Tina Carnally is the Founder of Forward (Stockport LGBT+ Centre) CIC. She was nominated by Nickala Torkington of Flourish Together CIC.
Tina says “I have been developing a first of its kind community hub for the LGBTQIA+ community of Stockport and surrounding boroughs.
The aim is to improve the wellbeing of service users and the wider community by embracing the “5 Ways to Wellbeing”. We provide a local, accessible, and inclusive safe space, respecting everyone who joins our activities, and we work to increase inter-sectional activity, and promote good physical and mental health.
The future vision includes a café, an art gallery, and a community space for workshops. This is important to me because there is little support outside of the city of Manchester and our community (especially the trans members) has taken a real hit this year.”
Our 2020 Igniting Inspiration Campaign is proudly sponsored by
Who have you helped/who will you help?
“We have recently circulated two surveys to understand the demographics and needs of the local LGBT+ population which reached 255 people. Priorities for the centre are – a safe space, wellbeing workshops, counselling, and clinics e.g. sexual health, gender.
Other collaborators include: Stockport Pride, People Like Us Stockport, The Proud Trust, Hate Crime Partnership, Disability Stockport, Ebony & Ivory Community Organisation, NEXUS, SMBC, and Healthwatch.”
“COVID-19 has meant that we could not open a physical space, so we have been doing what we can digitally, running a helpline which has provided over 600 minutes of support, and more than 10 trans-specific and LGBTQ+ virtual social evenings to increase connections and wellbeing through mindfulness, games nights and quizzes.
Listening to the needs of our communities who are often not included and involved in shaping services that directly affect them. Investment from UnLtd, Sector 3, and Stockport Local Fund has helped us to deliver these services.
One of our helpline callers fed back “Drastically improved my mood. The call gave me support and contact with others who fully understood me”, and on our Socials, another wrote “It was a great laugh and fun. I feel 10000x happier than I did before”.
What have you learned? Any challenges?
“You can plan forever so just start doing and learn along the way! I’ve learned that there are so many people who want to support me, so reaching out when I’m feeling overwhelmed has become second nature.”
“World domination haha. Continuing to grow and listen to what our community wants and needs. We thought this year was hard; 2021 is going to present some unique challenges and opportunities.
We’re planning a month of events for LGBT+ History Month in February. We hoping to work in collaboration with the local Clinical Commissioning Group to provide social prescribing activities. We’re going to continue campaigning for trans rights by whatever platform I can.”
What advice, contacts, or resources would help her?
“Advice around income generation.”
Why we’re sharing these stories
Each year, an individual or organisation from each of our five categories plus one exceptional judges’ choice individual is recognised at our annual Igniting Inspiration celebration event.
We publish each and every nomination to raise awareness of all the positive work that goes on in the North. While, this year, our physical event had to be deferred, our campaign to spread stories of positive social impact continues – good news is needed!