It's very relaxing up North

The sun is shining, the birds are singing and here I am stuck in a windowless room! Ah pity me, poor thing who has just had an amazing few days off catching up with friends in the North.

Last week seems so very far away, is it just me or does it seem like every time I turn around the world has tried to shift on its axis again? In the words of the internet “I did me a democracy” on Thursday and then tried not to worry about the results when they came in on Sunday. Better heads than I have gone over the results both in the UK and in Europe and I’m no political analyst or commentator but it’s reassuring to know that there are lots of people out there across the continent who believe in LGBT+ rights and maintaining progress for inclusion and acceptance of all.

I’ve just spent a few moments searching the internet to find out why we are talking about the World Health Organisation (WHO) removal of gender identity disorder from ICD11 (the book that “defines the universe of diseases, disorders, injuries and other related health conditions”). The short answer is I don’t know, ICD11 was released back in June 2018 and yes it was truly wonderful to behold. Finally! Recognition that being transgender is a natural variation of human experience.

Yep, that’s right. Being trans is just another aspect of being human.

And maybe that’s why the news has surfaced again, maybe we all need reminding that human experience is vast, and individual, and that good news should be shared again and again.

So what current good news do I have for you?

Well it’s Pride month (actually I’m pretty sure it’s Pride season) and Chrysalis will be out and about across Hampshire and Dorset. If you want to get involved, join a parade, volunteer a couple of hours on the stall, then let us know.

I would like to welcome Callum to the office team. Callum joins us as our Fundraising and Social Media Officer and will be in the office on Mondays and Tuesdays. Callum starts today on our new and improved staff induction program and will be on line soon.

Speaking of the office here’s some other good news, thanks to the National Lottery funding we are now able to open five days a week: Monday 11-3, Tuesday-Friday 9:30-3.

If you need to speak to a member of the team then call 01489 589111. If you need us to call you then leave a message or drop us an email, if you are thinking about joining one of our support groups then typically these calls take around half an hour, sometimes more, so you might want to make sure you’re sitting comfortably. Our trained team are here for you whether they are the 50th person you have spoken to about this or the first.

Sadly it is this blog where I also pay tribute to all the hard work Anne and Ted have done for Chrysalis as office volunteers over the years, with my hand on my heart I can say that Chrysalis would not be where it is now without their passion, dedication and support. From stepping in as facilitators in Bournemouth to setting up the filing systems in the office and wholeheartedly participating in the transition process we could not have done it without them. It is the nature of our own transition that the needs of the office have changed with a move towards cashless systems, the increase in financial responsibilities and the change to our opening times and staffing create other challenges and opportunities.

Anne remains as our treasurer and I know she and the rest of the board are as passionate as I and all our fantastic volunteers to make Chrysalis the best it can possibly be.

One final bit of good news before I move onto What’s On. I would like to introduce you all to Steffi, our new office volunteer, Steffi joins us to lead on the promotion of Chrysalis and she will be creating a short film and some VoxPops to showcase “What Chrysalis has done for you” and “What Chrysalis means to you” Expect her to come to a venue near you with an invitation to go on camera and really tell the world how important Chrysalis is. Steffi is also a Graphic Designer and will be looking at our branding, expect many emails from her to get you involved, to consult and to generally make sure that whatever we end up doing it is something that really encapsulates Chrysalis and the work we do.

So what’s on this week? todayOh my goodness, so much to tell you that I’ve gone way over time! Callum joins us and I actually go to see Rotterdam in Guildford! Yep, this muppet got their days all mixed up and thought it was last week!

Thursday and Friday are one-to-one days, a chance to catch up with all my incredible volunteers. A space for them to explore and develop their roles. I’m also off to the Basingstoke group for the chance to be included in their sharing time. I’m so privileged to be able to join the groups for these times, to be able to hear how people are getting on and to work with them in discussing challenges.