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Hands reaching out - building connection
March 30, 2020
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Such incredible news to share with you this morning. Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved with Chrysalis we are now able to offer our support groups and our one-to-one counselling online.

For those already a part of Chrysalis then the team will be in touch with you with all the information you need. If you want to join Chrysalis and access our support then email info@chrysalisgim.org.uk or call 07823 504306 between 9:30 and 3pm Monday to Friday and Dawn or Sheila will be there to chat with you.

Want to speak to a specific lovely person? Then check back on the website for the rota of who is doing what, when. Whatever you need we are here for you, we have a list of volunteers who can just give you a ring and regular check in, we have volunteers who can go and pick up essential supplies, we have humans who are here to care. Want to catch up with me in person then you can email me andi.maratos@chrysalisgim.org.uk, I’m always up for a chat too.

Chrysalis exists to break down the barriers caused by isolation and in these challenging times we are emerging stronger and better than ever before. No longer are we bound by location. If you are in the UK and want our support then just drop us a message. We have confidential support groups for trans and questioning people, for parents, for partners and for anyone else whose life has been impacted by the reality of gender diversity. For Chrysalis #genderidentitymatters and we’re not going to let a virus stop that.

We are pleased to be able to offer all our services pro-bono for the whole of April and please do speak to us if you feel that money could be a barrier to accessing our services, we are there for all of you, whenever you need us, we can always work it out.

Our one-to-one counselling is second to none and last Friday I hosted a meeting with fourteen of our incredibly skilled, caring and devoted volunteer counsellors. If you are looking for someone with an expertise and understanding around gender diversity then look no further. Not content with just moving to one online method of contact we can now offer our current and new clients the full range of ways to access therapy. Perhaps you’ve always struggled using your voice, well that’s OK we can match you with a counsellor who works with text; don’t want video, how about a phone call; really need to see who you are talking to, then your counsellor will work with you on Zoom. Speak to us about how we are managing your data and your privacy. Your counsellor will have a confidential space in their home where they will not be overheard, keep an eye out on here for photos of their lovely spaces coming soon.

This is my confidential space, where I spent last Friday providing supervision to lots of our counsellors. I don’t know about you but I have found it an interesting challenge to bring the office home. I’ve found space in my house that I never knew existed!

Andi’s confidential corner for all those chats where it’s imperative that they’re not overheard. Chair and laptop in small space, gaysper symbol on back of laptop.

Thanks to my wonderful family I’ve been able to work as hard as always sat here above the cat flap with my aloe vera and orchid. One thing I do know is that a few weeks of me working right by them means they will get some rather urgently needed TLC too.

Andi’s sad and unloved aloe which is due to get rather a lot more care and attention than it’s been used to.

What’s on for this week? Policies and procedures mainly – all these changes need documenting and then board approval. We need to check that we have crossed the i’s and dotted the t’s to make sure that we are offering an ethical, boundaried, responsible support service where all of the team delivering it are working within their limits. I am so very proud of my facilitation team and counselling team as they openly discussed potential barriers and personal challenges to our new way of working as well as helping each other develop our solutions.

Now things are settling I will try to post more, you’ll already have seen an increase in the amount of posts on the website. Many thanks to An and Sheila for all their hard work there. Also a shout out to Sammy who is our trustee with responsibility for data protection and GDPR compliance. She’s been checking out all the systems we plan to use and will continue to make sure your data is as safe as possible. Thanks to Steven who is a wizz with Microsoft forms and already experienced in working online and as always thanks to both Max and Dawn without whom we would certainly not have moved as fast as we have done. Truly every single one of you who is part of the Chrysalis team is integral to the high standard of support we offer and everything you do for us and our group members is valued.

Bye for now and please do remember to take care of yourselves too.

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