Calderdale Friends of Dorothy: Empowering Lesbians Over 50.

Calderdale Friends of Dorothy (CFoD), a local community group in the Upper Valley, provides a safe and supportive space for lesbian women over the age of 50 while challenging heteronormative attitudes and building an inclusive community.

Friends of Dorothy are committed to improving the well-being and quality of life for its members and through this, the wider LGBTQ+ community as well.

Through ongoing consultations with social and healthcare providers, they amplify the voices of older individuals, shedding light on their unique fears and concerns as they age, allowing them to advocate for changes to the system.

Some members of the LGBTQ+ community are estranged from their biological families and go on to build their own chosen families and networks.

While not biologically related, these networks provide the same love and support structure as a traditional family.

However, existing policies and procedures within care homes and hospital environments often fail to recognise the concept of these alternative structures or even adequately address matters of sexuality.

To address these gaps, several CFoD members have completed training which enables them to educate local care providers on the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community, ensuring that alternative family models and networks are recognised and that assumptions about individuals’ sexuality are challenged.

By challenging these assumptions and advocating for inclusivity, they ensure that all networks, chosen or otherwise, are given the respect and recognition they deserve.

From participating in steering groups to hosting workshops on lasting power of attorney, the group is committed to lifting its community and striving for progress.

At the heart of CFoD lies a vibrant tight-knit community, the group thrives on lending a helping hand and Dorothy’s TimeBank is an excellent example of community spirit.

In Time Banking, members help one another by giving an hour of their time, such as doing someone’s shopping. For every hour of help given, they earn an hour that can be used to receive help from someone else.

To learn more about Time Banking you can visit:

Friends of Dorothy also believe in combatting social isolation and loneliness and have many opportunities for social connections.

The group frequently get together for coffee mornings and delicious Sunday brunches and even offers activities such as weekly dance classes with a professional instructor. Dorothy’s ensures that there’s something available for everyone, and new ideas are always welcomed.

Members are also kept well-informed through exclusive monthly newsletters featuring the latest events and gatherings.

If you’re keen to learn more about Calderdale Friends of Dorothy, you can watch their short film featuring Barbara Abbott on their website:

If you’re interested in becoming a member of Friends of Dorothy please email or send a message to 07568 157729.

Please note: To become a member, there is a minimum cost of £5.00 per year, additional donations are also welcome.

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