Over The Rainbow's Services Threatened by Funding Cuts
For 15 years, Over the Rainbow has been a local and national beacon, recognised for its outstanding support, advocacy, and service provision to the LGBT community, and is widely known to be at the very heart of that community.
The Over The Rainbow premises in St Michaels Road, Bournemouth, hosts a wide range of LGBT friendly services, which include transgender and sexuality support, weekly sexual health clinic, and support groups.
Support groups include Mind Out, who address discrimination and prejudice often experienced by LGBT with underlying mental health needs, and Break Free, a trans community group who meet every week to empower local individuals who are exploring their gender identity.
Working alongside local agencies, the centre provides support in the reporting of local hate crime, and support for those who have been sexually assaulted and those in commercial sex work. Many of the service users suffer from vulnerabilities and complex needs; without OTR, they would experience isolation, increased vulnerability, and the loss of crucial healthcare support.
Over The Rainbow's award winning staff have developed training and education packages to help raise LGBT awareness in local schools, colleges, universities and professional organisations. They also deliver creative and unique health promotion events across local gay venues, such as the "pop-up sexual health screening at the annual Gay Pride events. These packages have been recognised nationally as models of excellence.
Sadly, cuts to NHS and public health funding have challenged the continuation of this service from its current premises. The staff are passionate about maintaining and developing the service, to meet the ever-growing specialist needs of the local community.
Over The Rainbow have joined with the LGBT Dorset Equality Network to apply for funding to sustain and develop themselves as an LGBT community hub. This partnership will improve advocacy for the LGBT community and will expand and improve links with other community groups. Local NHS service providers and commissioners recognise the importance of the service and are committed to preserving and developing it.
How you can help
Over The Rainbow are seeking community based crowdfunding funding to protect the service in the short term, while they work with the LGBT community and local commissioners to secure long term funding. Any funds that you are able to pledge will be gratefully received, and used for the benefit of the local community.
Help them build a pot of gold to preserve and expand current services for the local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender community in Dorset: