The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF) are raising awareness of the services that are available to support the health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.
It’s easy to forget about yourself, when you’re looking after husbands, wives, partners, families and friends. But there are many opportunities on peoples’ doorsteps, to help all of us look after ourselves.
Taking care of yourself, also means taking care of your sexual health. And as we look towards World AIDS Day (Dec 1st) the LGF are committed to raising awareness of the importance of safer sex and HIV testing.
Peter Boyle, The LGF’s Community Engagement Officer says: “During this Self Care Awareness Week, we should all be thinking about how we can take care of ourselves, and look after our partners, friends and communities.”
“Having a good sexual health routine has never been more important than it is now. This is so much more than simply wearing a condom, it is about being better informed, having regular sexual health check ups and doing everything that we can to reduce the incidence of undiagnosed STIs and HIV in our communities.”
The LGF’s “Free Gay Men’s Safer Sex Packs” are available throughout Greater Manchester, if a venue displays the “Free Gay Men’s Safer Sex Packs Available Here” sticker – it means that you can go inside and access free condoms and lube, to help take care of you and your partner.
Gay and bisexual men can also get a full sexual health check-up at the LGF outreach clinic every Monday at venues across Manchester, and the charity also run a Rapid HIV testing Clinic every Thursday (4pm – 6pm) at The LGF, Number 5, Richmond Street, Manchester.
We all need to look after ourselves, especially at this time of year when it’s easy to feel isolated, so if you need someone to talk to, The Lesbian & Gay Foundation offer wide ranging support.
People can pop-in in person for a chat, or call on 0845 3 30 30 30, or come in for face to face counselling – at the moment the LGF are offering free face to face counselling for under 25’s.
Lucy Rolfe, the charity’s Wellbeing Co-ordinator says: “We’re here if you need us, so please don’t suffer in silence, get in touch for help and support.”
For people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans (LGBT) and care for someone, they can access the LGBT Carers Group that meets at the LGF on the last Monday of the month.
For those who can’t make it to the meeting, they can access the LGBT Carers Forum. People can go online at any time and chat with other carers and professionals for help and support. To visit the LGBT Carers Forum, click here.
LGF Programmes Manager Annie Emery says: “If you care for someone else, you often forget your own needs and wellbeing. It’s crucial that people, both carers and non carers, are aware of services that are open to them for support. Many people report these LGBT specific services to be a real lifeline.”
For more on LGF services visit www.lgf.org.uk or call 0845 3 303030.