Basingstoke, Bournemouth and the Business Plan

Last week, all unnoticed passed my 18-month anniversary. Wow! It has both really been 18 months and has only been 18 months. Chrysalis has come so far.

When I was writing my first grant applications I had to dream big, I needed to show we were changing, outward looking and ready for anything but the reality has far surpassed any of those visions. Chrysalis now operates in five locations with nearly double the number of groups; has allies and supporters across the country; has groups bursting at the seams run by incredibly dedicated and passionate volunteers; has run two successful conferences; developed a reputation for delivering quality training and last but not least is proud of what we do. Chrysalis is out there, as you all know I will happily talk to anyone, and have been, but you are all doing that talking too. All of our great volunteers and supporters who have helped us during this first part of our transition and who continue to help us develop.

So now we start on the next phase, with the conference done and the dust starting to settle (I can nearly see my office again) last week was time to move beyond operations. To reengage Strategy Drive.

I’m not sure I noticed that we had a short week as last week was chock full of meetings and thinkings and doings. First of all thanks to Deanna who on Tuesday fixed the Nasbox and did some other technical wizardry. One great thing about running a trans charity, I have some incredible techies on the team. Tuesday also saw our first new employment opportunity go live. If you haven’t already seen then we are looking for a Fundraising and Social Media Officer to work 8 hours a week. Check out www.chrysalis-gii.org/vacancies for the Job Description and apply with CV and cover letter to carole.pay@chrysalis-gii.org.

Wednesday was Basingstoke Day! Oh. My. Gosh! Six meetings in one day. I must confess to feeling a little full of words by the end of the day but they have all settled into order now. Thanks to Karen, Flis, Jez, Mary, Islam and the whole of the Basingstoke Hate Crime Working Group for your hospitality, I am looking forward to working closely with you all as we develop our Basingstoke groups. I came away from those meetings with another long list of people I need to see, but since talking and listening are my stock in trade this is a definite plus. Next official Basingstoke Day is Thursday 16th May with Dawn without whom no one would be organised already starting to take bookings.

Thursday and Friday was supervision of both counsellors and facilitators. Wow! So much good work going on. I really cannot say it enough but I am humbled to work with so many passionate, dedicated and skilled people. Every supervision session is a learning opportunity for me as we work together to understand what is really going on and how best we can all develop to offer the highest possible support to our beneficiaries.

Phew! Now you see what I mean by lots of meetings. In total I had 16 scheduled meetings last week! It was reminiscent of when I started and I filled an A4 day book in about six weeks with notes from every meeting I had. This is where the fire is though, talking to people, finding out what they think, how they view Chrysalis, the support they offer and the different professional opinions. All of this gets added to the melting pot that is our strategical development. 18 months ago I started writing our first Business Plan, it was approved by the board on the 24th February 2018. Now it’s review time. Watch this space, indeed watch your in box because there’s a good chance that we’ll be contacting you for your input. Speaking of which if you’re not already on our mailing list then contact info@chrysalis-gii.org and we will happily add you. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter and once we have a new Fundraising and Social Media Officer then there will be a whole lot more reasons to check out our page regularly.

Right! Enough waffling, what’s on for this week. Where will Tiny Car be travelling? Today Tiny Car gets a rest, yes that’s right, Tiny Car stays on the drive and I’m working from home. No Monday morning A27 traffic for me and Dawn gets the office to herself which hopefully will give her a chance to focus on things without the permanent distraction that is me! I’m still adjusting to having colleagues in the same office, after 14 years at Solent University working in a building on my own where I could go hours before seeing a customer and days between meetings with colleagues it’s still a novelty to be able to have a natter during work time. Actually they close my door now, apparently it’s so I don’t get disturbed but I think it’s so that they can get on with their work too!

Look! Last week was short on words so today you’re getting all of them, did I check whether you brought the bag of indulgences?
Tuesday I get to meet up with one of our beneficiaries who have I haven’t seen for ages and then it’s Bournemouth focus day. Checking emails and generally writing letters and stuff. Oh yes, I also need to pop into the Art House to pick up the suitcase we left there after Trans Day of Visibility. We got our stuff, just not the stuff holder!

Wednesday Tiny Car stretches it’s wheels again as we’re back in Basingstoke at the BCoT Health and Wellbeing Event. It’ll be good to catch up with Imale again as well as chatting to lots of new people about Chrysalis.

Thursday I’m really looking forward to meeting with one of our local schools to start building our relationship. Did anyone tell you how big Hampshire is? I’ve lived here most of my life and there’s still so many parts of it that I haven’t explored yet. Something that really struck me about the video Jonathan Clarke from Cantell provided for our conference was that now is the time to work together, to bring LGBT+ support expertise out of the shadows and silos and really start sharing knowledge and ways of working. That’s definitely making it’s way onto the business plan.

Friday Tiny Car and I are travelling to the western reaches of Chrysalis territory with a trip to Bournemouth for the STARS (Sexual Trauma and Recovery Services) launch with the power house that is Julie Miller. Chrysalis could not have asked for a more passionate, driven and dedicated volunteer to develop our Bournemouth support. After the STARS event we’re hoping to meet with Jay from Communi-T after what has been a longer than it should have been dance of the calendars to find a time we could all get together, there is so much great stuff going on in Bournemouth and it is crucial Chrysalis complements these services.

With the May Day bank holiday around the corner next week’s blog will be on Tuesday instead and I wish you all a lovely long weekend.