Saturday, 11 March 2017 10:11

Help Over The Rainbow this Easter

Over the last 15 years Over the Rainbow has been a local and national destination in its support and advocacy for the needs of the LGBT+ community of Dorset. But now OTR needs your help.

Since being based at its premises in St Michaels Road in Bournemouth it has provided an array of services ranging from weekly sexual health screening, transgender and sexuality support and has hosted a wide range of support groups. Including Mind Out which addresses the discrimination and prejudice often experienced by LGBT+ people with underlying mental health needs. It also hosts Break Free a Trans*community group which meet every week to empower local individuals who are exploring their gender identity. OTR provides a weekly sexual health clinic; host social support groups and provide teaching and training to raise awareness of the LGBT+ community. Our support reduces isolation and vulnerability and provides crucial healthcare support.

Working alongside local agencies, the centre provides extended support in the reporting of local hate crime and onward support for those who have been sexually assaulted or working as commercial sex workers. The centres award winning staff have championed highly sought after training and education packages to help further raise awareness in local schools, colleges, universities and professional organisations in addition to delivering creative and unique health promotion events across local gay venues.

Cuts to government funding have challenged the continuation of this reliable and well used service from its current premises. Passionate about developing this service to further meet the ever-growing and specialist needs of our community OTR have linked in with Dorset Equality Network to help raise funds to sustain and develop this organisation as a community hub and are committed to exploring the support available through community based crowdfunding.

The funds that people pledge will help to protect the service short term whilst we work with the community and local commissioners to secure long term funding.

NHS Dorset County Hospital commented, “Over the Rainbow provides a hugely valued service and we are doing everything we can to ensure the centre can stay where it is in St Michael’s Road, Bournemouth. We are currently looking at options to continue the lease in the short-term. Longer-term we hope to attract external funding to preserve and enhance the service provided. “We appreciate that there has been some anxiety amongst our service users about the future of the centre and we would like to assure them that we will keep them up to date with any developments.”

On the 16th April there is a sponsored walk from pier to pier in Dorothy's Heels. Join in and help raise money. 12noon start at Boscombe Pier.

Find out more and donate here.