Happy new year!

Welcome back after a warm festive season. I was reflecting whilst Tiny Car and I were making one of our epic journeys on the meaning of family. For so many people, myself included, family is not so much those people related to you by blood but those people who gather around you, who share your joys and your challenges, who celebrate with you and who are there when you need a shoulder to cry on or a strong arm to hold you up.

The fear of losing everything is still very real for many trans people, and for some of those the fear becomes the reality, but for others the acceptance they get from their work colleagues, their family and friends is affirming, warming and supportive. Chrysalis is there for everyone: those who have struggled for years through the barriers of isolation; those who have only recently been able to put words around their sense of discomfort with the gender they were assigned at birth; and those who are aware there is something they need to explore but haven’t even got as far as those words just yet. For many of our beneficiaries Chrysalis becomes the first family and friends that really accept them, the first place where they can be seen as themselves. Our trans and questioning support groups will all be open as usual this Friday so that those friends can come together again for the first time in the new year.

2018 has been an incredible year for Chrysalis, building on the hard work of our founders Dianne and Laura, strengthening and expanding our services. Now the office team is hard at work gathering statistics and planning for the AGM on the 26th January. All volunteers are reminded to get their hours up to October 2018 in to the office as soon as possible, Chrysalis would be nothing without the dedication of the volunteers and we want to be able to celebrate their hard work. Dawn’s been busy collecting some incredible prizes for the raffle too: Pimm’s hampers, an Echo Dot, Go Ape Experience Days and first-class train tickets to London and many more. You’ve got to be in it to win it and tickets will only be sold at the AGM so put the date in your diary and plan your trip to Warsash for 12 noon. Email info@chrysalis-gii.org for more information.

If you are interested in standing as a trustee for Chrysalis then check out the Governance section of the website http://www.chrysalis-gii.org/governance we are particularly looking for people with skills and knowledge in Financial Management, Business Management, Social Media Strategy and Personnel Management to help guide your charity through the next exciting year.

So what’s on this week? Well today is catch up day, I’m looking at contracts and the office team and probably writing out a new To Do list, I’m sure that I put more things on the list than I take off.

Today also I’m putting a shout out for anyone who can take up the History of Chrysalis project. We are looking for someone with a writing or journalism background who wants to help us put together a small book about Chrysalis’s history from 2005 to 2010. The amazing Jim Weller has already done a lot of the work so this would be an ideal opportunity for someone who wants to really show the impact of Chrysalis and what it was like to be transgender before the Equality Act 2010. Email the office for more information.

Thursday looks a little more structed. Opening with a meeting with our third counsellor for Southampton, then the office team and I will be distributing the internal survey – watch your inbox – this is the chance for our volunteers and beneficiaries to tell us how you’ve found us over the last year. What changes you liked and what you want us to focus on in 2019. Later that afternoon our chair of trustees is going to help sort out our IT (do you know someone who would like to volunteer some IT support to your favourite charity? We are looking for someone to give us perhaps 10-12 hours a month, with a knowledge of Office 365 and basic networking). Finally 2019 gets off with a bang as the Finance and General Purpose Committee meet in the evening. This is where the trustee magic happens!

Friday is the time for monthly reports. Call me strange (it’s OK, I’m used to it) but I do like this time, a moment to reflect on the month just gone. To look at how all the meetings are performing, to see where we can strengthen our core services and to celebrate all the great things that have happened that month. Once that is done I will be focusing on the conference. If you have something you want to share with our guests about then check out http://www.chrysalis-gii.org/conference for more information.

If, like us, you were waiting on New Years Eve to see our patron sit in the famous black chair on Mastermind then you’ll know that unfortunately the show was postponed as the BBC paid tribute to Dame June Whitfield. As soon as we find out when Ana-Matronic’s episode will air we will let you know.
Just before I sign off if you want a copy of the Winter 2018 Newsletter email info@chrysalis-gii.org or scroll down to the bottom of the http://www.chrysalis-gii.org/governance to download the pdf

Until next week!