It is odd to think about expansion when everything around me is contracting with the cold. All the molecules drawing that little bit closer together as we endure freezing rain and the other exciting side effects of our approach to the shortest day but expansion is a heart-warming topic within Chrysalis.

On Monday I was privileged to meet with a director of Portsmouth City Council, a councillor and others with a passion for making Portsmouth the place to be for LGBTQ+ people. With their support Chrysalis will be opening up a Trans and Questioning Support Group and some Significant Others Support Groups to complement the Wellbeing Drop-In in the new year. We will be looking for volunteers to provide facilitation and counselling as well as speakers and a Chrysalis Champion, if you are interested in getting involved then please register your interest by emailing Carole at info@chrysalis-gii.org. If you can offer a little bit of financial support to help us kickstart this project then pop over to our Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/chrysalis-jg

More meetings on Monday, and more actions for me (despite my best efforts to delegate I still have a to-do list longer than my memory!) Firstly we had the Transgender Day of Remembrance washup meeting , thanks to for hosting and for all their feedback and support. We raised over £700 with our campaign, thank you so much to everyone who got involved. This is an outstanding success for our first ever campaign and watch this space because the next two meetings that day were about and our project with for Transgender Day of Visibility in March

Tuesday was speed dating day as Carole and I conducted interviews for volunteers. So many great people, as always it is a privilege to speak to people so impassioned about making the world a better, more inclusive place for trans and questioning people. We then hotfooted it over to the next venue for a meeting with our allies about our next conference on Tuesday 9th April 2019. Check out http://www.chrysalis-gii.org/conference for more information, if you have been involved in making the world a better place for trans and questioning people and want to help others develop then we are accepting speaker proposals until Monday 7th January. With my final two dates of the day postponed to this week, I am lucky to have volunteers who are so understanding, it was time to knuckle down and sit in front of my computer for a while instead of all this fun talking with people.

Wednesday should be recorded as Delegation Day! I’m pretty sure that I managed to offload at least some of the fun and exciting tasks onto the office team during their one-to-ones. After all sharing objectives is truly how one demonstrates caring isn’t it? Thanks Dawn, Carole and Kevan – Chrysalis and I would be nowhere without you.

I promise that I do other things than meet with people, it’s just that these are the exciting things I want to share with you. I get people who tell me they read this blog so I guess I want to tell you the fun stuff. Anyway Wednesday wasn’t over with those staff one-to-ones because it was the quarterly Counsellor’s meeting that evening. An excellent chance to catch up with some of my experienced counsellors and for us to develop our Lone Working Procedure, policy development is so much better when it’s not just the words in my head on the paper.

Thursday was more catch up in the office, working on the conference and sending lots of emails then oh joy of joys updating the Transgender Awareness training so that it runs in Office 365! Oh the glee of slides that look nice, the ability to add video links, the pure unadulterated joy and waving goodbye to 2003. Training that afternoon was an absolute joy. New faces and some who I have met before, thanks to Vie who has already put her endorsement on our Facebook page and to everyone else who attended.

And finally it was Friday when I got to meet with Denise from the Portsmouth Distress Net project looking at the support available to Portsmouth residents for poverty, eviction, homelessness, benefits and relationship break down. Denise will be coming to speak to our Fareham group soon and we are looking to develop some research into the barriers trans+ people experience in accessing this support.

The other exciting task I completed on Friday was my filing! I now have lots of plastic wallets on my desk with all the scrappy bits of paper in them in an orderly fashion. Those of you who know me will be amazed at this level of organisation. It may also come as no surprise to read that I was performing this thrilling task because I’d lost one of the aforesaid scrappy bits of paper which I urgently needed. I never found that piece of paper and I thought I was doomed, until I looked in my daybook and would you credit it? I’d actually written the notes where I should have done, crisis averted!

So now it’s Monday, I’ve dried out from the weekend and am sat here in an office which only really warms up by Tuesday looking at that pile of plastic wallets and thinking I should probably get on with all the tasks I’ve accumulated before I get excited about new things. I look at my diary and it is suspiciously empty. This is a good thing. This week I commit to clearing that to-do list before the Xmas break. I’m off from Friday so no blog from me on Monday 24th, perhaps that’s why I’ve doubled my allocated word count on this one! I wouldn’t want you to think that I didn’t have all the words for you.

Oh yes! Super exciting stuff. Check out the new series of Celebrity Mastermind on BBC1 over the holiday. Most definitely tune in for https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bxb659 at 7.30pm on 31st December because our patron is competing.

And finally, a reminder that the Chrysalis office team are welcoming one and all to our Christmas drop in at the office in Warsash on Wednesday 19th from 12-2. Come and meet the team and see where the magic happens. It must be magic, I know that we could never have achieved even half of what we have done this last year without it. Email info@chrysalis-gii.org if you need more details.