Wellbeing group opens to help residents and visitors to Southside.
A new LGBTQ+ mental health and wellbeing network has launched at Southside venue The Loft, encouraging people in the community to participate in activities as well as offering a support system for those who need it.
The Circle is a sober social meet-up hosted on the last Sunday of each month, and has been organised to tackle the increasing number of mental health issues in the LGBTQ+ community. As well as getting the chance to speak to people who have experienced similar issues, each session is attended by an occupational therapist and quiet spaces are available for anxiety sufferers. There are also social activities for people of all ages such as gaming and Lego.
In addition, the organisers are working closely with local people to offer free-of-charge hobby taster sessions at the socials, teaching new skills and encouraging members to interact with each other. Currently, sessions are planned in photography and Photoshop, sign language, DJ mixing, knitting, meditation and foreign languages.
The group is also looking to host ad-hoc socials at venues across the city, in order to enable people to explore all that Birmingham has to offer comfortably. The first social saw Lego Discovery World donate 70 tickets to The Circle, where the Lego professionals made bespoke builds for the network.
Southside is home to the most diverse population in Birmingham and venues across the district strive to be inclusive and accepting to all. More than fifty people, aged between eight and sixty, made their way to The Loft for the latest session, with the space being offered for free by GB Training for the foreseeable future.
Scott Gethings, founder of The Circle, said: “There are some amazing socials in the city for the LGBTQ+ community, but very few focus on the serious issue of wellbeing, and the rise in mental health cases that are reported daily.
“We wanted to create a space where people can talk about what they’re going through – the chances are that someone else in the room has had similar experiences. Not only do we want this network to offer support, we want visitors to have fun and create memories without the need to go to a bar. We’ve received excellent feedback so far, and we’re looking forward to seeing more new faces at our next event.”
Julia Robinson, manager at Southside Business Improvement District, added: “We are proud to be home to Birmingham’s Gay Village and innovative projects like The Circle. Scott and his team will help countless people when they need it most and they should be immensely proud of their work.”
The next Circle event will held on Sunday 27th October and is open to visitors of all ages. To keep up date with The Circle, visit www.facebook.com/CircleLGBTQ and for more information on Southside BID, visit www.enjoysouthside.co.uk