Rainbow Vision is funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to improve the lives of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans people, their friends and family and to build a strong and sustainable LGB and T sector in the East Midlands. This project includes specific capacity building with youth, BAME and Trans communities, including training, infrastructure support for small groups, development of shared resources and specialised support services around hate crime and same sex domestic abuse. Rainbow Vision will develop forums across the East Midlands to share best practice and support stronger more sustainable LGB and T Communities.
Research by Stonewall, Derbyshire Friend and the LSC all identified that, in the East Midlands, poor access to services, discrimination and lack of community engagement were factors leading to disenfranchised communities, with many LGB and T people failing to reach their potential. Rainbow Vision seeks to address these issues by raising aspirations, creating opportunities and influencing service design and delivery.
Rainbow Vision works closely with other equality strands rather than in isolation, thus moving towards the unified approach modelled by the EHRC and the Single Equality Act.
Aims of the Rainbow Vision
- Capacity building and Infrastructure support for groups and individuals in Derby and the East Midlands – This can promote a sense of inclusion and self worth leading to identification of needs, priorities and active citizenship at a community and individual level. We believe that LGB and T groups will be more successful and sustainable if there is co-operation, dialogue and shared learning between groups. Partnerships instead of competition. We will be working to support groups, offering training, information and guidance.
- Information, rights, advocacy and support – Many LGB and T people, in common with other people who have experienced significant levels of discrimination in their lives, may lack the knowledge and confidence to assert their rights or to name and recognise discrimination when it occurs. Equality law can be complex; therefore guidance, advice and signposting may be needed. This can be either on a one-to-one or group basis, workshop or through e-learning. We will be working with other groups and agencies to provide their services on an outreach basis at Derbyshire Friend. Possible support and signposting services will be in areas such as legal advice, mental health, relationships, same sex domestic violence, bullying, hate crime, honour based crimes. We will also be developing and delivering training for groups and organisations on LGB and T awareness, same sex domestic violence, mental health and safeguarding. By looking at successful models of sustainable community development we have decided to adopt a peer mentor approach in this area, recruiting and supporting mentors who can share their knowledge, skills and values and provide support on many issues from health and social care to employment and equality rights.
- Improving Marketing, Communication and Campaigning – We recognise that in order for LGB and T Communities to build on their strengths and be more sustainable that we need to do more work around challenging negative attitudes and stereotypes towards some members of those communities. In media analysis of local newspapers it was seen that the LGB and T sector often had a negative press, centred on paedophilia, cottaging, and homophobic comments around rights to follow religions, adoption and fostering. Rainbow Vision will seek to redress this balance through out marketing and communication strategy. Amongst other things we will be re-launching our website, updating our promotional DVD’s and providing a number of e-bulletins around the youth, BAME and Trans Forums as well as one for public and private sector organisations looking to provide the best services and support to the LGB and T Communities. We will be looking to recruit volunteers with a media background to support us in this work.
- Working towards Transgender Equality – Equality Impact assessments carried out for local and regional statutory bodies have highlighted a limited understanding and knowledge around issues of gender identity and being Transgendered. In several focus groups it was evidenced that tran’s people were severely affected by harassment, poor access to health and mental health services. A lack of a coherent voice was seen as one of the many obstacles to change. Despite this there is real potential for the situation in the East Midlands to improve as public services are beginning to take transgender equality seriously. Through our specialist worker Rainbow Vision is developing an East Midlands Trans Forum and is developing specialist training modules on issues of trans diversity and equality.
- Building Partnerships and Networks – Through the use of the ‘Link ‘scheme we will support volunteers to attend meetings as representatives of the LGB and T Communities. Through their role as Link representatives and support from Workers at Rainbow Vision they will feedback issues, comments and complaints to statutory bodies. This will complement the work that Rainbow Vision and Derbyshire Friend carry out by providing strategic and specific advice to organisations through Equality Impact Assessments. We are also happy to offer training on LGB and T diversity and equality to organisations.
If you want to make a difference and have your say volunteer for the rainbow vision project. Contact us on 01332 207704, or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org