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UK LGBT+ History Month is Celebrated every February

The theme for 2021 is ‘Body, Mind, Spirit’ and Kent Community Foundation is delighted to support the South East Gender Initiative which promotes and improves health and wellbeing for the LGBT+ community in Medway.

The South East Gender Initiative based in Rochester, promotes, and improves the health and wellbeing of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Asexual, Transgender, Non-binary Gender, Gender Non-conforming people, and those questioning their gender identity or sexuality, through support, education, training, and information. They also deliver Transgender awareness training to organisations including Kent Police, NHS Trusts, Social Care Providers, Counsellors, health professionals and providers of health and wellbeing services.

Kent Community Foundation has been supporting the South East Gender Initiative for five years and has to date awarded them £20,000. The most recent grant was awarded last month to support the ongoing costs of providing peer support and counselling services, and the running costs for the Medway Gender Sexual Diversity Centre, for the next three months.

Hilary Cooke, CEO, Medway Gender & Sexual Diversity Centre, said, “LGBT+ History Month is an important time for the LGBTQIA+ community, it gives focus on the history and challenges we have faced around the world. It’s a chance for us to raise awareness of the current inequality’s parts of the community face, and a chance to celebrate the positives of being free to live as LGBTQIA+ people in a diverse society. The South East Gender Initiative began supporting the Trans community in Medway and Kent in 2011. We have been supported in this much needed work by Kent Community Foundation since 2015. Their grants have helped us to create the Medway and Gender Sexual Diversity Centre in Rochester and to provide peer and counselling services for young people, adults, parents and carers, and partners of the LGBTQIA+ communities. Those who access our services say the help they receive is lifesaving in some instances. We would like to thank Kent Community Foundation for their support of the LGBTQIA+ communities of Medway and Kent and the support they give to all the other voluntary organisations and groups who do such needed work in the community. Though our existence we have been able to support local pride events around Kent and be part of creating Medway Pride and the new Medway Pride Radio which begins its internet broadcasts from 1st February www.mpradio.co.uk”

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said, “A 2020 survey from Galop reported that a quarter of Transgender people had experienced or been threatened with physical assault, and nearly one in five had experienced or been threatened with sexual assault. These figures show there is a real need for Trans awareness and understanding and we are delighted to help fund South East Gender Initiative to deliver Trans training across the county.”

MASSIVE 'thank you ' to everyone at Kent Community Foundation. Your funding support is HUGELY appreciated and has enabled us to get into the heart of local communities with REAL, affordable, healthy and tasty food that does so much more than feed people.

Community chef Mike Spackman, Sheppey Matters

KCF's enthusiasm for what we are doing and hoping to do, coupled with helpful advice, gave us the confidence to take this daunting step which has paid off.

Liz Turner, Octopus Foundation

It's great having a foundation that empowers organisations and charities in our community to make real positive differences and changes!

Tom, MMK Mind