Derbyshire LGBT+ (formerly Derbyshire Friend) has been a central presence in the local gay community since the organisation’s launch in 1983. Originally the organisation, set up and run by enthusiastic volunteers from the local gay community, aimed to help other lesbians, gay men and bisexuals come to terms with coming out and meeting others. To this day, that core aim still hasn’t changed.
We are also frequently contacted by people who feel that they have difficulties relating to their gender identity. In recognition of the unique needs of the trans* community and their families, friends and allies, we created dedicated support services to support them. Derbyshire LGBT+ is also becoming the central support organisation for many LGBT organisations and networks in Derbyshire, to whom we offer our services in time and resources.
Although the majority of initial contacts are by telephone and e-mail, we operate a daily ‘drop-in’ service at our friendly and comfortable premises on Bramble Street, Derby. Many of our clients will subsequently call in for a coffee and a chat, or face-to-face supportive listening sessions.
Over the years, we have also developed a number of new services for LGBT+ communities in Derby and Derbyshire. These include a wide range of social support groups for LGBT people of all ages, community engagement at events such as Derby and Chesterfield Prides, and specialist Hate Crime Reporting sessions.
Since 1992, Derbyshire LGBT+ has received funding from Southern Derbyshire Health Authority to promote safer sex to our service users and people on the local ‘gay scene’. Each year, Derbyshire LGBT+ gives out around 10,000 free safer sex packs, promotes a number of sexual health campaigns, and engages with LGBT people at a variety of community events.
In the last few years, Derbyshire LGBT+ has become a Limited Company and a Registered Charity, won funding to employ a full-time Manager, and now has a robust team of friendly and experienced staff and volunteers. The next few years look to be some of our most exciting as we expand our existing work and develop new services.