In 2019 PramaLife approached the Inclusive Community Church because they wanted to do more to support older LGBT people. The feedback received was that an exercise group would not only help older people enhance their health and well-being, it would also be an opportunity for Prama to engage more with older LGBT people.
The exercise group, that was subsequently set up with the Inclusive Community Church, has been a success and has continued online throughout lockdown. The Rev Dwayne Morgan of the Inclusive Community Church commented:
"We at Inclusive Community Church have been blessed with the support of PramaLife in partnering with us to provide our Light & Gentle Exercise Classes and Coffee Mornings for older LGBT+ persons and others who need both a connection to help overcome their loneliness as well as a means of getting physical movement in a way that is welcoming and inclusive of everyone. The flexibility that PramaLife has given us during the current pandemic to bring the Light & Gentle Exercise Classes and Coffee Mornings online have helped to ensure that this vital connection has continued during an even greater time of isolation for so many".
The move has also influenced Prama to undertake more work with the LGBT community, for example with Chrysalis, the charity representing trans people, providing our staff team with awareness raising training. Andi Maratos the Chief Executive of Chrysalis has said of our work together:
"It was great to work with Prama, to put together a bespoke training course for them and partners, empowering the policy makers as trans allies so they can make Prama a more trans friendly service. I thoroughly enjoyed the session, with lots of lively participation from all the attendees and it was especially nice to hear them talking about how they were going to implement both small and sweeping changes to make their groups and support services not just trans inclusive but positive, caring spaces for everyone. I am looking forward to working with Prama in the future".
The goal going forward for Prama is to continue working with the LGBT community and partners across the voluntary, private and statutory sectors in building a community which tackles discrimination against LGBT people, particularly in older age, and to develop new models of support which truly involve everyone.