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To mark both World AIDS Day and Transgender day of remembrance, there will be a service at Rotherham Minster, beginning at 7pm on Monday 1 December. Everyone is welcome to join in this service which will bring all areas of the community together in the spirit of of both remembrance and hope. Come along and join us if you can.

Barnsley MBC are inviting you to comment on the vision and objectives, policies and proposals set out in the draft Local Plan Consultation Draft 2014, which will guide development in Barnsley up to the year 2033.

The consultation period for this document begins on Monday 10th November and runs until the 21st December 2014. Please visit the Local Plan Consultation Draft 2014 website for more details.

National HIV testing week runs from 22 to 30 November, and as the slogan says “It starts with me”. Or rather, in Barnsley it starts with +me, Barnsley’s first local group supporting people living with HIV in the borough.

+me offer free and confidential HIV testing with results available in under half an hour. It’s as quick as that to get tested and know your status. For further information or advice, take a look at this National HIV testing week poster or alternatively you can contact Karl Cooper at +me by phone on 01226 320148 or 07543 442547, or by email on [email protected] to discuss taking the test.

Whether you’re gay, straight or bi, getting tested in national HIV testing week is a quick and straightforward process, so step up and take the test between 22 and 30 November.

This year Remembrance Sunday falls on 9th November

This is a time to remember and give thanks for those who have served and those who continue to serve the nation. There will be a service attended by  the Mayor of Barnsley and members of the Royal British Legion taking place at:

Church of the Nazarene, corner of Sheffield Road and Oxford Street, Barnsley S70 4PH starting at 6pm.

For more details please call 07446 352 503 or visit

Sheffield Hallam University are holding a debate on homophobic and transphobic bullying on 4 November 2014, 4.30pm for 4.50pm start (finish by 7pm)

This event will explore homophobic and transphobic bullying and prejudice experienced by young people, and the most effective and appropriate ways to prevent it and/or support those who experience it. It is suitable for parents and members of the public, practitioners who work with young people (e.g. teachers, youth workers, social workers, health workers), and teenagers themselves. There will be research presentations from Eleanor Formby (Sheffield Hallam University) and Clíodhna Devlin (LGBT Youth North West), input from local LGBT youth groups/workers, and an opportunity for questions and informal discussion. All welcome!


The debate will take place at The Crucible, 55 Norfolk St, Sheffield, S1 1DA

Book your place! Attendance is free of charge, however places are limited so we’d recommend booking your place early using the university’s online booking form.

We are pleased to announce that the Forum, along with SW Yorkshire NHS Partnership Trust and Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council have teamed up to sign up to the Stonewall Education Champions programme. More details are available here.

South and West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust are offering free breathing and relaxation workshops and you are invited to “come and learn practical relaxation and breathing techniques to help cope with everyday stressors”. For more details see their poster about the workshops here. To book a place on the free workshops please call 01226 707602.



Doncaster and Bassetlaw hospitals are running an initiative to raise awareness and also to screen for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening. Please see the following few paragraphs for more details.


You might not have heard of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms, or AAAs, before now.  Equally you will not know that you have one until it is too late!

AAAs are a swelling of the aorta – the body’s main blood vessel – and are a condition that effects mainly older men, causing around 6,000 deaths a year.  If left undetected, a AAA can cause the aorta to rupture, which is a medical emergency that often causes death.

The problem with AAAs is that they carry no symptoms and the only way to know if you have one or not, is to have a simple ultrasound scan.

Fortunately for over a year now, Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospitals have been offering a AAA Screening Programme to older men across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw and we are encouraging you to consider having the scan yourself (if you are 65 or over) or tell any of your older friends and relatives about the programme so that they can be screened.

We have over 30 AAA clinics across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw and regularly use our specialist Health Bus to offer AAA Screening in more remote areas, so the AAA service is accessible to all.

The scan is also free, quick and very straightforward.  It is a simple ultrasound scan over your abdomen that takes around five minutes and requires you to do little more than lift up your shirt.

To date the AAA Screening team have detected over 20 of the most serious or large AAAs, which means that over 20 lives have been potentially saved.  We have screened thousands of men, offering the majority the peace of mind that they do not have the condition.  We are also the highest performing AAA Screening team in the UK, so if you contact us to arrange a scan, you will be in safe hands.

We are encouraging all older men to consider having AAA screening; for peace of mind and to ensure that we can look after you properly if you have the condition.

The national AAA Screening Programme website has a comprehensive list of responses to people’s questions about AAAs and is well worth looking at if you have any queries.

Alternatively, you can call the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw AAA Screening Programme office on 01709 321189 or by emailing [email protected] to book an appointment, or to speak to one of the team about AAAs and the screening service we provide, in more detail.

Barnsley LGBT Forum would like to congratulate Stephanie Hirst on the courage she showed in making her announcement on BBC Radio 5 last night. Shaun Lawrence, male co-chair of the Forum said on Sunday 12 October “We are proud of Stephanie for having the courage to make her announcement. The Forum would like Stephanie to know that we as a group are here to collectively offer her our support, along with any advice that she may need, both now and in the future. And of course, we also look forward to her returning to host her own show soon.” He also added “When people in the public eye make such an announcement they send a message of hope to people who at the moment, for whatever reason, are unable to do the same at this point in their journey.”


Formerly known as Simon Hirst, a DJ on Capital radio, Stephanie took the step to disclose her transition on BBC 5 Live in an interview on Saturday 11th October, which is also National Coming out Day. Stephanie’s interview can be heard in the show’s podcast.


There is a support day for Transgender people and their family and friends at Leeds Art Gallery on Saturday 6th September, 12.30 – 4pm, and as part of this there is a Human Library event taking place and volunteers are required to go along to the event and participate as a ‘Human Book’?

What is it?

The Human Library idea started in various local library services a few years ago, and is a great way of communities sharing stories and listening to the experiences of others. The idea is that someone is a ‘human book’ and can be booked out by a visitor for a one-to-one session of 20-30 minutes. In this time, the ‘human book’ tells their life story to the borrower, and the borrower listens and asks questions of the book. We are aiming for approximately 15-18 ‘books’ to be available to borrow.

What will be expected of me if I volunteer?

Whatever our gender identification, we all have a gender story. We would like to invite you to tell the story of, or a story from, your life that has gender connected in as a theme somehow. The story is to last 20 minutes and then there’ll be 10 minutes for the person who has ‘borrowed you’ to chat and ask questions. You will be given a desk to sit at in the Henry Moore room for a one-to-one audience. If you would prefer to have a private space to tell your story in, we have a number of small rooms available for this too. The event starts at 12.30 and ends at 4pm, but I will be running an open workshop / confidence-building session from 11am for anyone who wants to come and try their story out one-to-one or with the other ‘human books’, for support and feedback.You can be a book for part or all of the afternoon, and take breaks as and when you need. Remember that it is your story – what you choose to tell or not tell is entirely up to you and we encourage you to find a story of or from your life that you will enjoy sharing.

Who can volunteer?

We urge anyone who is interested in telling their story to come and be a book. If you like the idea of it, but are unsure where to start telling your story, you are welcome to contact me at Cast-Off Drama or come from 11am on the 6th September to build the story on the day. We welcome anyone of any gender identification – Trans*, gender-variant, gender queer, non-binary gendered and cis-gendered. Gender shapes all our lives and we all have a story to tell. The event is however aimed at people who identify as Trans*, gender-variant and non-binary gendered as a support for their friends and families. We are therefore particularly keen to encourage people from these groups – also, friends and family of Trans* people who may have a story that may help others – to volunteer as ‘human books’.

Can I volunteer as a ‘book’ for an organisation?

Yes. It is important however to tell a story and not just present what your services offer in the usual way. We suggest that you tell the gender story of your organisation. How did your organisation start? What’s its ‘life story’? How did it come to address gender in its ways of working? How does it support and empower people in their gender journey or broaden understandings of gender through its services? You may choose of course to tell your own story in connection to your organisation. What’s your gender story and how does it relate to what you do in the organisation? If you wish to discuss how to shape your story, please contact me at Cast-Off Drama, or come to the gallery from 11am on the day.

Who will the ‘borrowers’ be?

The event will be attended by friends and family of Trans* people from across West Yorkshire who have been contacted via support organisations, also through posters distributed in the public domain. It has been made clear on the marketing, and we will emphasise on the day, that the event is intended to support Trans* people. If for any reason you feel uncomfortable at any time, you are welcome to take a break and ask the borrower to choose another book. We will also be on hand to support you on this.


For any more information, please contact me at Cast-Off Drama by e-mail: [email protected] For further information on the Trans* Friends and Family Support Day on the 6th September, also for information on the Free Training Day for Professionals and Voluntary Workers in working with LGBT* Service-Users on the 5th September, please contact Jude at Leeds Art Gallery on 0113 247 7120, e-mail: [email protected] Information on the international Human Library initiative and how it has worked elsewhere can be found at – .

Next Meeting

Next meeting Friday 21 November from 6pm in The Core off County Way, Barnsley.