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Opening Doors London “Our door is open, come on in!” Supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender People Aged 50+

April 2012 Newsletter

New Project Manager Carol Ackroyd left Opening Doors London in February. The Opening Doors team would like thank Carol for her hard work on the project and her commitment to empowering older LGBT people. John Mosley has been recruited to the post and started in March. John is an experienced project manager and trainer within the health and social care sectors. John said “I’m really proud and excited to be part of this wonderful team. There are some great people, projects and groups, with more to come. I’m looking forward over the next few months to getting to meeting members. We’re continuing with the support from paid staff, but also looking to extend the role of volunteers and helping members to have more peer led opportunities. I’d like to thank everyone involved in Opening Doors for making it what it is today.”

Membership survey Huge thanks for the response to the membership survey - 154 surveys were analysed. You (mostly) said Opening Doors was doing a great job and you wanted more! There were many useful suggestions – we are looking at an easy way of sharing the key results. We are also working on a regular process for greater member involvement and feedback.

  Contact Update Have we got your correct contact details? If you are unsure whether we have the correct contact details for you, please let the project staff know (remembering of course that personal information is kept confidential). This ensures that e-mails and posted newsletters do not go astray and if you’re currently getting the newsletter by post but can by e-mail, please let us know to help keep costs down. Thanks.


Opening Doors Men’s Group April groups and activities Members’ Note: Please check the members’ pages and other activities for MIXED Opening Doors and other public events Wednesday 4th 6:00 – 9:00 pm

First Wednesday of the month men’s group social: at St Margaret’s Dropin Centre, 1 Carey Place, Vauxhall Bridge Road, SW1V 2RT (just across Vauxhall Bridge Road from Pimlico Tube). With easy access from North and South London, why not come along and meet some new friends?

Thursday 5th 12:30 pm (lunch at 1 pm)

St Anne’s Thursday Mixed Lunch Club: St Anne’s Church, 55 Dean Street, Soho, W1D 6AF. Note this is EVERY Thursday (excluding bank holidays). 3 course lunch is £3.50 with vegetarian option available. Arrive at St Anne’s for 12:30 for your free glass of sherry. Call ahead and book by at least by Wednesday on the new lunch club number of 020 3602 2511, leaving your name and a phone number. Please NOTE: the lunch club is getting VERY popular, so make sure you get your booking in early to avoid disappointment.

Tuesday 10th 4:00pm

Men’s Group Walk : This month it’s a Spring stroll across Hampstead Heath. Meet outside Hampstead underground station at 4.00pm for a walk which will finish back in Hampstead Village in time for the Men’s Group meeting at Henderson Court. If you have any problems or can’t find the group please call Geoff on the walking group mobile number: 07804 329 416.

Tuesday 10th 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

Henderson Court Men’s Group Speaker’s Night: Henderson Court Resource Centre, 102 Fitzjohn’s Ave (entrance round the corner on Prince Arthur Rd) NW3 6NS. David Rooney is the curator of the Science Museum's forthcoming special exhibition about Alan Turing's life and legacy, opening in June. He will be speaking about the extraordinary achievements of the celebrated code-breaker and computer pioneer, as well as Turing's experiences as a ‘homosexual’ man in mid-twentieth century Britain. Rooney will explain the background to Turing's conviction for gross indecency and subsequent treatment with female hormones, as well as the tragic circumstances of Turing's death, in 1954, from cyanide poisoning. (John from Advice and Information will be on hand tonight to help with any questions you may have on benefits, housing or other referrals)

Wednesday 11th 6:30 – 8:30pm

Arts and Photography Group – Charlie Ratchford Resource Centre, Belmont St, NW1 8HF. Building on the success of last’s month’s group for both the arts/crafts and photography session, come along and try your hand at a new skill.

Thursday 12th 12:30 pm (lunch at 1 pm)

St Anne’s Thursday Lunch Club: Welcome to the St Anne’s men’s and women’s Thursday lunch club at St Anne’ Anne’s Church, 55 Dean Street, W1D 6AF. Opening Doors members welcome. See entry for Thursday 5th for more details.

Friday 13th 7:00 pm

Opening Doors East London Dinner Club “Full of East End Charm”. Open to all Opening Doors London members. At Positive East, 159 Mile End Road, London, E1 4AQ. Cost £6, pre booking essential on 020 8981 7124 (see full details on the Opening Doors East London Page of the newsletter)


Opening Doors Men’s Group April groups and activities (continued) Wednesday 18th 7:00pm til late

3rd Wednesday Men’s Pub Night at the Black Cap: We’re at the Black Cap, on Camden High St, NW1 7JY for this popular men’s group pub social. Meeting upstairs from 7pm. Last month saw 25 men from the group come along to this hugely popular men’s pub night and once again a big thanks to Dan and Ian and all at the Black Cap for their continued support.

Thursday 19th 12:30 pm (lunch at 1 pm)

St Anne’s Thursday Lunch Club: Welcome to the St Anne’s men’s and women’s Thursday lunch club at St Anne’ Anne’s Church, 55 Dean Street, W1D 6AF. Opening Doors members welcome. See entry for Thursday 5th for more details.

Tuesday 24th 6pm – 9pm (Film at 7pm)

Henderson Court Men’s Group Film Night: Henderson Court Resource Centre, 102 Fitzjohn’s Ave (entrance round the corner on Prince Arthur Rd) . As ever, responding where we can to membership enquiries and requests, and as part of our “Gay World Cinema” programme, tonight’s film will be “The Bubble” from director Etyan Fox. The movie follows a group of young friends in the city of Tel Aviv and is as much a love song to the city as it is an exploration of the claim that people in Tel Aviv are isolated from the rest of the country and the turmoil it's going through. The movie looks at young people's lives in the city through the eyes of gays and straights, Jews and Arabs, men and women.

Thursday 26th 12:30 pm (lunch at 1 pm)

St Anne’s Thursday Lunch Club: Welcome to the St Anne’s men’s and women’s Thursday lunch club at St Anne’ Anne’s Church, 55 Dean Street, W1D 6AF. Opening Doors members welcome. See entry for Thursday 5th for more details.

Saturday 28th 7:45pm

Tufnell Park Coffee Evening: welcome to the last Saturday of the month social, back at Mike’s for April so come and join us for the monthly coffee evening, as hosted by Leslie and Mike. Meeting up at Tufnell Park Tube station at 7.45 p.m. Please remember to bring cakes and nibbles with you.

Sunday lunch and movie club??? Interested? I need to hear from you! In the membership survey you (mostly) said Opening Doors was doing a great job and you wanted more! Following on from a discussion at the men’s group in Hampstead, I suggested that I would look into a possible quarterly (or even monthly) Sunday afternoon lunch and film club up at Henderson Court. The suggested format being a more generic film show, like an old classic or musical (keeping Tuesday night at Henderson for gay themed films, film suggestions welcome please), with a “potluck” food arrangement (where each person or group of people contributes a dish of food prepared by the person or the group of people, to be shared among the group). This would need to be totally volunteer or peer/service user led (though I’d be happy to help out at the first meeting) but I need to hear from members who would be willing to step up and take responsibility for what could be a really fun and hopefully monthly event. I also need to hear from members if this is genuinely something members would want and attend on a regular basic. So, please contact me by phone or e-mail if you think you’d like to attend this Sunday group and especially contact me PLEASE if you think you’d be interested and able to commit to helping run this activity. This is something that maybe a group of you could help with? My usual contact details are at the back of the newsletter. Thanks, Nick


Opening Doors Women’s Group April Activities Members’ Note: Please check the members’ pages and other activities for MIXED Opening Doors and other public events Each Thursday 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th 12:30 pm (lunch at 1 pm)

St Anne’s Thursday Mixed Lunch Club: St Anne’s Church, 55 Dean Street, Soho, W1D 6AF. Note this is EVERY Thursday (excluding bank holidays). 3 course lunch is £3.50 with vegetarian option available. Arrive at St Anne’s for 12:30 for your free glass of sherry. Call ahead and book by at least by Wednesday on the new lunch club number of 020 3602 2511, leaving your name and a phone number. Please NOTE: the lunch club is getting VERY popular, so make sure you get your booking in early to avoid disappointment.

Wednesday 11th 6:30 – 8:30pm

Arts and Photography Group – Charlie Ratchford Resource Centre, Belmont Street, NW1 8HF. Rowena will lead a session on paper bead and jewellery making so if you would like to be part of this please start saving coloured newspaper to use on the night, (we will bring some too), There will also be free space to do your own work and the photography workshop led by Sean will continue.

Friday 13th 7pm

Opening Doors East London Dinner Club. Open to all Opening Doors London members. At Positive East, 159 Mile End Road, London, E1 4AQ. Cost £6, pre booking essential on 020 8981 7124 (see full details on the Opening Doors East London Page of the newsletter)

Wednesday 18th 7pm

Women’s Meal – The Trevi Restaurant, 16 – 18 Highbury Corner, N5 1RD. Call Stacey or Kate to add your name to the booking for this month’s meal.

Friday 20th 12:30 – 2:00pm

Women’s Lunch Club: Friends House Restaurant, 173-177 Euston Rd, NW1 2BJ Please look for the women’s group in the downstairs restaurant and NOT the café. (can you please also let us know if you would like the lunch club to become weekly as of next month)

Thursday 26th 6:00 – 8:30pm (FILM STARTS 6:30pm)

Film Night – Tavis Meeting Room B. Age UK, Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, WC1H 9NA

“Kissing Jessica Stein” (2001 Romantic Comedy) Jessica Stein is a single, straight, successful, journalist, part of a bonded Jewish family living in New York City, who finds herself not as straight as she thought when she meets and begins an intense friendship with career woman Helen Cooper which ultimately leads to romance.


Opening Doors Women’s Group Events Listings We will be introducing a weekly email listing of all the things any of you think might be of interest to other members ~ groups, discussions, music & dance, marches, politics exhibitions ~ anything relevant. Taylor has very kindly offered to coordinate this and if you get your ideas to her by 5pm Wednesday each week, she will get the list out by Friday so that we can try to cover the weekend. We are really sorry to those who do not use email, but the time and cost involved in doing this on paper is too prohibitive. We do not want to exclude anybody who wants to hear about the listings and so will offer assistance in setting up a telephone or text tree so that you could get the news from somebody who does use email.

New Groups We are thinking about ideas for new groups based on suggestions from members. A Walking Group with personal and political history themes, Feminist Discussion Group, Garden Outings and History. Please contact Stacey or Kate if you would like to participate, lead or coordinate.

Thanks to Cloud for speaking so superbly on our behalf at the showing of Cloudburst at LLGFF. This was a great opportunity for us to network and promote Opening Doors. We know how difficult it was to get tickets so as soon as the film is available on DVD we will show it on our film night and perhaps make it a bit of a special event.

Lesbian Therapy Group

Alternatively you could make use of the excellent computer training provided by Age UK Camden and the Opening Doors computer drop in sessions on Thursday mornings.

Will last an hour and a half once a week for one year, late afternoons on Wednesdays and will be run by a lesbian therapist.

Send your ideas/info to Taylor at: odwomen@ageukcamden.org.uk

Initial contact Derek Love 020 7239 0405

for lesbians over 50

Derek.Love@ageukcamden.org.uk

Women’s Mental Health Support Group If you feel that you might welcome a safe, confidential and supportive group to discuss and find ways to live with your struggles then please contact Kate.

Further details for this group can be found on the Opening Doors East page.

Advice & Information Tracey McDermott is available to provide the Opening Doors Women’s group with advice and support on a variety of issues including; Housing, benefits, care services etc. For more information contact Tracey on:

020 7837 3777 or tracey.mcdermott@ageukcamden.org.uk


Age UK Camden/Opening Doors Members News Living Well with Memory Problems

Don’t miss out!!

– please add your voice – We are gathering people’s views on accessing information and services relating to dementia. 750,000 people live with dementia in the UK and this will rise. It also affects those who care. Symptoms include memory loss, mood changes and difficulties with communication.

Weekly updates about lots of exiting things will soon be sent out via email. Don’t have an email address? Don’t have access to a computer? We can help.

Free Computer classes. Age UK Camden computer training project offers:

We want to know: Where are there gaps in services? Specifically looking at the LGBT experience. What are barriers to accessing information and support? What could improve the experience of living with dementia?

10 week beginners classes on Tuesday afternoons

Please help us to gain a better understanding of these issues to help improve services. Add your voice by contacting Age UK Camden’s Melanie Cressey on 020 7239 0417 or melanie.cressey@ageukcamden.org.uk.

Come along with friends and have a coffee in the very affordable and spacious ground floor café

Your feedback will remain anonymous. For anyone interested, we need your comments by Monday 30th April. Thank you

Drop in computer sessions every Thursday morning 10.00-1.00 Info & advice online, the first Thursday of every month, 10.00-1.00

Call the project coordinator on 020 7239 0400 for more info or to book a place. All these classes and drop-in sessions are specifically for LGBT learners and have a welcoming and friendly atmosphere (no worries about anyone looking over your shoulder if you're trying to look at LGBT websites). Come along with your friends and enjoy a coffee in our café at the same time.

The “Big Spring Clear Out” for your local Age UK Shops Supporting your local shop (either Age UK Camden or your local borough Age UK) helps Age UKs in your area to support older people in London Good quality donations needed / new & recycled items please drop stuff off at your local shop or bring along to one of the Opening Doors Groups: Camden has two shops in the borough: 35 Camden High Street NW1 7JE t 020 7387 4328 53 Leather Lane EC1 7TJ t 020 7831 4928 Shop Volunteers needed: This is a good opportunity to volunteer in a vibrant and busy environment. You will be joining an existing team and helping us to make the most of our donations. Your work as a volunteer will help us raise funds that remain within the local area. For more information either call the shops directly or Age UK Camden reception on 020 7239 0400 who can give you the number for your local Age UK


Opening Doors East London Activities Opening Doors East London

Opening Doors East London

Dinner Club

Full Of East End Charm You are all invited to the next Opening Doors East Dinner Club

on Friday 13th April Tickets £6.00 booking essential ring 020 8981 7124 or email christine.sheppard@ageuktowerhamlets.org.uk Please arrive by 6.30 and dinner will be served between 7pm to 7:30pm.

Opening Doors East London

Redbridge Older LGBT Social Group Every 3rd Monday of the month, 2pm to 4pm. At Age UK Redbridge 4th Floor 103 Cranbrook Road Ilford, Essex, IG1 4PU Next meeting Monday 16th April

Every first Monday of the month Come along and have a chat and a coffee with friends. Next Meeting Monday 2nd April 4pm – 6pm Opening Doors East drop in: at Positive East 159 Mile End Rd, E1 4AQ (nearest tube Stepney Green)

New Women’s mental health support group in Newham This group is open to Opening Doors Women who feel that they struggle with their mental health at any level ~ this might include periods of anxiety, panic, depression or any severe and enduring mental health need, this does not have to have been diagnosed by a professional but may depend on your own experience. If you feel that you might have difficulty getting to the group for any reason, physical or emotional, we will try to do what we can to work with this, including a named volunteer meeting you or coming with you to the venue.

For more information please contact Kate.


Opening Doors Members News Access to Public Services Online - A Beginners Guide Age UK Camden’s Computer Training Project has a new three hour training course. A date has been reserved exclusively for Opening Doors members – Monday 21 May 2012. You are welcome to come along to any of the sessions, usually on a Monday afternoon. For all computer training, you need to book a place if you are interest in attending. This course is suitable for anyone who has completed the ten week ‘Beginner’s Guide to Computers’ (run by Age UK Camden), or those who are familiar with using the internet and have basic mouse and keyboard skills. Please call the Computer Training Coordinator on 020 7239 0400 to book a place. More info at http://www.ageuk.org.uk/camden/Our-services/Computertraining/ or email info@ageukcamden.org.uk

Opening Doors London Arts, Crafts and Photography Group Next Meeting: Wednesday 11th April The group will run on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Charlie Ratchford Centre, Belmont St, NW1 8HF (nearest tube Chalk Farm) The group will have two parts, one for art/crafts and one for photography. A member of the group will lead a session on paper bead and jewellery making this month, so if you would like to be part of this please start saving coloured newspaper to use on the night, (we will bring some too), There will also be free space to do your own work. The photography sessions, facilitated by an experienced professional photographer, will be run as a workshop style. We’d like your input into what you would like to learn from a photography workshop, that we will include as part of the workshops going forward. We are aiming to make the workshop interactive and fun and more about taking pictures and editing pictures, learning about camera settings etc, than talking about photography theory. As the weather improves, we hope to go “on location” to look at landscape photography etc.

NB These sessions are free, but if you can, please make a discretionary donation towards materials, thank you ☺


Opening Doors Members News St Anne’s mixed lunch club Every Thursday 12:30 pm (1 pm lunch) at St Anne’s Church, 55 Dean Street, Soho, W1D 6AF.

Open to all Opening Doors members Arrive at 12:30 pm for a welcome glass of sherry, with at 3 course lunch at 1pm (vegetarian option available).

Cost £3.50 Book with St Anne’s by Wednesday afternoon on 0203 602 2511. Please NOTE: the lunch club is getting VERY popular, so make sure you get your booking in early to avoid disappointment.

Are you lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender? If you feel isolated from your own community and you would like a regular visit from a LGBT volunteer friendly visitor, check out the Opening Doors befriending service. What the Befriending Service Can Offer You A weekly meeting with a friendly trained volunteer Telephone support A link with the LGBT community Company for outings or visits For further information, please contact: Gian Montagna (LGBT Befriending Coordinator) on 020 7239 0442 or email gian.montagna@ageukcamden.org.uk


Opening Doors Members News from South London Older and Out in South London On March 21st over 50 people met at the “Older and Out in South London” workshop to talk about extending Opening Doors south of the river. It was great to see so many people and have a chance to share our ideas and hopes for increasing activities and support for older LGBT people, learning more about what is already happening in the area. The event opened with Stacey Halls talking about the Opening Doors projects’ current work and James Taylor from Stonewall on their excellent research on OLGBT ageing. We then worked in groups to identify our priorities in south London. The key themes that emerged were: providing a range of activities and support, ensuring good provision of care homes, sheltered housing and care services, and also making sure that there was good publicity including a newsletter covering south London activities. Age UK Lambeth and Age UK London will write up the seminar and use this as part of a strategy to raise funding to support the development of Opening Doors South London. We all recognise that we need adequate resources to develop and sustain this work, and will keep everyone up to date through the Opening Doors newsletter.

Metro Centre 50+ group The Metro 50+ group is a social group that meets every last Tuesday of the month for all LGBT people aged 50 and over. It is not a support group and is mainly run by and for its clients, with 2 facilitators who run some kind of activity for about 30 minutes. The rest of the time is for ‘Tea and Chat’. The group is for people who are looking for a place to be comfortable with their sexuality and gender identity and meet friends. You are more than welcome to attend. You will be asked to fill in a membership form but the group is free. The next meeting is 24th April 14:00 – 16:00.

Staff Contact Details

Opening Doors London, Age UK Camden, Tavis House, 1- 6 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9NA (switchboard 020 7239 0400) Stacey Halls & Kate Hancock – Development Coordinators (Women) 020 7239 0447 stacey.halls@ageukcamden.org.uk or kate.hancock@ageukcamden.org.uk Nick Maxwell – Development Coordinator (Men) 020 7239 0446 nick.maxwell@ageukcamden.org.uk Gian Montagna – Befriending Coordinator 020 7239 0442 gian.montagna@ageukcamden.org.uk

www.openingdoorslondon.org.uk Registered Charity 293446


Opening Doors London April 2012 Newsletter