To celebrate diversity ensuring the Tees Valley is a place where LGBT members of society feel valued, have equal rights and are empowered to reach their optimum potential.
Purpose of the forum
To create a society within Teesside, that is inclusive to LGBT people, in doing so LGBT people are given equal life chances and have services available to them that can meet their needs. It is acknowledged that we can not fill the gaps in services without key forum members from mainstream services. These members will provide the vehicle for change, within area of health, education, hate crime, same sex domestic abuse, community cohesion, poverty and financial inclusion.
The Tees Valley LGBT forum has been established to meet the requirements of the above stated vision and this will be achieved by the agreement and implementation of the Tees Valley LGBT action plan.
- Develop and implement the Tees Valley LGBT Strategic Action Plan.
- To add value to the work already carried out in the community and not duplicate existing services.
- Promote networking and sharing of ideas and information in relation to priority concerns affecting the LGBT community.
- To educate and disseminate information in relation to the priority concerns identified by the LGBT community.
- To serve as a means of communication to the wider community.
- To serve as point of contact for LGBT issues raised in the wider community which can then be fed back to statutory partners.
Tees Valley LGBT Action Plan
The action plan will agree actions around the following priority aims:
- Ensure a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime against the LGBT community.
- Improve reporting of hate crime incidents and ensure appropriate support is available.
- Improve awareness and support for individuals seeking asylum because of global hate.
- Reduce incidents of same-sex domestic abuse.
- Improve reporting of same-sex domestic abuse and violence, ensuring victims feel supported and can access the appropriate services.
- Improve financial inclusion/financial resilience of the LGBT community.
- Improve services to meet the needs of young LGBT people.
- Improve services for family members of LGBT people.
- Ensure the diversity of the LGBT community is reflected in the prioritising of health care services throughout Teesside.
- Improve mental health and wellbeing of all LGBT community members.
- Improve awareness of the issues faced by the LGBT community, thus reducing incidents of intolerance and stigma at work, at home and in the community, promoting a socially inclusive community.
Membership is welcomed from voluntary sector organisations, statutory agencies and other public and private sector organisations who can contribute towards our forums vision and objectives.
Members will be expected to attend a minimum of 2 forum meetings and carry out 2 forum actions per year to maintain their membership.
All members must complete a membership form.
- No tolerance approach to discrimination.
- An acceptance that all members of the LGBT community are diverse and equal.
- That many issues faced by the LGBT community can also be faced by the wider community however there are some significant challenges and/or barriers pertinent to this community.
- That services should be offered in a non-judgemental or discriminatory manner and instead aim to maximise choice.
- That mutual respect, trust and professionalism and a desire for sensitive and appropriate service delivery are essential to a multi-agency approach.
- Forum members are accountable to their respective organisation/group.
- That confidentiality is of paramount importance.
- It is the responsibility of forum members to continue to oversee the forum’s action plan.
Decisions will be made based on the majority of those in attendance at the forum meetings and recorded in the minutes of the Tees Valley LGBT Forum.
Frequency of meetings
The forum will meet 5 times in one year (quarterly where achievable).
Minutes will be taken throughout all forum meetings and will be compiled for the approval of Hart Gables CEO.
Hart Gables will be responsible for receiving agenda items and the distribution of the minutes of the forum meetings.
Every member of the forum has the opportunity to place items on the agenda. Hart Gables requests that agenda items are received no later than 2 weeks before the next planned meeting.
Any funding allocated to the Tees Valley LGBT forum will be managed by Hart Gables and monitored by the forum.
Complaints should be addressed in writing to Hart Gables CEO, Sarah Lewis, and will be discussed with Hart Gables chair, Tracey Herrington. Written complaints will receive a response within 14 days.
The Tees Valley LGBT forum will be wound up if the membership considers the work has been achieved, or may alter the scope of its work as circumstances change over time, with the majority agreement of its members.