Derbyshire LGBT+ Golden Rainbows Project
Derbyshire LGBT+, is the county’s only Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) support agency. They are running a project to reduce the isolation and loneliness often experienced by older LGBT+ individuals who live and or work in rural Derbyshire.
This innovative project is being run in partnership with Rural Action Derbyshire who in some research they conducted highlighted that older (50+) people who self identified as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT) had no access to specific LGBT services in rural Derbyshire.
Loneliness and social isolation is an area in which there has been little research completed, older LGBT people are a forgotten group. From working with this group in Derby City, we realise that because of the history of LGBT people, getting older can be much more complex than their heterosexual counterparts. Older LGBT people are more likely to face aging alone as they often have given up their relationships with their biological families to live LGBT lives, this means that it is likely they will not have that support from immediate or extended families. Likewise, if they have had a same sex relationship they may have lost their partners through bereavement. Men over the age of seventy will have experienced their younger lives in an era when homosexuality was criminalised and in general other LGBT older people will have experienced in younger lives societal and familial prejudice and discrimination.
The ‘Golden Rainbows’ project has five main objectives;
- Form a network of support agencies that will enable Derbyshire LGBT+ to identify the demographic group.
- To research evidence on the needs and experiences of older people living in rural Derbyshire.
- Conduct a local needs assessment.
- Make an application for Big Lottery funding to action the findings of the ‘Golden Rainbows’ project and set up specific LGBT support services throughout rural Derbyshire.
- Feedback to partners, support agencies and the older LGBT community about the outcomes of the ‘Golden Rainbows’ project.
The project lead officer Connor Fittall said, “Research from Rural Action Derbyshire and Derbyshire LGBT+ has shown that older LGBT+ people experience high levels of isolation and loneliness in relation to their heterosexual counterparts. This isolation and loneliness is doubled if an older LGBT+ person lives in a rural area of the county”.
Connor Fittall would like to talk to anyone who self identifies as LGBT+, is over the age of 50 and lives or works in rural Derbyshire about their needs, experiences and what support they would like from Derbyshire LGBT+. There is a survey below*. Please either print off, complete and send to Connor Fittall or download it and complete it online, returning to Connor by email.
Contact details are: Telephone 01332 207704
All correspondence will be kept in the strictest confidence
* Word documents can be temperamental if using some older versions of Microsoft Explorer. If you experience problems trying to open the survey, please contact Connor Fittall who will be able to send it to you by email or post.