Gay and lesbian support snub from firms

A FLEDGLING service to provide advice and support to gay and lesbian people from across west Suffolk is appealing for help after failing to attract corporate sponsorship.

A FLEDGLING service to provide advice and support to gay and lesbian people from across west Suffolk is appealing for help after failing to attract corporate sponsorship.

Shaun Warner, of Bury St Edmunds-based Sh-Sh Promotions, had hoped to open a telephone helpline, while supporting educational projects in schools, in time for Christmas.

But after contacting 40 companies asking for support for the non-profit-making venture, Shaun was disappointed to receive only one reply – which simply read "no".

"I honestly do not know the reasons why people have not replied," he said. "It is like banging your head against a brick wall, but I enjoy a challenge, and this just makes me more determined to succeed.


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"There is nothing at all for gay or lesbians in west Suffolk, and although there is a service in Ipswich, it is only for 16 to 24-year-olds. Once you get past 24, nobody wants to know.

"But as there has been so much coverage of changes in anti-discrimination law recently, I would have thought this would be the ideal time for companies to be supporting projects like this."

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Sh-Sh Promotions plan a variety of activities in the Bury St Edmunds area over the coming months, including a dedicated night for gay and lesbian people at a town centre venue.

But Shaun, who runs the project with the help of just one other person, holds down a full-time job and supplies funds from his own pocket, is hoping to apply for charitable status in the near future to allow the service to widen its remit.

Eventually, Sh-Sh hopes to run educational programmes in schools while providing trained staff to man telephone lines offering advice and support.

To sponsor the project or volunteer to work on the helpline, visit the website at www.ga-think.co.uk/promotions or contact Shaun on 07905 791222.

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