Gay and transgender group needs new leader

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THE head of Calderdale Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Network has stepped down – and the hunt is on for a replacement.

Tim Fagan created the network five years ago and has held the position of chairperson since.

When Tim moved to Calderdale, he was surprised at the lack of visibilty of the gay community.

After discussing the issue with colleagues they decided to get together and form the network.

“It serves all sorts of functions. It was set up to create a safe space and time for people to bring the issues they had and information they wanted to share.

“It’s about engaging with other organisations and service providers across the community to improve the lives of LGBT people in the community,” said Tim.

With the support of Calderdale Council and chief executive Owen Williams, they contacted groups and service providers across the borough.

The response was resounding. “People wanted us to look at safe spaces where LGBT people could go with friends, family or members of the community and feel safe and be ourselves,” said Tim.

The network spent 18 months working on forming their flagship event, which became the now hugely popular Calderdale Pride.

“That’s gone from strength to strength,” Tim said. “It inspired the local community and is now being run by a separate organisation.”

The network are now working on other projects, including organising a Hate Crime conference – something the new chair will need to tackle.

“We said that’s a piece of work that’s done and has got a life of its own now and that’s fantastic.”

Tim had begun working with the Equity Partnership to plan the conference, which it is hoped will attract people and speakers from across the country and take place at the Victoria Theatre.

“I have stood down but with a feeling of pride and achievement. I am immensely grateful for the support I have while I have been chairman,” Tim said.

The network hold meetings every few months and the position of chairperson is vacant. Suitable replacements are asked to contact Tim on 01422 351158.