A Month of Events and Archives

Rummaging in the Archives

This month we have been spending a lot of time visiting archives at the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), the Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archives (LAGNA) and the National Archives at Kew. we have other trips planned for more rummaging at these and at other archives around the country. The National Archives hold frequent events, many focused on LGBT histories which are very well presented and thought provoking. I deeply disliked history lessons at school, if they had been more like the archive research we have been doing I feel many more people would become engaged by our rich past. It is such a pity that teachers do not have the freedom or resources to allow this.

View from LAGNA reading rooms

Heritage Lottery Fund Networking Event

The HLF will be running an event for current and potential recipients on the 15th of September in Reading. This event aims to encourage more funding applications for LGBT+ projects. Our very own Lynden Kingston (CEO) will be giving a presentation.

This drive for more LGBT+ applications is also being supported by a series of articles and blogs, the first of which can be viewed on their website.

Reading Pride

We are very busy with events in September, also on the calendar is Reading Pride on the 2nd of September. Support U are partnering with Reading Buses again and you may have seen a bus around town with Lord Wolfenden adorning the sides?

Reading buses supporting Support U and Reading Pride

We will also have, curtesy of Reading Buses, an open top bus at the Pride Festival where Kath and I will be on hand to talk about the project. There will also be displays and people to discuss LGBT History Month next February which is supported by Support U.  This will include a series of events, including some talks by The Wolfenden Project. Drop in and see us to find out more.

Before Pride there was Fear and Shame

Before the Pride marches and festivals LGBT people in the UK faced imprisonment, hefty fines, social disgrace and blackmail.

60 years ago Lord Wolfenden published a pivotal report that recommended same-sex love be partially decriminalised. We are marking this anniversary with a project to explore what has happened since that time. We need your recollections – good, bad or indifferent from any time during the last 60 years.

You may have lived through the time when being gay was enough to land you in prison. You may only just be coming to terms with your sexuality or gender. Do you remember Section 28? Were you a teacher or a local government employee between 1988 and 2003? Did Section 28 or its repeal change the way you worked? Were you a student during this time? Have you ever served in the armed forces and identify as gay, bi or lesbian? Did you serve before the change in policy in 2003? Is there homophobia, biphobia or transphobia in your workplace or family?

Whatever you have to share, be it a few words or a few pages, we would love to hear from you. We would like to have personal stories read by actors for a short documentary. We are also interested in any items like letters, pictures or newspaper clippings that you are happy for us to photograph and use.

We will need an approximate date/year for your memory and ideally a rough location, particularly if it is from outside the UK. All contributions will be treated as confidential unless you expressly state you are happy for us to include your name.

Please email contributions to: history@supportu.org.uk
or write to:
The Wolfenden Project
Support U
15 Castle Street
Reading
RG1 7SB

A Less Happy Event

You may have heard that Support U was broken into earlier this month. While the would be thief was scared off before they took anything they did cause a huge amount of expensive damage. We do not receive any public funding and the costs of repairs and upgrading our security systems is a huge drain on our funds earmarked to help people. It would be a huge help if you could spare any amount, small or large through our Just Giving page. Thankyou in advance for your generosity.

 

You have a story to share!

60 years ago Lord Wolfenden published a pivotal report that recommended same-sex love be partially decriminalised. We are marking this anniversary with a project to explore what has happened since that time. We need your recollections – good, bad or indifferent from any time during the last 60 years.

You may have lived through the time when being gay was enough to land you in prison. You may only just be coming to terms with your sexuality or gender. Do you remember Section 28? Were you a teacher or a local government employee between 1988 and 2003? Did Section 28 or its repeal change the way you worked? Were you a student during this time? Have you ever served in the armed forces and identify as gay, bi or lesbian? Did you serve before the change in policy in 2003? Is there homophobia, biphobia or transphobia in your workplace or family?

Whatever you have to share, be it a few words or a few pages, we would love to hear from you. We would like to have personal stories read by actors for a short documentary. We are also interested in any items like letters, pictures or newspaper clippings that you are happy for us to photograph and use.

We will need an approximate date/year for your memory and ideally a rough location, particularly if it is from outside the UK. All contributions will be treated as confidential unless you expressly state you are happy for us to include your name.

Please email contributions to: history@supportu.org.uk

or write to:
The Wolfenden Project
Support U
15 Castle Street
Reading
RG1 7SB

Lord Wolfenden Poster

Please help us recover from our burglary

On the morning of 1st August 2017, we were subject to a burglary at our support centre in Reading.

Many of you are already aware that we are a team of volunteers who work tirelessly throughout the year to deliver a wide range of support services including counselling, face to face, telephone and email emotional support, housing advice and critical mental health services to young LGBT+ people.

Due to the damage caused and being hit by hard financial losses as a result of essential repairs, our service has been forced to close until the building can be repaired. The financial challenge is one that we now have to try and meet.

A team of our fantastic volunteers have spent an enormous amount of personal time to repair some cosmetic damage, but we’re asking for your help to restore our services into full operation.

Your kind donations will crucially assist with:

– Repair the damage to the building caused by the burglary (including replacement of a number of windows and frames)

– Improve security provisions on the building to reduce future attempts

– Fund alarm management services so that our charity is kept secure even out of hours.


+ + + Please donate whatever you can at Virgin Money Giving + + +


I would like to thank you for your continued support during this difficult time,

Lynden
Chief Executive

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Notes for Media

Support U is a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) support service based in Reading, serving the Thames Valley. We operate 350 days a

We offer a range of support, advice and guidance on sexuality, gender identity and support those at home, school and in the workplace.  We operate 350 days a year, and respond to over 5,000 queries a year.

For media queries please contact Lynden Kingston on 0118 321 9111 (Ext. 302) or lynden@supportu.org.uk.

 

 

 

Did you know? A £10 donation, doubled-up by our partner TheGoodExchange, is enough for us to deliver 1 counselling session.