It's the Final Countdown!

Ooops, sorry about that. Sometimes these 80s references slip out before I can stop them. Sorry, not sorry. Conference tomorrow! Last chance for tickets Doodle ooh do, doodle ooh do do! OK I’ll stop now, happy April, my gift to you is a brand new ear worm.

So yes, what’s been going on? Well last weekend the more observant among you will have noticed that I didn’t blog due to some much needed annual leave. Oh it was good, so good. I didn’t even get up until 10am last Monday, by the time I turned on the media it was past midday. This is a really good thing because I’m quite a gullible person and would certainly have fallen for a few of the better April Fools jokes. Of course with Facebook algorithms being what they are I nearly fell for some 3rd April bad jokes instead but I think I generally did OK.

The week before last was the series of events in Southampton, produced by Devin, our Chrysalis Allies workshop on Tuesday 26th was packed and then Georgie’s science talk on Wednesday was a great chance to be on the other side of the stage for a change. The rest of that week was lots of scrumptious one-to-ones and a bit of advocacy before that long weekend. If you’re ever in Leicester I can thoroughly recommend Herb, I’m not a foodie by any stretch of the imagination but just this once you’re going to get a photo of my starter in this blog! (well if you’ve entered through the Facebook and Twitter portal anyway).

Last week was lots of preparation – we have badges and lanyards and t-shirts and booklets and all sorts of goodies. Oh my goodness but I have a fantastic printing company. Booklet sent off to print at 10pm Tuesday, proofed Wednesday, delivered Friday!

Wednesday I was off to the Restorative Justice Conference . What an interesting event, a lead for even better working between Chrysalis and the support services. The key thing I learned? Restorative Justice isn’t about the perpetrator, it’s not about shortening sentences or their salvation it is about giving the victim a voice. Too often victims are left unheard, the impact of the crime missed in the hullabaloo of the trial. Perhaps the crime happened a long time ago and so the victim’s voice wasn’t heard. Perhaps they have only just reached the point where they know what they want to say, what questions they want answered. Since all Chrysalis beneficiaries have at some point been victims of Hate Crime knowing that there is another way out there to obtain justice, answers and closure is a great thing.
Thursday was more conference stuff and then stopping and thinking and replying to emails about our Bournemouth development prior to a couple of meetings on Saturday.

Friday I was at talking about the services Chrysalis offers, thanks to Rob and Jo at SVS for all the support they have given Chrysalis since Dianne and Laura first visited them back in 2005. Then there was clearly no rest for the rested as Friday evening saw me stepping in for Steph as the Fareham Trans and Questioning Support group facilitator. It was so good to be back there, it’s been quite some time since I last visited, and we had some great discussions not least on which is the best seat in the room. I really hope to be able to go back to see them soon and I hope that you all appreciated me being there.

What’s on for this week? Well in case you’ve been under a rock for the last few months I should probably mention that IT’S OUR CONFERENCE TOMORROW! Yep, you heard me. That’s probably the only time I’m going to shout on here. is tomorrow. Well actually everyday should be an inclusive day. If anyone is in any doubt as to why events like this are important, where allies and activists can get together and share best practice then scan the front page of the Times today. I am totally sickened by their continual agenda to dehumanise trans children and their parents. Chrysalis supports adults but every adult has been a child and when our people tell us that coverage like that in the Times and the words of the David Lloyd representative makes them feel like “nuclear waste”, “like my very existence is an inconvenience to everyone” I really question by what right they can continue to publish such vitriol. How can our national press consider it in any way acceptable to continue to condemn people’s very rights as an individual. Chrysalis is proud to have the support of , and who are sending their students to cover the conference, we really know where our allies are. Thanks to them and all our sponsors.

There’s definitely no rest for the mildly tarnished but consenting so back to it on Wednesday! Portsmouth focus in the morning, o-to-ones including with our new counsellor for the Fareham group – welcome Peter – then a trustee meeting in the evening.

Thursday, I’m really excited about Thursday. Steph, Max, Sammy and I get to go to Thinking Outside the Box training in London courtesy of who have kindly given us four pro-bono places on their latest course. Not only a training course but one with colleagues so we can work on the ideas together, this is such a great opportunity to develop Chrysalis.

Friday is time to think about Southampton, yes even Southampton needs thinking time, then some supervision before being invited to the Fareham parents SOS group to say hi and get to know some of our other beneficiaries.

Phew! I’m done, a few minutes over the deadline and a few more words than usual but I hope you’ll grant me an indulgence or two. Bye for now and see some of you tomorrow and the rest of you next week.