A Word From The C.E.O – Andy Cave
Andy Cave – Chief Executive Officer
Hi I’m Andy and I have the great pleasure of becoming Chief Executive officer for Derbyshire Friend.
I have 12 years of experience of working with the LGB&T community through being a LGB&T Officer at Liverpool University, working at Staffordshire Buddies Mesmen Project and working at Derbyshire Friend. Over this period I have worked directly with individuals from all the groups within this community including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans. Through this I have built an excellent working knowledge and empathy of the needs of these groups. During my career, I have worked in tackling health inequalities, including HIV prevention and Sexual Health, promoted health and well-being amongst LGB&T people, increased awareness of the rights of LGB&T people and also helped to develop services to meet the needs of LGB&T people. I have been responsible for the training and development of external organisations and professionals through bespoke LGB&T awareness training and action planning with organisations, which highlights my wide and varied understanding and my ability to apply this understanding in practice.
In my role as CEO I am committed to identifying and promoting the needs of the LGB&T community through the work that Derbyshire Friend does. This work can be spilt into the following areas, and is the basis and values of the work that we do:
- Direct one-to-one work: Individual needs can be met through working directly with the LGB&T community. By developing quality personal plans and action plans Derbyshire Friend can help individuals to know what is available to them, what their rights are, where to find information and increase confidence and self-esteem with individuals. This is done through IAG services, Information sharing, signposting, buddying and befriending.
- Improved access to information: By Creating Safe-spaces for individuals, outreach services and by developing social networking. It is DF’s responsibility to ensure that all clients have access to up to date and accurate information in a variety of formats.
- Learning and Development: To increase the skill base of the LGB&T community increasing confidence and self-esteem. This development of the LGB&T community includes both hard skills and soft skills. Derbyshire Friend is committed to developing the social and economic well being of the community and increasing the number of LGB&T people in education, training and employment.
- Volunteering: Encouraging the LGB&T community to volunteer both at Derbyshire Friend and also other Voluntary sector organisations. Increasing the amount of volunteering within the community acts to both increase the skill base of the LGB&T community but to also increase representation in partner organisations.
- Increased awareness of rights: Even though there has been an increase in legislative protection for LGB&T people, there is a lack of understanding of these rights within this community. Derbyshire Friend plays an important part to play in increasing knowledge and awareness of rights amongst the community and increasing access to services within the region.
- Increased awareness amongst professionals: Through training and consultation, Derbyshire Friend plays an important role in developing the level of understanding of the needs of LGB&T people in Derby and Derbyshire. The role and the organisation can deliver training but also consult on the development of Equality Impact Assessments.
- Developing existing services: Existing services need to be fluid and move with the needs of the community. Groups and outreach services should highlight current and ongoing issues effecting the LGB&T community and roll out programmes and campaigns that reflect this.
- Identifying gaps in service provision: Through working with the LGB&T community gaps in services can be identified and specialist groups or new services can be established to meet these needs. By working with partners these services can be set up and supported by Derbyshire Friend and use the expertise of both services in their development. An example of this is to set up a specialist support group for disabled LGB&T people or by supporting Domestic Abuse Services to support LGB&T victims of abuse. As and where partners may cause barriers for LGB&T people to access specialist support, Derbyshire Friend should develop services to meet this need. An example of this is by becoming a 3rd party reporting centre for Hate Crime.
- Support for Partners within the East Midlands: Networks and workshops will develop the quality of service for the LGB&T community and support smaller voluntary sector organisations within Derbyshire and also the East Midlands.
Overall in my role as CEO of Derbyshire Friend I aim to continue and grown the fantastic work that the organisation has done. Increase funding and support for the LGB&T community and develop services that meet the needs of the community.