Liberate

Liberate ask Channel Islanders to assist in HIV research project

This World AIDS Day (1 December) Liberate is asking Channel Islanders to assist in a research project that will provide the charity with information about the nature of the work that needs to be done in the Islands to provide more support for those living with HIV/AIDS.

Click here to take the survey:

Survey of HIV/AIDS across the Channel Islands

Questionário Ilhas do Canal acerca de VIH/SIDA

Ankieta na temat HIV/AIDS na Wyspach Normandzkich

Last year, Liberate were the recipients of an unexpected donation. The donation came with the restriction that it was to be used to support the fight against HIV/AIDS by providing support to those living with HIV and/or their families; support for medical research regarding care of those with HIV, treatment and/or prevention of HIV; and, promotion or education around safe sexual health.

To find out what is being done in the UK by charities working in this area Liberate have already visited the Terence Higgins Trust, the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity; the National AIDS Trust, who champion the rights of people living with HIV and campaign for change; and, StopAIDS, the network of UK agencies working to secure an effective global response to HIV and AIDS.

As a result of the meetings, Liberate have secured offers of support from Terence Higgins Trust and National AIDS Trust for any work it does in the Islands. Liberate have also supported the ENDAIDS2030 Festival organised by StopAIDS that marks 30 years of World AIDS Day and raises awareness of the commitment to end AIDS globally by 2030.

Vic Tanner Davy, CEO Liberate, said: “This is a new remit for Liberate, so it is imperative that we get the right focus for our support work in the Islands. We know what work we might undertake as a result of our discussions with the UK charities. We now need to research what the picture looks like across the Bailiwicks, so we can then decide what strand of work will have the most impact.”

Liberate are asking Islanders to complete an online survey. You do not need to be living with HIV or know someone who is, Liberate are interested in hearing your view and experience of HIV whatever your personal situation. The survey can be accessed from the links below.

Vic Tanner Davy, again: “All individual responses to the survey are completely anonymous and confidential, so we hope that those who are living with HIV in the Islands will engage with us by completing the survey. If anyone would like to get more involved in the work, then we would love to hear from them and they can email me in confidence for an initial discussion – vic@liberate.je

Click here to take the survey:

Survey of HIV/AIDS across the Channel Islands

Questionário Ilhas do Canal acerca de VIH/SIDA

Ankieta na temat HIV/AIDS na Wyspach Normandzkich

Media reports:

BBC Radio Jersey (30 November 2018) (Timecode: 02:39:54)

Jersey Evening Post (1 December 2018)

ITV Channel (1 December 2018)

Blood ban still in force

Jersey’s blood donation service is open again after it was shut in January due to not meeting national and EU standards. Despite the unit announcing that ”anyone between the ages of 17 and 65, who is fit and well” can donate at the new centre, it is still the case that men who have had sex with men (MSM) in the last 12 months cannot donate. In the UK, the time limit was dropped to 3 months in November 2017.

The obvious question is why Jersey is not following the UK where medical research shows that 3 months is sufficient time to know whether someone is HIV positive. The less obvious question is why there is still a ban on this particular group at all?

In the UK the social groups that show that highest instances of HIV infection are MSM, men and women from the black African community, those who inject drugs using shared needles or syringes, and members of the transgender community engaged in sex work. So, why are just MSM targeted with the ban? It makes no sense.

What makes more sense is to screen blood donors better to establish whether their lifestyle and sexual habits make them at risk of being HIV positive and therefore unable to donate blood at that time. Anyone in a monogamous relationship (who is not diagnosed as HIV positive and not engaging in high risk behaviours, such as injecting drugs) should be eligible to donate blood, irrespective of their sexual orientation, race or gender identity.

The removal of this imprecise ban is still being fought for by charities in the UK since the lifetime ban on MSM donating blood was imposed in 1980. It’s about time individual risk assessment was introduced for all blood donors and the discrimination against one particular social group was stopped.

More on the story: https://www.channel103.com/news/jersey-news/blood-donor-service-back-open/

Channel Islands’ Disability Survey

In advance of the UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Island Global Research is conducting a survey on issues related to disability. This is an important piece of research that aims to provide a picture of the lives of people with disabilities and/or those closest to them. The survey is now available to complete online.

Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which, in interaction with various barriers, may hinder their full participation in society on an equal basis with others.

Island Global Research would like to hear from as many people as possible. There are some general questions for everyone to answer, as well as some specific questions for people who have a disability, or people who have a family member or close friend in the Channel Islands who has a disability.

The survey can be completed by anyone aged 16 or over, and should take around 10 minutes to complete. The survey will run until the 26 November 2018.

Those who wish to participate can access the survey using the link below:
https://survey.islandglobalresearch.com/s3/Disability-Survey-2018

Respondents who are willing to complete the questionnaire do so anonymously. They do not need to give their name, date of birth or any other information that would identify them. They are also able to skip questions that they do not want to answer. All answers given are treated with the utmost confidentiality. If there are any special assistance requirements for respondents to complete the survey please contact Lilyanne Guille at Island Global Research:
Email – lguille@islandglobalresearch.com
Phone – 01481 716227

Pride 2018

On 8 September 2018, Channel Islands Pride was held in Guernsey for the second time and, on 9 September 2018, Alderney held its first ever Pride.

Unlike 2016, when Guernsey held a very wet first Pride, the sun was shining as participants gathered in Candie Gardens at 2pm for a pre-parade picnic on the grass. At 4pm, the parade started with the 50 metre rainbow street flag being rolled out over the heads of the parade into Ann Place.

The parade moved down the narrow lanes of St Peter Port, keeping everyone tighly packed and within touch of the front of the parade, led by Samba Burros, Guernsey’s  community Samba band. Down Smith Street and onto the High Street. At the end of the High Street was the Town Church, which had a surprise ready for parade participants – a huge rainbow balloon arch that had been put up that morning by the Church’s clergy as a show of solidarity and support for the island’s LGBT+ community.

The parade ended in Market Square where the Pride stage was hosted by Liberate’s Olly, Tigger and Magenta, with speeches by Ellie Jones (Liberate) and Kenny McDonald (The Channel Islands Co-Operative Society), and music from The Recks, The Cuban Brothers, The London Gay Big Band and Kalon Rae.

There was an amazing family area outside HMV hosting The Princess Project, balloon twister Gareth Le Page, Living Creations cactus workshop, portrait artist Ryan de Haaff, and art activities from Emma Domaille.

The following day, Alderney hosted possibly 2018’s smallest Pride, but that didn’t make it any less moving for the participants, some of whom were experiencing their first ever Pride – and certainly their first ever Pride in their home island. We predict that it will only get bigger as ‘Pride collectors’ add Alderney to their must-see lists!

#strongertogether

Some photos from Guernsey Pride:

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This is a short video from Alderney Pride:

1 July 2018

The final orders have been passed by the States of Jersey today that mean that from 1 July 2018 Jersey’s new marriage law is in effect.

Broadly, this means that –

  • same sex couples can get married;
  • transgender people can get married as their recognised gender without the need for a Gender Recognition Certificate (there is no ‘spousal veto’ in Jersey’s law);
  • all couples may choose the location of their marriage and ask to have it approved, meaning couples may marry in their home or garden, on a beach or headland, or almost anywhere that has significance for them; and,
  • recognised religious organisations have to opt-in to perform marriages (and associated services) for LGBT+ couples (meaning that clergy are not placed in the position of having to marry LGBT+ couples where their religious beliefs and/or religious organisation forbid it).

There are very few religious organisations that have opted-in so far. For same sex couples or couples where one partner is transgender and who would like a Christian service/blessing for their marriage, we advise speaking to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), the United Reformed Church or the Methodist Church (although Methodist ministers cannot marry LGBT+ people in Methodist churches, many are prepared to do a blessing for the marriage away from church premises).

Alternatively, if you are looking for a marriage service without religious content, that can be spiritual and tailored to you, the Channel Islands Humanists would be happy to hear from LGBT+ couples.

There is still work to do to address amendments to the law that were not covered in the first wave of drafting around certain Church of England property anomalies, surrogacy, civil partnerships and adultery/divorce. Liberate will be keeping an eye on these issues over the coming months.

We will also be supportive of any moves by religious organisations to opt-in to performing LGBT+ marriages. We hope that those LGBT+ activists working inside religious organisations will see their allies grow, and soon their particular religious organisation will opt-in to performing what is, in essence, a celebration of the love and commitment by one person to another for the rest of their life.

It has been four years of campaining, consulting, educating, debating and legislating, some false starts and some delays, but you can now get out your hats and enjoy a 2018 summer marriage season in Jersey that is now, truly, open to all!

First charities to be awarded a DIFERA+ grant announced

Liberate is pleased to announce the first charities to take advantage of the DIFERA+ Pay It Forward Grant Scheme are Beresford Street Kitchen and Citizens Advice.

The ‘DIFERA+ Pay It Forward’ grant scheme was suggested by Standard Bank, one of the first DIFERA accredited organisations in the Channel Islands. The scheme enables DIFERA accredited companies to ‘pay it forward’ by sponsoring a charity to participate in the scheme. The initiative was launched at Liberate’s CI Equality and Diversity Awards in March this year and charities were invited to submit an application.

The grant scheme received eight excellent applications from a variety of charities working with a range of clients, some with fewer than 25 members of staff and some with close to 100. The judging panel, consisting of representatives from Liberate and Standard Bank, had a tough job selecting the two charities that were chosen to receive the grant.

The chosen charities were Beresford Street Kitchen and Citizens Advice. While Beresford Street Kitchen is a relatively new charity that provides quality training and employment for people with learning disabilities and autism through their Beresford Street cafe, Citizens Advice is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. They offer free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to all islanders facing problems. The two charities couldn’t be more different and yet they share a desire to be inclusive and to treat everyone with respect.

Tina Monro, Head of Human Capital, Standard Bank Wealth International which connects Africa to international markets, said: “Standard Bank is delighted to be supporting Beresford Street Kitchen and Citizens Advice to participate in the DIFERA accreditation scheme. The applications from both charities demonstrated the work that they are already undertaking in the six DIFERA areas and also an enthusiasm to go through the DIFERA process and gain the accreditation. We are delighted to be making this announcement on Africa Day”.

Vic Tanner Davy, CEO Liberate, said: “We are looking forward to working with Beresford Street Kitchen and Citizens Advice to share our view of the value in diversity and the importance of creating an accepting workplace with two organisations who are already well on the way to delivering those inclusive spaces where people can thrive and be their best.”

To find out more about the DIFERA scheme, please go to: https://liberate.je/difera/

Liberate’s 2018 election survey results are in

Liberate has asked all the 2018 election candidates, who were not elected unopposed, for their opinions on a number of issues related to diversity, equality and inclusion that affect minorities in Jersey. The results are now available online.

Vic Tanner Davy, CEO Liberate, said: “Liberate first surveyed the election candidates in 2014 and we had a good response then, so we thought we would repeat the exercise this year. We are delighted that 49 candidates took the time to reply and that a number of others were interested enough to take a look at the survey questions.”

The survey questions ranged from support for the living wage, to what to do about civil partnerships (now that equal marriage has been passed), to birth certificate registration for lesbian parents, to how to assist workers from abroad to integrate into Jersey life, to the addition of religion and philosophical belief as a protected characteristic to the discrimination legislation.

The questions that saw the greatest agreement by respondents were:

  • Would you support a change to individual personal taxation rather than the system at present of joint taxation of married couples and those in civil partnerships? (This would make no difference to the amount of income tax collected.) (93.62% of respondents said, yes)
  • Would you support the introduction of a system that allows a transgender individual to self-report their gender to the Royal Court in order to register their recognised gender legally (in much the same way that a change of name by deed poll is self-reported and passed through the Royal Court in order to register the change of name legally)? (92.11% of respondents said, yes)
  • Jersey Association of Carers estimates that one in seven people are currently fulfilling an unpaid caring role. Would you support a carers’ law (similar to the Care Act in the UK) that sets out carers’ legal rights to assessment and support, and values carers properly for the work they do and the financial burden they remove from government? (97.50% of respondents said, yes)
  • Evidence shows that the oldest members of society can gain significant physical, mental and emotional health benefits from being with the youngest members of society. Would you support a joined-up approach to day care provision for the over 65s and under 5s that created/enabled centres caring for both groups simultaneously? (95.00% of respondents said, yes)

The questions that split the candidates were the trickier problems of how to solve the gender pay gap and disability employment gap, which require multiple approaches to improve the situation, with candidates selecting several preferred approaches and suggesting many of their own.

Candidates were completely split on the question of adultery. When asked which options would have their support, respondents were equally divided between “removing adultery as grounds for divorce in a marriage altogether (the grounds could instead be given as unreasonable behaviour, or similar)” and “retaining adultery as grounds for divorce in a marriage and include it as a grounds for dissolving a civil partnership, but create a new legal definition of adultery that covers infidelity for all couples: same-sex or opposite-sex, married or civil partners (i.e. find a means to remove biological specifics of how adultery happens from law)”.

Vic Tanner Davy, CEO Liberate, said: “We hope that the addition of the survey results to the information that is already out there about candidates’ views will assist the electorate with their choice of candidate. Some of these issues have been touched on in candidates’ manifestoes, but the talk at the hustings has, unsurprisingly, not been about minority and inclusion issues. If you are someone from a minority and would like a candidate that will support your particular case then you need to know which candidates are likely to do that for you.”

To find out more and see the complete survey results, please visit www.liberate.je/election18

Election 2018 survey results

Liberate has asked all the 2018 election candidates, who were not elected unopposed, for their opinions on a number of issues related to diversity, equality and inclusion that affect minorities in Jersey. These are the full results that can be downloaded as pdfs.

Summary of responses

This is a summary of all responses given to the questions by the candidates. It does not include any comments that they might have added in response.

Key to individual responses

This shows who responded and which number answer they provided. It can be used in conjunction with the report below to see what your preferred candidate’s answers were to the questions. It is in order of position being sought and district.

Individual responses

The full unedited response provided by individual candidates to all the questions.

For more information about the candidates and the 2018 election, please go to vote.je

Deputies manifesto review

Having taken a look at the manifestos (as published on vote.je) of the candidates for Deputy in Jersey’s election, there were a few pledges that caught our attention as aligning with Liberate’s vision.

You can find out more about all the candidates and read their manifestos here.

Mary Ayling-Phillip (St Helier – District No. 3/4): “To challenge discrimination at all levels and create opportunities for everyone to reach their potential; I support the move to independent taxation, ending the need for a husband to sign off their wives’ tax information.”

Jamie Boylan (St Saviour – District No. 2): “The island now has a need for food banks and apps that allow people to collect food at the end of the day so families are fed. This can only be countered by better wages be it the minimum wage or the start of the living wage.”

Jacqui Carrel (St. Helier – District No. 3/4): “Help residents who are isolated through disability or language”

Linda Dodds (St Helier – District No. 2): “Equality in education”

Louise Doublet (St Saviour – District No. 2): “Equality – Improved parental leave, flexible working for both parents. I am currently undertaking work to establish the extent of the gender pay gap locally.”

Cloe Freeman (St Clement): “The demand for support of our ageing population and the rise of dementia place ever-growing pressure on mental health services. It is time for major adjustments both to funding and to the means by which we can deliver really effective care in the community.”

Inna Gardiner (St Helier – District No. 3/4):

“ – Equality of opportunity for all residents. I strongly believe that together we can make a difference in our community and economy by supporting every man and woman and enabling them to contribute to their potential. We are stronger together.

– Policies which create greater economic and political diversity.

– Social inclusion of immigrants who are already residents of Jersey – they should be seen as a resource and not a burden to help improve our economy and society.

– Help for parents return into work. I have many ideas, for example, to help “mompreneurs” – mothers who start their own small businesses.”

Kevin Lewis (St Saviour – District No. 2): “I have campaigned tirelessly with others for the introduction of an insurance scheme for people in later years, to ensure they won’t be forced to sell their homes, should one of the partners succumb to long term medical care.”

Judy Martin (St Helier – District No. 1): “Another Proposition of mine gave under 16s with severe disabilities their “care component” back through Social Security. This debate lead to an overall strategy for people with a disability in Jersey.”

Yann Mash (St Helier – District No. 1): “Vote to raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour by 2022 – our minimum wage is now lower then Guernsey and the UK while our cost of living is higher.”

Kevin Pamplin (St Saviour – District No. 1): “I believe we need to invest in the provision of 24-hour care for the elderly. Over the next decade we face a crisis dealing with dementia, which is predicted to be the 21st Century’s biggest killer. We need to refocus on the mental health front, not enough is being done to coordinate third sector provision to primary care.”

Susie Pinel (St Clement): “In my two terms I have:

–  fulfilled my previous election promise with the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Law along with discrimination laws on race, sex, and age. These laws bring benefit to our community and almost every Parishioner or family in Jersey.

– brought in the legislation positively extending maternity and paternity rights.”

Barry Shelton (St Helier – District No. 2): “I would also support 4 measures to help the lower paid and aged.

1   Abolition of GST on food.

2   Reduced doctors’ bills for the over seventies

3   Reintroduction of the Christmas bonus for all pensioners

4   2 year freeze on States/Andium rentals”

Monty Tadier (St Brelade – District No. 2): “Working with my three Reform Jersey colleagues, we have had many successes, including:

  • Preventing the abolition of the Pensioners’ Christmas Bonus for the poorest pensioners
  • Achieving free bus passes for disabled Islanders
  • Introducing an Ethical Care Charter for home care
  • Moving Jersey towards a voluntary living wage”

Graham Truscott (St Brelade – District No. 2): “We need to provide more dedicated nursing homes for dementia sufferers and additional respite facilities to support their carers.”

Sarah Westwater (St Lawrence): “There is no doubt that the States is unrepresentative of the Jersey electorate, with few women, young people, or minority groups. This sense of disconnection results in our low voter turnout, one of the very lowest in the world for any small jurisdiction.”

Senatorial manifesto review

Having taken a look at the manifestos (as published on vote.je) of the candidates for Senator in Jersey’s election, there were a few pledges that caught our attention as aligning with Liberate’s vision.

You can find out more about all the candidates and read their manifestos here.

Simon Bree: “The fact that we have a high degree of unseen poverty with its direct impact on children, and the increased use of food banks, is something that shames all of us. We have seen the economic divide between the “haves” and the “have nots” steadily increasing. I believe that we need to undertake a complete review of our personal income tax system, social security contributions, and current and potential user pays charges. It is wrong that the financial burden is being increasingly borne by middle and lower income families.”

Ian Gorst: “Improve the lives of Islanders by:… Lifting standards of living and promoting family friendly legislation to support working families…  Supporting vulnerable children and adults, the elderly and people with mental ill-health…  Eliminating discrimination in all its forms…  Giving legal recognition to carers…”

Anthony Lewis: “My commitment to you: Equality:

  • I will be a Champion in the States for equality in our society.
  • I want everyone, disabled and able bodied, treated the same. I feel a stigma. I want to remove the barriers in society. We need more support.
  • I want to see a Minister for Equality in the States.
  • I want to move mental health higher up the political agenda. More understanding and reduced stigma. One in four people have a mental health issue.”

Sam Mezec: “The work I am most proud of has been:

  • Championing Equal Marriage
  • Fast-tracking the timetable for raising the Minimum Wage”

Kristina Moore: “In placing our island community at the heart of my manifesto, I will work towards tackling some challenging issues, such as:

  • Reducing poverty in Jersey…
  • Championing the needs of our elders
  • Greater funding for Family Court & Mental Health provision…
  • Embracing diversity & cultural inclusion”

Moz Scott: “Improving co-ordination between the public, private and voluntary sectors to:

  • help those in need
  • reduce isolation amongst the elderly and improve all Islanders’ well-being
  • improve educational standards through early years education and parental support.”

Gordon George Troy: “I am passionate about helping the senior citizens in our society. The Jersey Pensioner has for a long time been politically overlooked, the pension scheme is meant to help people achieve and maintain financial independence. In my opinion it falls well short of this. One of my main political aims if elected will be to assist pensioners to get better Pension Benefits, better Health Care and better Housing designed to meet their needs.”