Review of the project Launch on 7th August
A broad coalition of exhibition project supporting organisations -- including local and national NHS Trusts, Bournemouth and Poole councils, Bournemouth and Poole College [Art and Design], Bournemouth University academics, the Students Union, Equality South West and a number of Dorset and south west England LGB&T groups – attended the project launch event at Bournemouth Library on 7th August.
Approximately 60 guests and VIP’s attended, including: Michail Sanidas, NHS South of England Equality and Human Rights Manager. Bournemouth Council Safer and Stronger Communities Team Lead Andrew Williams, two senior officers from the Stonewall organisation (Luke Tryl and Sarah Rose), officers from Dorset Police, Bournemouth and Poole Art and Design Department officers, teachers and students involved in the graphic design aspect of the project, Space Youth Project officers and youth members, Sue Newell (Poole Council Equality lead), Sarah Peters (representing Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole LINks), senior representatives of Dorset HealthCare (DHUFT), and the Bournemouth University Students Union President and Vice-President (Education).
Details about the launch were included on Wave FM, BBC Radio Solent News and the radio stations prime time ‘Drive Time’ show. You can also view comments from VIP guests and some of the Bournemouth and Poole College final year graphic design students involved in the creation of the panel designs at: http://ahs-exhibition2012.co.uk/comments.htm
“The original impetus for the project,” says Alan Mercel-Sanca, “was the extent of still largely unchallenged homophobia in UK schools, especially in a sports/PE context but we looked at other areas where LGBT discrimination is common, including in public service organisations such as the NHS”.
The success of the launch can be measured by the scale of the interest in requests for the exhibition panels and PDF’s to be toured at many different locations and utilised by a wide range of organisations (from Dorset Police, a Trades Union, to the Dorset HealthCare NHS Trust).
In addition, following the launch it was confirmed that the Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole LINks organisation are to fund community outreach work for the project during the Autumn 2012 – March 2013 period. This support will be invaluable in capitalising on the extensive demand that has developed across the public service and voluntary sectors for using the project resources.