A community leader in Pendleton says bringing people together to raise awareness of health and social matters is more important than ever after Covid.
Claire Fewings, service manager for customer service in Salford Council, commented about the events and its yearly return to the local communities, she said: “We run events like this to ensure that we’re continuing to educate share information, but also celebrate how far we’ve come, we do recognise that there is so much more we can do.
Claire said: “It’s more important, now more than ever, that communities get together for community cohesion, I think people and communities have been isolated during the pandemic, and the teams across the gateways are so passionate about diversity, and inclusion.
“We want to make sure that help and support are available across the city for all of our communities.”
The gateways are featuring displays for each important week, plus the LGBT history month display staying up for the entirety of the month.
Each display aims to bring a conversation about the issues LGBT people face in Salford, while the HIV testing week provides advice and knowledge on tests and the importance to test regularly.
Stephen Mcanulty, locality manager at Pendleton Gateway, said: “We want to provide services that are in the building that the community wants. So instead of us thinking ‘Oh yes the community wants, x, y and z’, we look at data, we speak to the community, we plan the activities and we try to get services in and what the community wants to do, basically.”
John Beattie, locality team leader for the Gateways, said: “Having things like this helps, you have to see the history to get a better future, you have to know where you came from and things that you went through in order to be able to learn and sometimes you have to be challenged by things that happened in the past.
“There is hope now, there are things now that we didn’t have back then, you have proper testing… you have things that we didn’t have as gay men back in the day. So, having these things to talk about is brilliant, because you got to give advice and direct people to the right place and give more help if they require it.”
The Salford City Council is supporting all events of inclusivity this month and many more, with continuous backing for Salford Pride, as well as implementing better help for other councillors and members of the council who are in the LGBT umbrella.
Sharmina August, Councillor and Lead Member for Inclusive Economy, Anti-Poverty and Equalities, commented about the changes being brought by the council for LGBT history month, saying: “We have role models making informative videos, we go to schools and we promote it (LGBT History Month) … starting with the youngest people is the way to do that.
“We have events across the city, but I think there is more to be done, and if anyone wants to suggest anything please get in touch with me directly.”
The HIV Testing week displays also have people handing out tests, like BHA workers Bethany and Elisabete Miranda, who remind people that while testing for COVID is important, tests for HIV and STI should not be dismissed or replaced.
Jennifer Mawby interviewed Bethany in this clip:
The displays on LGBT History month will continue in place for the remaining of the month, and while the Hate Crime Awareness and HIV test week will not be in place, the Gateways provide schedules on different celebrations, activities, and talks in their ‘diversity inclusion calendar’.
If you have any changes for the diverse communities in Salford, contact Sharmina August in: email@example.com