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Key points in our history are:
1989 September We formed as a local group (then called "Gloucestershire Friend") born out of a need for a Helpline for gay and lesbian people in Gloucestershire and the surrounding counties and embarked on a six month set-up, fund raising and volunteer training programme. 1990 March We started to operate our Helpline services. 1990 June We affiliated to National Friend Ltd, an umbrella support organisation and registered charity (although now disbanded). 1994 October Sir Ian McKellen became our patron. 1997 April We changed our name from "Gloucestershire Friend" to "Gay & Lesbian Friend Helpline (Gloucestershire)".
The new name better reflected our work at that time and with whom whilst retaining the word Friend in our title.
1998 January We started to operate our internet website and our email helpline direct support service.
As far as we could ascertain, we were the first LGB&T support group in the UK to provide an email direct support service in addition to our telephone support.
2000 April We became a member of the Consortium of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered voluntary and community organisations. 2005 May Successful bid from The Big Lottery announced. 2005 August Big Lottery funding commenced for a two year period. 2005 September We changed our name from "Gay & Lesbian Friend Helpline (Gloucestershire)" to
"GAY-GLOS" with a strap-line of 'supporting LGBT people, their families and friends'.
Our new name is much easier to remember and use. Dropping the words Friend and Helpline removed our old link to the defunct National Friend Ltd and the implication that we were only a Helpline as we now provide a much broader range of services. We were also able to simplify our web address by using it as our domain name.
2006 February We launched the first of our Rural Friendship Support Groups. 2010 February The overall design of our website was revamped and caters for Accessibility and other design compliance including Disability Discrimination Act requirements. The news section on our Home page was moved to a News page on its own. It lists our own news items and notices as well as some mainstream new items and contributions from website visitors. 2010 April Our old Rural Friendship Support Groups were amalgamated into our Social Calendar of events and activities. 2010 July We set up limited GAY-GLOS details on these networks:
Facebook (GAY-GLOS) and Twitter (GAYGLOS)
2011 April We changed the operational days of our Telephone Helpline from 5 days Monday to Friday each week
to 3 days Monday, Tuesday and Thursday each week.
The core times for the Telephone Helpline remain at 7:30pm to 9:30pm each day.
2011 November We closed our Social Calendar of events and activities, Social Members webpage and Social email address.
We ran these activities, starting with Rural Friendship Support Groups, for nearly 6 years from February 2006.
During that time they served their purpose well and GAY-GLOS would like to thank everyone who came along to support them and all volunteers who put in a lot of work and time to make them happen.
2011 December We ceased provision of our personal support through our Telephone Helpline, Email Helpline and Face to Face Meetings direct support services.
This difficult decision was taken after a decline in recent years in the level of access to these direct support services.
Telephone Helpline and Face to Face Meeting services were proivided for nearly 22 years from March 1990.
Email Helpline service had been provided for 14 years from January 1998.
In line with this, our News Page, FAQ's, Message Board and Feedback webpages have also ceased although links to News and Magazines webpages have been added to our Links pages.
We shall continue our Strategic Engagement plus our External Training and Education Programmes for Schools and Colleges and look towards setting up a new Youth project.
2012 April We started the process of setting up a young people's social group for LGB&T people and those exploring their sexual orientation.
We became an accredited as a Partner Club of Young Gloucestershire Youth Club Partnership Scheme.
2012 July We ran the first meeting of our young people's social group that we started in April.
See our youth group page for more details.
2012 October GAY-GLOS became a registered charity (number 1149572).