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North East NHS have awarded the LGBT projects the regional collaboration award at the Sexual Health Awards 2010
A group of workers from eight health and voluntary organisations in Newcastle including the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans gender service based in Co Durham, beat off competition from other teams to win the collaboration category of the North East sexual health awards.
DISC the North East based charity works to support the most vulnerable of society focusing on deprivation and exclusion.
Billijean Summerbell a senior LGBT practitioner from DISC involved in the project, said, "We are very proud to have won this category and have worked so hard to get the resource together to provide information to the Lesbian and Bisexual community around their health and well being. What makes this resource stand out is the consultation and time taking with Lesbian and Bisexual women from the Northeast focusing on their needs."
Meet the team
Heidi Hansen from Shine
Janet Owen from Mesmac
Sian Broadhurst Newcastle City council
Debbie Walker Trinity Youth
Tim Ward Newcastle PCT
"LesbiSexyandhealthy group were the deserving winners in the collaboration category." says Professor Peter Kelly, director of public health who presented them with their award. "This project drew together workers from across the region to address the sexual health needs of lesbian and bisexual women who felt their health needs were often misunderstood and frequently overlooked."
"Together they produced a brochure, and a website full of information about health, sex, relations, the law and more."
The group worked across sector boundaries incorporating NHS and local authority staff, voluntary sector workers, sexual health staff, community workers and drug and alcohol workers and above all, worked with lesbian and bi-sexual women to develop the resource.
Nikki Jeffrey, senior sexual health adviser in Newcastle and North Tynesside, who nominated the group, explains, "There are very few organisations working with lesbian and bi-sexual women in the north east. Working together meant we had enough workers to gain a cross section of views from 250 women through eight focus sessions across the region."
"The resulting 48-page booklet, and the website www.lesbisexyandhealthy.co.uk written by the working group and their colleagues, draws together a vast body of knowledge, and ensures a cross-pollination of knowledge and experience. There is also the possibility that the website and booklet could be self-funded in the future, ensuring that the collaborative effort continues."