Making Everyone Welcome in the Voluntary Sector

This week – 13th to 19th November – is Trans Awareness Week. The voluntary sector has a long, strong, and proud history of inclusivity, but more than that – fighting to ensure voices are heard and that everyone feels like they can take an active part in the community that they live in.

Trans people continue to face discrimination and stigmatization in all aspects of life. According to 2018 research carried out by Stonewall, a national charity that stands for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and ace (LGBTQ+) people everywhere, over 40% of trans people had experienced a hate crime or incident in the previous 12 months; 20 percent of trans people had been physically attacked by a colleague or customer in their workplace; and 40% of trans people adjust the way they dress because of fear of discrimination or harassment.

Reports suggest that since 2018 discrimination against trans people has only increased. TransActual UK, a national organisation run by and for trans people, carried out a survey in 2021 that showed that 85% of trans women, and 71% of trans men, reported experiencing harassment from strangers in the street. A whopping 99% of respondents said they experienced transphobic abuse on social media.

Everyone deserves to live a life free from harassment and discrimination. In the voluntary sector, we try very hard to make sure that everyone doesn’t just feel welcome, but is welcome, whether you are using a service or volunteering to support other people. There is always more work to be done.

Out in the Bay directly supports the LGBTQI community in Morecambe and Lancaster, by offering Equality and Diversity training to the local community and also by holding various support groups including; coffee afternoons, trans male and trans female groups, as well as a Family group. But we all have a part to play, and we will continue to improve how we make spaces welcoming and safe for everyone.

You can find out more about Out in the Bay by visiting their website. Out in the Bay actively encourages volunteers. If you want support to find other volunteering opportunities, you can contact the team at Lancaster District CVS.