes to the front.
Infamous from the glory holes of Texas to the back rooms of Berlin, The Christeene Machine explodes with a full arsenal of ferocious live music intertwined with raw moments of strained intimacy and fiery stank.There are many more LGBTQ offerings on the Brighton Fringe programme throughout May, all listed here
‘The Quest’ Workshop for Black and Minority Ethnic Gay and Bisexual Men.

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In October, LGBT HIP attended a one day Public Health England conference on supporting the health and wellbeing of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Men who have Sex with Men (MSM).
As part of ongoing work in this area, Public Health England have commissioned a weekend workshop aimed at reducing health risk behaviour and building resilience for BME MSM. The workshop also provides an opportunity for BME gay men and MSM to be come together with others in a safe and friendly space. Workshop processes include discussions in small and large groups, storytelling, psychological exploration, book-work, journaling, coaching and self-reflection.The workshop will be delivered in London on 1-3 May (register by 24th April) and Manchester on the 5-7 of June (register by 29th May).

You can find more information here.


The Clare Project Launch Trans* Mental Health and Wellbeing Programme


This month sees the launch of the “Living Well” programme – a series of courses run by the Clare Project to promote the mental health and wellbeing of Trans* people in Brighton and Hove.

The series kicks off on the 5th of May with “Living Well as a Trans Man/ Trans Masculine Person in Brighton & Hove” – a 10 week structured, peer facilitated course concentrating on mental health and wellbeing strategies for trans masculine people.

Future courses will cover:

Living Well as a Trans Woman/ Trans Feminine Person in Brighton & Hove
Living Well as Trans* with my learning needs (autism and autistic spectrum disorders)
Living Well as Trans* with my ability needs
Living Well as an older Trans* Person
Living Well with my non-binary identity
Living Well as a Trans* Person of Colour
If you are interested in attending any of these courses please contact:

Stonewall Equality Walk


Hundreds of people are set to join together for Stonewall’s Equality Walk on Sunday 10 May.
Taking in the sights of the beautiful Brighton seafront, this 10k sponsored challenge is perfect to do with friends, family or work mates to raise money to help bring an end to bullying and discrimination. Find out more information here.

Government Consultation on Independent Living for people with Learning Disabilities, Autism and Mental Health Conditions

The Government are currently conducting a consultation seeking views to strengthen the rights of people with Learning Disabilities, Autism and Mental Health issues to enable them to live independently.

LGBT people with Learning Disabilities, Autism and Mental Health issues often face challenges around their LGBT identities at home and in care settings so it’s really important that their voices are heard in this consultation. If you think this consultation might be relevant to you, please find more information on the consultation here.

Unfortunately the online consultation only has two gender options. If you would like to take part in the consultation but are not comfortable with identifying as male or female, please complete the PDF form and send it via email rather than taking part via the online form. Respondents are encouraged to identify any concerns related to being LGBT in their responses.

BLC gym Lighting

Leisure Card offers discounts for residents on a low income.

Brighton & Hove City Council recognise the need help residents on low income to access sports facilities in the city. It’s well known that being active has a positive impact upon physical and mental wellbeing and so the Council, in partnership with Freedom Leisure, have launched a ‘Leisure Card’ scheme. The scheme provides a 40% discount on Swimming, use of Fitness Suites, Badminton, Squash and Table Tennis. For example a standard adult swim costing £4.45 is only £2.65 with a leisure card.

You can find more information here.


Get Involved – Reviewing Public Health Cancer Information Materials

The Public Health team have been working to put together some new resources on cancer. These booklets will be a community and user friendly resource that highlights symptoms, screening and staying healthy in relation to cancer prevention.

To ensure these resources are readable, accessible and in the required formats they want your feedback! If you would like to either be involved in a small focus group or review the materials from your own home, please contact Tory Lawrence, Public Health Improvement Specialist at victoria.lawrence2@nhs.net


Brighton & Hove CCG Personalisation Workshop

“Personalisation” in healthcare is a wide topic and includes areas such as self management, personal health budgets and person centred care and support.The Brighton & Hove CCG are holding a short workshop to let you know about work already happening and planned for the future within the wide remit of “personalisation”, to answer your questions and to get your feedback on plans for future work. There will also be the opportunity for you to be involved as those plans develop.

The workshop is on Wednesday 20th May, 2.30-4.30 pm , at the Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton. You can book your place here.


Allsorts Recruiting Lead Volunteer to Support Young People of Colour

Allsorts is looking for a Lead Volunteer to support their work with young people of colour/BME. This role will involve attending our weekly drop-in.The Volunteer will:

Help the staff team to facilitate the drop-in’s programme of activities (workshops, art projects, games etc).
Help the young people, in particular, YPOC, to participate in the drop-in’s activities and offer them a supportive ear.
Facilitate a monthly YPOC group at the drop-in.
The volunteer will be expected to attend three out of four drop-ins a month on Tuesday evenings from 5pm to 9pm.

You will receive training including workshops on safeguarding, listening skills, diversity and inclusion. You will be offered both individual and group supervision and expenses.

If you are interested or want more information, please contact Anna who will email you a form

Spotlight on: Terrence Higgins Trust (THT)


Who Are Terrence Higgins Trust?

Terrence Higgins Trust is the leading and largest HIV and sexual health charity in the UK. The Brighton office offers a range of services for those living with and affected by HIV.
At a Glance: What do Terrence Higgins Trust Offer?

Walk-in Rapid HIV Testing and STI Screening for Gay & Bisexual Men and African Communities
Health & Wellbeing Information
One-to-One Support & Advice
Support Services
Support Groups
Welfare Benefits & Advice

Rapid Testing and STI Screening

For men who have sex with men (MSM) and Black African Communities

‘FASTEST’ HIV Testing and STI Screening
Monday to Friday 10am – 4.30pm (except Bank Holidays)

THT Brighton Office, 61 Ship St, Brighton, BN1 1AE
Walk-in rapid finger-prick HIV testing with the results delivered in under 20 minutes. Opportunity to test for chlamydia & gonorrhoea with self-taken swabs. Walk-in service with no appointment required.
‘FASTEST’ HIV Testing and FULL STI Screening
Mondays 6.00-8.00pm (except Bank Holidays)

THT Brighton Office, 61 Ship St, Brighton, BN1 1AE
Walk-in rapid finger-prick HIV testing service for men who have sex with men. Pre and post test discussion with results available within the hour. Hepatitis A, B, C, syphilis, chlamydia & gonorrhoea testing also available. A maximum of 10 men can be tested at each session.
Sauna ‘FASTEST’,
Wednesdays 6.00-8.00pm

The Brighton Sauna, 75 Grand parade, Brighton, BN2 9JA
Walk-in rapid finger-prick HIV testing service for men who have sex with men. Chlamydia & gonorrhoea testing also available. You do not need to use the sauna to access the service and there is no charge for entry to the sauna.
One-to-One Support and Advice


’Face-to-Face is a free, confidential and non-judgemental service for men who have sex with men. You can talk to a trained gay male worker in a relaxed environment.
THT Brighton can also offer short structured programmes of support that focus on a specific presenting issue. These one-hour sessions run once a week for two to four weeks.
Fresh Start – Drugs, alcohol and sex
What Next? – Newly diagnosed with HIV
Choices – Managing the sex you have
Sex and Relationships – (for individuals and couples).

Free counselling is available for any adult who is affected by HIV who lives in the Brighton and Hove area. All our counsellors are qualified and can offer up to 12 sessions.

Support Groups

Peer Support Groups for People Living with HIV

The Lounge: for men who have sex with men who have been diagnosed with HIV for at least one year.
What Next?: for anyone newly diagnosed with HIV.
+ YOU: for anyone living with HIV.
Support Services

HIV Support Services

The service provides one to one support for people living with HIV in Brighton and Hove. People can be supported with numerous social care issues including: issues relating to living with HIV, help to explore and plan changes in lifestyle, form filling, money management issues, accommodation issues, signposting and referral to other agencies.
Welfare Benefits and Advice

HIV Welfare Rights Advice

Advice Line 01273 764200, Monday-Thursday, 1.30-2.30pm
Help and advice around welfare benefits for people living with HIV. One-to-one and group support to claim Disability Living Allowance. Guidance around return to work and in-work benefits. Regular workshops on Welfare Reform and benefit changes. Help with appeals and representation at Tribunals. One-to-one appointments are restricted to people living with HIV
who are resident in Brighton & Hove.
Health & Wellbeing Information

Outreach Services

Venue, online and street outreach providing sexual health information and resources to the local community.
‘SWOP’ – Female sex worker outreach project.
‘PRO(TECT)’ – Male sex worker service
‘Positive Voices’ – A team of volunteers who visit organisations to talk about their personal experiences of living with HIV.


Specialist Training

Basic and advanced courses in understanding HIV and wider sexual health for community groups, schools, teachers, social workers and others in the voluntary, public and private sectors.
Contact Terrence Higgins Trust:

For enquiries on any service, please contact Terrence Higgins Trust Brighton on:
tel: 01273 764200,
email: info@tht.org.uk
or visit us at: Terrence Higgins Trust Brighton, 61 Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AE.

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Dates for your Diary

Trans Swimming
For anyone whose gender expression has been keeping them from swimming
Every Friday
8pm-9.30pmThe Christeene Machine
A gender-blending booty-pounding perversion of punk dragged through a musical theatre gutter
Thursday 7th May
8.30pm, 10.15pmTraumfrau
Disco Outrage – Spiegeltent: The Queer Takeover
Friday 8th May
11pmBig Girl’s Blouse
Kate O’Donnell makes a song and dance about her life using humour, music and costume to tell her story
8th, 9th, 10th May

Eggs Collective Get a Round
Sharp, funny, politically-motivated performance that falls between the cracks of theatre and cabaret
8th, 9th, 10th May
7.30pmStonewall Equality Walk
Sunday 10th May
12pmMindOut HIV+ Wellbeing Workshops
Workshops for HIV+ LGBTQ people living with concerns about their mental health
Saturday 16th May
Saturday 23rd May
A Celebration of LGBT Life
Sunday 17th May
Time TBC

Miss Behave’s Gameshow
‘idiocy, fun and chaos’
22nd, 23rd, 24th May

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