New year and our vision for 2022!
Published on January 1, 2022 by Keira Evans
In the last few weeks we as members of Trans Aid Cymru have been reflecting on the past year - our first full year as an organisation - and thinking about what has and hasn’t worked for us. It’s been a long and busy year as we expanded our grant scheme, introduced in-person events and supported dozens of people to get the resources they need.
During our end of year meeting we drafted a new budget for 2022 that ensures that 90% of our yearly funds will be spent on meeting the direct needs of the community through grants, surgery recovery supplies and food distribution, 7% will be used to fund our popular meet-ups and events, and 3% is reserved for administration and promotion costs. We’ve put together a simple graphic to show the exact numbers below! We have been overwhelmed with the trust and support we’ve received during 2021, and one of our biggest priorities this coming year is to ensure that our work is sustainable. That means we’re looking hard at our practises and working to expand our team instead of dramatically increasing our projects and activities.
Part of our success in 2021 has meant that cis-led organisations have been increasingly approaching us to share our expertise with them, which is a huge positive. It’s great that these organisations are making an effort to make things easier for trans, intersex and nonbinary people in Wales. However, while we have been reflecting, we think that we spent too much time this year in fielding requests from these cis-led organisations.
Trans Aid Cymru was set up during the first lockdown because we observed that most organisations for trans people were massively invested in “raising awareness” or “normalising” trans people and trans lives. We wanted to focus on the needs of trans, intersex and nonbinary people and try to get them met. With that in mind, we’ve decided that in January 2022, we will not be answering emails or direct messages from cisgender perisex people unless it directly concerns the welfare of a trans, intersex or nonbinary person.
We do have several collaborations and ongoing projects agreed upon with some organisations, and these will continue to be worked on as agreed. However, Trans Aid Cymru will not be taking any new ones during the month of January, in order to give us time to assess how we will manage requests for guidance for the rest of 2022.
This means that we will have more time to spend working with trans, intersex and nonbinary people on a one-to-one basis to give advice and signposting, to expand our team, and to develop new projects that will benefit trans, intersex and nonbinary people.
One of these projects is a collective that we are hoping will support trans, intersex and nonbinary people who would like to develop advocacy skills and will allow us to pass the mic more frequently when cis-led organisations come to us for advice, consultancy and collaboration. We are hoping this will allow us to facilitate paid work for trans, intersex and nonbinary people who are multiply marginalised, and to offer peer support while doing so.
We will be developing this project in collaboration with those who want to take part in it to ensure it meets the needs of the community, and we will be posting a sign-up form for it during the course of January.
We are also monitoring the COVID rates closely and are holding back on booking any in-person meetups for the time being. We know that the meetup spaces are a huge boon to those who come but we are not comfortable putting anyone at risk of catching COVID while it is so rife.
Last of all, we are planning our first ever public Annual General Meeting at the end of January via Zoom, in the hopes that people who are interested in our work can come along, learn a bit more about how Trans Aid Cymru works and be involved in influencing our direction. As mentioned previously, we’re really keen to expand our team in 2022, and we will be talking about what organising with us looks like and answering any questions that folks might have about joining! We really hope to see you there, and we’ll be posting details very soon.
As always, we are profoundly grateful for your support,
Trans Aid Cymru