Amach! LGBT Galway - What They Do and How You Can Help

 

AMACH! LGBT Galway is a registered charity that is fully run by volunteers that have worked very hard over the past number of years to make Teach Solais, LGBT+ Resource Centre a reality.  Since opening in January 2017, Teach Solais has become an integral part of both the LGBT+ and wider Galway community. Teach Solais is committed to the concept of health promotion and aims to be a supportive environment for all people who attend, promoting an holistic approach to health and wellbeing.  We intend to advocate, enable, and mediate for those attending our service in respect to positive health outcomes.

 

Teach Solais is home to many LGBT+ specific supports which include the Galway branch of the LGBT Helpline (National Helpline); several LGBT support groups including GOSSIP (Transgender support group), “First out”/Coming out support group and Shout! Youth support group (18-25 years), Irish speaking LGBT group and Queer woman’s space.


Not only does the centre provide the much needed supports for the LGBT+ community, it is also a place for the dynamic and rich culture of the community to thrive.  There are so many fun and exciting activities occurring for example photography courses, arts and crafts courses, alternative theatre night by An Ait Eile, meditation sessions,yoga classes, book club, film nights and a out very own “Teach Solais tribe” soccer team


We are a centre for education and shared learing with panel discussions, education/training courses (e.g. LGBT cultural competency/social inclusion workshops) and we regularly run information events (e.g. mental health talks).


We are proud of the vibrant hub of activity and support that Teach Solais has become, but we are forever searching for sustainable funding and unfortunately don’t know from each year if we will have enough funds to keep the doors of Teach Solais open.  We are so grateful to everyone that raises fund for us as every bit means so much to our aim- to not only ensure the survival of Teach Solais, but to build capacity and offer more services, to do outreach and family support in the rural parts of county Galway and further afield. We have done some great work with engaging with the LGBT migrant community, in particular, with those in direct provision and we wish to commit to doing more with this very vulnerable group.


The Marriage Equality Referendum in May 2015 was a positive step towards equality and social inclusion of LGBT+ people in Ireland.  However, health outcomes for those identifying as LGBT+ are still unequal to that of their heterosexual peers. Incidences of substance abuse, suicidality, and self-harm are still a very real problem within the LGBT+ community.  Feelings of social exclusion, discrimination, and even the expectation of discrimination can play a factor in these negative health outcomes.

 

In providing a service like Teach Solais Resource Centre we are not only providing a space for people to feel safe in respect to their sexual identity, but in building partnerships and working collaboratively with other non-LGBT+ specific groups we are promoting awareness and inclusion within the wider society.  Breaking down barriers and reducing levels of discrimination will benefit society as a whole, not just those identifying as LGBT+.

 

Such organisations like The Pashion Froot are impacting positively with a strong ethical and socially inclusive ethos, which we at AMACH! support. We are so very grateful to all of the “froots” that help us along our way of making Teach Solais an integral part of Galway city, county and indeed the west of Ireland!  


- Maria Molloy, Chairperson of AMACH! LGBT Galway

1 comment

Patrick Maher

Hi Maria,ive been to the centre many times and walked wjth your group in th past two gay pride parades.I do voluntary work with a direct provision centre in portlaoise and i set up a soccer team for them.I am a qualified coach and have done lots of work with the F.A.I. in the past.If i can be of any helpto you in any way dont hesitate to contact me or call me @ 0858402392

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