Support

Come join us at one of our friendly meetings hosted in partnership with Maggies Barts. Share a cup of tea and some cake (all free of course!) and meet with others who know what you’re going through. These meetings are a safe space where we can talk openly and share what’s been going on. With the help of each other and the group facilitators, we can support each other and lift ourselves up together.

Meetings are run as a conversation guided by our peer-facilitator and supported by Maggies’ cancer specialists. We encourage attendees to tell us which topics they want to discuss and give them the opportunity to set session themes. This also allows people to choose not to attend if they feel the topic is too sensitive for them. It also gives us an opportunity to invite experts to share some of their knowledge around specifics such as health, mood or finances if people request it. All meetings are safe, accessible and sober.

Sessions are on the first Thursday of each month at Maggies Barts from 6pm-7.30pm. Maggie’s Barts, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, W Smithfield, London EC1A 7BE

Download and share the poster

In light of the current novel coronavirus pandemic, our peer support has gone online.

Educate

We know that there is a lack of understanding about LGBTIQ+ issues in healthcare so we are working to change that.

We spend a lot of time pouring over published research to be at the forefront of any new developments about the LGBTIQ+ cancer experience. But this data is only part of the puzzle. We also listen to our community and hear from people going through the cancer experience every day about what has happened to them and what matters to them most.

By piecing together these different types of information we are able to present a more holistic picture at our training sessions. We develop and deliver our training to health services and other charities so that they can improve their understanding of what our community regularly faces. We cover from the basics of identity definitions to the more complex intricacies of how cancer intersects with who we are. We also arm them with additional knowledge and strategies to make their environments more inviting to our community so we can feel more included and safer in being our true selves when we need it most.

“The best training session I’ve been to in a long time”
Sinead, Maggies.

It is important to us to always strengthen our knowledge with a backbone of data. For this reason you may occasionally see us running surveys or questionnaires, or see our posters popping up in your local cancer centre. We encourage and appreciate all who take part in sharing their stories with us to help push our work forward. Together we can make a change.

We welcome collaborative projects from interested parties and welcome opportunities to speak at events to further our message.

Advocate

We understand the importance of having a platform and use ours to represent you. Too often members of our community are not able to get in the rooms that matter to share their knowledge and experience. Through our work in developing strong relationships with key organisations, we have been able to get our LGBTIQ+ foot in the door.
By presenting our experiences at national stakeholder meetings and healthcare forums we are able to raise awareness of the issues affecting our community. This ranges from the data we review to the stories we hear from our service users. We believe that where possible, experience is best delivered from directly from its source. So, we encourage service users and volunteers to share their own stories but will advocate on their behalf when they are not able to do so. The importance of personal experience should not be underestimated.

We can also help people find appropriate resources and support where they may have previously struggled to do so. We believe in the strength of social prescribing to help with living through cancer, but understand that hospitals and care environments lack knowledge of LGBTIQ+ community resources. Through creative collaboration we believe that there can be support for everyone and will signpost you where we can.

We are constantly planning campaigns and events to help raise awareness of the LGBTIQ+ cancer community and are always interested in other ways to reach and support more people. We believe in working together and coordinating efforts.