Nicola and Sarennah (of the rainbow hat fame) moved to Malvern in August 2014. Previously they had lived in Reading where they had an involvement with BeYou (an LGBT Helpline) and Thames Valley LGBT Chorus (known then as ‘Reading Gay Chorus’). On moving to Worcestershire, they hoped to get involved in similar groups in order to start making new friends in the area. But they struggled to find much going on. They found The Flag but were too old to go drinking and dancing till the small hours! They did find a small group of women called ‘Malvern Lesbian Group’ who had a monthly meeting in a pub.
However, going back to single sex groups wasn’t really what Nicola and Sarennah were looking for – they missed the boys too much! They were also keen to have a chance to meet and chat with people in a non-scene, non-alcohol environment. So that’s where the idea for the ‘Tea Shop Tour’ came from. At first it was an extra meeting for the Malvern Lesbian Group on a Saturday morning at a different Tea or Coffee shop each month. This grew in popularity and, when they invited the whole local LGBT+ community to attend, was the beginning of Out2gether.
At the end of 2016, after much brain-storming of ideas we decided we would launch ‘Out2gether’ in February 2017, with an event to celebrate LGBT History Month. The launch event took place at the Horn and Trumpet and of course featured a buffet including LGBT+ themed cupcakes! Tom Piotrowski from Fortis Living (now Platform Housing) kindly donated funds to cover event expenses, Paul Denham the Mayor was invited and came (in his mayoral chain) to do a speech. At this time, we were just having a monthly social but in the years since then our membership and activities have expanded enormously!
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