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The Press Lounge - in gay surrey

 
   

Welcome to the Gay Surrey Press lounge

We have created this lounge to show any coverage about Gay Surrey or projects the charity are supporting or creating. If you have any news you would like to be featured in this section please let us know. Gay Surrey are committed to supporting orgainsations in Surrey that helps support the gay community. Contact Us

 

 

In the news.....

Dated 12th December 2008

Life Imprisonment for killer of Jeff Akers

MARK Malone, from Walton-on-Thames, who was found guilty at the Old Bailey last month of the murder of Peter Jeffrey Akers, has today been sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum to serve 30 years.

Fifty-year-old ‘Jeff' Akers, from Wallington, South London , died from a single stab wound to the back after being attacked in the public toilets in Walton Lane , just off Walton Bridge , on Tuesday, 19 February. The weapon, a large kitchen knife, was recovered from the scene.

Unemployed Malone, aged 30 and married with two young children, was arrested the following day, Wednesday, 20 February and subsequently charged with murder, to which he pleaded not guilty when he appeared at the Central Criminal Court Friday, 13 June.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Mark Preston-Heard, said: “This was a vicious, unprovoked homophobic attack by Mark Malone on a harmless, innocent man.

“Our thoughts are with the family who were forced to endure a trial. I would like to thank my team of Surrey officers who worked diligently to prove Malone's guilt, along with the media who greatly assisted in publicising our witness appeals, using their networks to reach potential witnesses across the country who may not otherwise have been keen to come forward.

“Murder is very rare in Surrey and this investigation has shown Surrey Police's commitment to tackling such serious crime and bringing offenders to justice.

“I would like to add that Surrey Police has always treated any form of hate crime as a serious offence and I urge victims to report the incident to the police, no matter how minor they believe it may be.”

Gino Meriano Chair of Gay Surrey says "At last justice is served, now others can learn the lesson that we will not tolerate any form of Hate Crime and its now time to see more outcomes, solutions and actions by the relevant authorities in 2009"

Dated 4th November 2008

Walton man guilty of gay toilet murder

30-year-old accused of murdering a gay man in a Walton toilet used by homosexuals for sex has been found guilty of murder.

Mark Malone was found guilty at the Old Bailey today of murdering Jeff Akers in Cowey Sales toilets last February.

The court heard how Malone had taken an eight inch knife from a nearby burger van and attacked Mr Akers, stabbing him in the back so hard the blade entered up to the handle.

Mr Akers, a gay man from Wallington, was found in his underpants with a blade embedded in his back after staggering from the toilets.

He was airlifted to hospital but died from his wound.

Malone, from Walton, told the court he was involved in a scuffle with the 50-year-old after he made advances on him and said that although he did not remember the fight he must have stabbed Mr Akers in self-defence.

The court was told that Malone, who is married with children, had drunk a bottle of vodka before the stabbing.

Malone had told the court he had been carrying the knife to protect himself against a group of gypsies who he claimed had been hassling him.

But the prosecution dismissed his explanation as a fallacy.

The court also heard evidence from Malone's brother-in-law Paul Malone and Paul Malone's girlfriend Emma O'Brien.

The pair told the court Malone, who took his wife's name after marriage, had demonstrated to them how he had stabbed Mr Akers on the day of the murder.

Malone told the court the pair had given evidence against him after being coached by police. Ann Cotcher, acting for the prosecution, told the jury Malone was a man who never took responsibility for his own actions.

“It's never Malone - it is always somebody else,” she said.

Gay rights campaigner Gino Meriano, speaking after the verdict said: “It is a fantastic verdict and shows justice has been well and truly served. Let's hope he gets life.

“This shows this kind of discrimination is never tolerated and that any form of hate crime is not acceptable.

He added: "A lot more work needs to be done to stop hate crime in Surrey.”

Malone told the court he was "devestated" about what had happened to Mr Ackers. He said: "This is life-changing for me and for Mr Acker's family."

Malone is due to be sentenced in December.


Dated 29th October 2008
Duo giving helping hand to come out - GET SURREY

WHETHER you are struggling with your sexuality or openly out of the closet, a Weybridge charity is at hand to help welcome you into the county's gay community.

Gay Surrey was founded in 2005 by Gino Meriano and partner Mike Meriano as a network to provide advice, offer information, arrange social events and fight for equality - Read more


Dated 15th October 2008
Police seek witnesses following incident in Ripley car park

Surrey Police is appealing for members of the public for information following an incident of deliberate damage to a car when it was parked in a car park off the A3 in Ripley this week.

The driver of a black Mitsubishi estate had stopped off for a break at Ockham Café late on Tuesday night when his car was targeted.  The offender entered the lay-by in a dark 4 x 4 vehicle and shone a bright light around vehicles parked up, before causing damage to the victim's car.

The incident happened sometime between 10.30pm and 10.37pm.  Officers are urging anyone who may have seen the incident or who may have seen anyone acting or driving suspiciously in the area to contact police as soon as possible.

The officer in charge of the case, DC Jamie Pickering said: “This is an incident which is being taken very seriously and is being thoroughly investigated.  I would urge anyone who has any information or who might have seen some similar incident which might help officers trace the offender to call Surrey Police.  In the meantime high visibility patrols will be working in this isolated location to reassure the public.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Surrey Police on 0845 125 2222.  Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously and free of charge on 0800 555 111.

 


Dated 12th August 2008
Gay Surrey Facebook

Since launching our own face book we have seen some great response and support to this and its growing every day, I would like to thank everyone involved for doing this especially Dave


As a result I am pleased to say there is a small feature about our facebook appearing in the Surrey Comet and Elmbridge Guardian later this week

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5511149863

 



Dated 5th August 2008
Gay Surrey joins with trust to champion Human Rights

The Trust has entered into a partnership arrangement with the charity Gay Surrey to promote human rights among staff and to help combat prejudice against minority groups.

Read the full story


Dated 5th August 2008
Where have we been seen?

Gay Surrey are now listed

http://www.aboutus.org/GaySurrey.org

wikipedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GaySurrey  

4 week advertisement campaign running with the popular www.outeverywhere.com to have the attached banner seen by over 2.5K users in surrey or surrounding areas. To start at the end of next week

http://www.gba.org.uk/    (banner at the bottom)

Guildford.Gov
http://www.guildford.gov.uk/GuildfordWeb/Housing/HousingAdvice/HomeStep/HelpAndSupport/GayAndLesbian.htm   


Dated 28th July 2008
Gay Men's Survey

Calling all men

Last year's Vital Statistics recruitment was very successful at recruiting 10,000 men who qualified for the final analysis (i.e. were UK-resident, had sex with another man in the last year - or intended to in the future - and were over 14 years of age). 89 organisations took part in the recruitment to the survey.

Gay Surrey are so proud of all your support and as a result of the good work we have done with alongside Ian Cole, the charity has been recognised in the report for both 2006 and 7 by the Gay Men's Survey

Take the survey now

Gino Meriano Chair of Gay Surrey says " from our research I was amazed to find that over 2700 new cases of HIV were reported nationwide with Surrey seeming to be following the national trend, what's more worrying from our research is that Woking remains the area highest for HIV in Surrey

The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete and taking part is an interesting and easy way to contribute to fewer HIV cases among gay men in the UK.

Thank you for your support and pass this onto anyone you know that can help us


Dated 28th July
Surrey County Council Awards for Volunteering 2008

A message from Gino Meriano, Chair of Gay Surrey
As you know many people in Surrey were nominated for the above awards

I am proud to have received an award for the  "Everybody Matters" category which was presented by Penelope Keith (picture attached).  

I'm also pleased to say it didn't stop there :-

Nicola Ward (Trustee)
Nicky you were also recognised as a nominee for your exceptional volunteering (I have your certificate here for you)

Your "Certificate of nomination" has been signed by the chairman and Chief Executive of Surrey County Council, so congratulations is on order for your special contribution to other peoples quality of life within Surrey.

Overall a fantastic result for the charity and continues to prove we truly are making a difference and look forward to what the future holds

Thanks
Gino

 


Dated 5th July 2008
Call for better police response over gay hate crime


A CHARITY for homosexuals in the county has applauded a government promise to tackle gay hate crime, following "disturbing" new findings, Gino Meriano Chair speaks out about Hate crime

Read the full story

Also covered in the Woking, Esher, Weybridge News and Mail. Surrey Comet and Surrey Advertiser


Dated 4th July 2008
The Peacocks Centre

PUBLIC STATEMENT FROM CHURSTON HEARD
The Peacocks Centre Woking

Following your support of the petition on Gay Surrey's website regarding The Peacocks Centre Woking we are writing to confirm the following:

The Peacocks Shopping Centre is non-discriminatory, is open to all members of the public and operates wholly in accordance with employment, equality and diversity laws.

Churston Heard are unable to comment in regards to Mr Keepings alleged comments to the press and feel these comments have certainly been misquoted and misinterpreted

The Centre has continued to, and will continue to, make space available for events and charitable collections and was extremely disappointed by the reporting in the local press of the lack of charitable representation at World Aids Day in December 2007.

We are pleased to announce that The Centre and Gay Surrey are working closely together to ensure that the key aim of raising awareness of the fight against HIV and AIDS is promoted and can confirm that charitable collections are being held on 1st December 2008.


Dated 4th July 2008
Gay Men's Sex Survey

The report called "Multiple Chances" which houses the findings from the United Kingdom Gay Men's Sex Survey 2006 has been published and I am so excited to say that our charity Gay Surrey has been listed under the Acknowledgments.

Gino Meriano says "We did such a great job in getting the community of Surrey to complete the survey and it's such a honour to be listed in their publication, thank you to everyone that helped us get the word out"


Dated 26th June 2008
One in five gay people victim of hate crime in last three years
Home Secretary promises action

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith today tasked the Ministerial Action Group on Violence to address homophobic hate crime in the light of disturbing new findings from major new research. The first statistically significant national survey of its kind reveals the extent of abuse facing many of Britain's 3.6 million lesbian and gay people on a daily basis. One in five have been a victim of one or more homophobic hate crimes in the last three years. However three in four don't report such incidents to the police, many believing that no action will follow. The incidents ranged from harassment to serious physical and sexual assaults.

Gino Meriano Chair of the charity Gay Surrey speaks out "Over the last year we have created a survey to help those in the public sector to understand the needs and priorities of the LGB community in Surrey, with this national survey together with our local survey I hope that the police and schools authority will at last throw their support behind our "Stop Hate Now" and "Learn, Teach, Grow" campaigns, specifically aimed at key issues highlighted by this survey.

Surrey
57% of people in Surrey said they would report a hate incident/crime if it happened to them, however of the 39% that have been a victim in Surrey 62% did NOT report it.

When asked:

•  If you did report the incident/crime how did Surrey Police react to your request 49% said it was poor.
•  46% say they feel the need to hide their sexuality in public to remain safe
•  Only 18% felt Surrey Police treat everyone fairly regardless of their sexuality
•  30% feel Surrey Police do NOT understand the issues that affect the LGB community

Stats from the Gay Surrey Lifestyle survey as of the 26th June 2008

London
Respondents in London were more likely to alter their behaviour so as not to be identified as gay, in order to escape attack and abuse, than in any other area of Britain. They were also more likely to say they fell victim to homophobic hate crime because of where they were, such as near a gay venue, - with 40 per cent saying so - than anywhere else in Britain

Jacqui Smith continued 'In the 21 st century no one in Britain should ever feel under threat of verbal or physical violence just because of their sexual orientation. We're determined that lesbian and gay people should have the confidence to report crimes to the police knowing that they will be taken seriously, the crime investigated and their privacy respected. Our key priorities are to increase reporting; increase offences brought to justice and to tackle repeat victimisation and hotspots.'

Mike Cunningham, an ACPO lead on gay equality and Deputy Chief Constable of Lancashire, said: 'The statistics speak for themselves. It cannot be acceptable that a third of victims do not report incidents to the police because they do not think the police would, or could, do anything about it. Neither is it right that two thirds of those who reported incidents to the police were not offered or referred to advice or support services. 'The findings offer the service a real opportunity to make real improvements both in terms of how homophobic incidents are dealt with but also in terms of raising people's confidence in reporting these incidents in the first place.'

The report's ten key recommendations include encouraging police to improve the recording of homophobic hate incidents and help lesbian and gay people to report them. The report also recommends tackling homophobic bullying in schools and the workplace in order to help reduce the likelihood of homophobic incidents on the streets. 


Dated 25th June 2008
One in five gay people victim of hate crime in last three years

A young man (early 30s) from Staines who works in Tesco known by people as a loner and suspect is gay has been hassled by a group of local people. 

The other day someone called at his house, he opened the door, the person threw petrol over him and set him alight.  He is still in hospital.

 


 

Elmbridge Borough Council have decided that they wish to reopen the public toilets at Walton Lane where Peter Akers was murdered
23rd June

Today, Gay Surrey were informed by Elmbridge Borough Council that a decision has been made to reopen the public toilets where the dreadfull murder of Paul Ankers took place

The area by the river is popular with visitors over the summer and pressure to reopen has been put on them by the public. The decision to close them was a unilateral one made by the Council.

The toilets will be open from today, 23rd June, and they will be subject of patrols by passing police officers for the purposes of reassurance only.

Gino Meriano, Chair of gay Surrey wuold like to thank Elmbridge Council for all its considerations and help in making sure the community were not looked upon as a main contributor to the problems that arose surrounding Walton Lane, the decision is welcomed



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International Day Against Homophobia
17th May

Well, what a night and a great success, over 300 people showed their support, the true message that we will not tolerate hate crime in Surrey was heard.

The night exploded into a line up of great entertainers all supporting the "International Day Against Homophobia"  including

Mayor of Woking
Bill Buckley our Patron
Mike Patey our new LAGLO officer
Ian Cole
Comedians - Julie Jepson, David Meech and Rosie Wilby
The band Friday Hill
Julian Bennett famed for Queer Eye for a Straight Guy
Our own MR GAY UK for Surrey was crowned (watch this space for the finals aired on TV soon)
Fonda Cox kept everyone dancing and entertained throughout the night

Our new face and volunteer for the social scene Miss Jessica Juicy-Couture who made sure everyone was kept happy and entertained in her own fabulous way.

Everyone at Gay Surrey would like to thank all those that supported our night, including Quake Nightclub for donating the club for free,  Surrey Police and UNISON for their kind donations towards our fight in stopping hate crime in Surrey.

I would like to thank everyone that helped make this night work from the team within Gay Surrey, to those who promoted the event without your help this night would not have happened and proved a success, the message was sent and most defiantly heard, a personal thanks to the Woking News and Mail again for being there and helping make our voice heard as always



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Nick is interviewed by Psychologies Magazine
14th March

When speaking to Nick she says " I'd always shied away from interviews regarding my relationship and especially regarding our Son.  But the more we run the Parents Group the more I became convinced that doing an interview was the right thing to do.  The importance of reflecting, one of many, ever changing diverse family structures within society is not something we should be timid of exploring, but should try to embrace.  We hope our Son will appreciate that we are just ordinary people and that he is not 'the only child of gay parents in the village'!!  By promoting Gay Surrey Charity and the Parents Group, we are seeking normality.  What's 'normal' anyway...??!

Read the article



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SURREY Police has begun a murder investigation after a man was assaulted in Walton Lane just off Walton Bridge on Tuesday 19 February at around 3pm. Gay
19th Feb

Can you help?

UPDATE 22nd FEB
Man charged with Walton murder
A man has been charged with the murder of 50-year-old Peter Jeffrey Akers, known as 'Jeff', in Walton-on-Thames on Tuesday, 19 February.
Unemployed Mark Malone, aged 29, from Walton-on-Thames, will appear at Staines Magistrates Court, Friday, 22 February.

UPDATE 20th Feb
Man arrested on suspicion of Walton murder

Surrey Police has arrested a man on suspicion of the murder in Walton yesterday afternoon.

The suspect, a 29 year old man from Walton on Thames handed himself in at Newbury police station just before midday today, 20 February. He will be questioned by detectives from the Surrey Major Crime Team.

The victim, who was 50 years old, has yet to be formally identified. He was attacked in the public toilets in Walton Lane, just off Walton Bridge at around 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon.

Police are still appealing for anyone with information which might help the investigation to contact them on 0845 125 2222 or to ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


The man, who was in his 50s, was taken by air ambulance to St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey where he died at 5.30pm.

The area has been cordoned off and Walton Bridge and Walton Lane have been closed while investigations continue.

A police dog unit and the Surrey Police helicopter have also been assisting officers with the investigation.

The man was stabbed and early indications lead police to believe that he might have known his attacker, though we do not know in what context or for how long.

He was attacked in the public toilets off Walton Bridge, a popular meeting place for men. The victim was gay and detectives are appealing for information not only from the general public, but also specifically from members of the gay community and other people who use these toilets. Anyone who was in the toilets or in the vicinity around 3 pm on Tuesday February 19th is asked to ring 0845 125 2222. You might not think you hold important information but please do call so that detectives can decide what is relevant to the investigation and build up a picture of what happened. 

Surrey Police is aware that some members of the gay community might not wish to talk to police, but given the extremely violent nature of the attack, we would urge anyone with information to come forward. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence and police do not need to know why callers were in the area at the time. If people prefer, they can ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to give their information anonymously. 

Surrey Police cannot yet confirm the identity of the victim as some family members have yet to be informed of his death. As soon as we are able to tell you, the information will be sent out on email or can be founf on Gay Surrey


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Get updates

You may recall the story in February's edition of the Woking News and Mail which talked about how Gay Surrey were not allowed a stand in the Peacocks centre, Mr Keeping, Centre Manager indicated that there was no room for compromise on the issue and felt the charity's presence was deemed inappropriate in a family shopping centre.

Some 8 months later we find ourselves back in the hot seat and declined space to promote "World Aids Day" as it was deemed inappropriate to have a presence in a shopping centre that is for families and children . Mr Keeping stated "I don't think the promotion of lesbian or gay activity is appropriate in this centre but I'm not saying it isn't appropriate elsewhere"  

As a charity we are taking the relevant steps to ensure this kind of discrimination is made known to the relevant people. We have reported this to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Surrey asking them to investigate this further under the Equality Act 2006 which legislates against discrimination in the retail and goods sector

We will keep you posted as the story unfolds, but in the meantime we need your help

The next step is to start a petition to raise awareness to this and to see how far we as a charity can go to prevent this kind of discrimination  from happening again, remember we should now be  protected under the Equality Act 2006.

READ THE FULL STORY NOW

Read the story

Read the letters of complaint

Update : 16th Jan
Mr Keeping continues to announce Gay Surrey made no attempt to contact him or the Peacocks since the incident in Feb. 2007, no other event was ever planned in 2006 to raise awareness to sexual health, Gay Surrey cancelled all 3 events in 2007 which included World Aids Day

HERE ARE THE FACTS :

1.Gay Surrey spoke to Mr Keeping the day Woking News and Mail published the story. Mr Keeping was due to notify a date for meeting with Gino Meriano and Chris Collins to talk about the projects

2. Further calls and emails were made/sent to the office, his PA took messages but no calls back

3. Gino Meriano engaged the help of Ray Lee, Head of Local Services, Woking Borough Council

After a meeting with Ray Lee they offered they agreed to help the charity and offer support. This failed after receiving Mr Lee's final email on the 23rd Nov 2007 stating

I have spoken with The Peacocks at some length but I think its true to say that their position hasn't changed. 

They attract a family customer base including children who are allowed to roam the shopping mall independent of their parents.  Their view, right or wrong (and I'm not sure its for me to judge) is that any form of gay or lesbian awareness of education is therefore inappropriate as it will be seen by children not under the direct control of their parents.  I did point out that that this was about health education not recruitment but apparently their view is the same.  I also pointed out that as a Council we allow the type of promotion Gay Surrey were planning but their view is that how people would view this in a public space against a private shopping mall is different.   

4. The Woking News and mail in covered a story Feb 2007 which interviewed Mr Keeping who openly stated

Woking News and Mail
On Tuesday gay Surrey blasted Mr Keeping's decision to cancel the events as homophobic.
Last year (2006) THT distributed safe sex advice during a similar event at the centre

Mr Keeping
We must remember this issue is simply not about allowing a gay charity a stand at the Peacocks centre but the way British Land allows Mr Keeping to openly discriminate in the papers on behalf of them.

Update : 4th Jan
Councilor Rob Leach has sent a letter to Steven Hester, Chief Executive, The British Land Company plc. We look forward to a positive response.

Thank you to REALLONDON for their support

Update : 21st Dec
Thank you to REALMANCHESTER for their support in our fight for Equality, visit their website

Update : 13th Dec
World Aids day
Gay Surrey wish it known that on World Aids day our documented aim was to support THT with volunteers around Woking with collection tins and red ribbons. This is the recognised and universally accepted activity for this day. The collection was never cancelled by the community support charity Gay Surrey. Gay Surrey continued to persuade Mr Keeping to reverse his public decision to cancel the collection and that any concerns were misguided, stereotyping or prejudicial. Gay Surrey won support from Woking Council to assist in allowing the charity in the Peacocks centre.

Lets not forget, Mr Keeping's recent statement as spokesperson for British Land PLC and the Peacocks Centre in the Woking News and Mail "I don't think the promotion of lesbian or gay activity is appropriate in this centre" cannot and should not be ignored as prejudice, homophobia and damaging to the good work the community support charity Gay Surrey is recognised for doing across the county.
See our work

Our next steps : To continue with the petition, await guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission and then to arrange a meeting with Tim Keeping and Ruth Berry of the Peacocks Centre.

Update : 6th Dec
The Woking News and Mail continue to support Gay Surrey in a hope to resolve this awful matter with the Peacocks Centre

Update : 5th Dec
A follow up story is in this weeks Woking News and Mail
Councilor Rob Leach has openely offered his support and will be seeking help in sending a letter to British Land PLC regarding this matter

Update : 2nd Dec
The matter has been reported to Surrey Police as a Hate Incident, reference number P3516712

We have researched abit about British Land PLC and will be writing a full letter to seek some form of action to why our chairty has been treated like this, read about British Land PLC


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Police introduce liaison officers for gay community
18th Aug 2007

Surrey Police has revealed it will introduce lesbian and gay officers in the coming months to help combat hate crime against homosexuals.

The announcement came in response to the recent survey by Weybridge-based charity Gay Surrey.....READ THE FULL STORY NOW


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US given sexual orientation information on travellers
25th July 2007

The European Commission quietly approved an agreement this Monday which gives the US Department of Homeland Security unprecedented access to the personal information of anyone on a transatlantic flight, including details of their sexual orientation.

The DHS insists on the right to use the information for disease control, and there are fears that gay passengers may be singled out as possible HIV risks.

The plans involve upgrading information which is already sent by airlines to the DHS on the 4-million-plus Britons who visit the US every year, including payment details, home address and the passengers in-flight meal choice.

The agreement adds 19 possible new categories, including information on ethnic origin, political and philosophical opinions, credit card numbers, trade union membership, sex life and details of the passengers' health.

The information will be provided by passengers when making bookings.

The US is not required to provide this information about its citizens.

Franco Frattini, vice president of the European Commission, said more sensitive information would be filtered out, and only used, "in exceptional cases, and to fight terrorism and other serious crimes."

Peter Hustinx, the European data protection supervisor, wrote to the Commission expressing his 'grave concern' that there is no mechanism for EU citizens to challenge misuse of personal information and that there was no legal precedent.

"Data on EU citizens will be readily available to a broad range of US agencies and there is no limitation to what US authorities are allowed to do with the information," he said, according to The Guardian.

"I have serious doubts whether the outcome of these negotiations will be fully compatible with European fundamental rights, which both the Council and the Commission have stated are non negotiable."

Gino Meriano, Chair of Gay Surrey says"It is definitely food for thought, when thinking of travelling to the USA the supposed land of freedom and liberty. I had always wondered at what point across the Atlantic Mike and I would have to remove our wedding rings and no longer be recognised as "legal" partners, at least this way they will already know".

Last week, the European Parliament said it noted that sensitive data will be made available to the DHS and that this data may be used by the DHS in exceptional cases, leading to, "a significant risk of massive profiling and data mining, which is incompatible with basic European principles and is a practice still under discussion in the US Congress."

It emerged over the weekend that neither Hustinx nor the European Parliament knew about the final draft of the plan.

The European Parliament went into recess last week, so most MEPs are on holiday and not available to comment.

In 1987, fear about the spread of AIDS led US officials to require anyone with HIV to declare their status and apply for a special waiver visa.

This led to many people not declaring their status upon arrival. It also meant that no international AIDS conferences could be held on US soil.

Restrictions were lifted in 2006, allowing HIV+ people a 'categorical waiver' similar to the 60 day automatic visas that UK business and tourist visitors receive.


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Funding granted for youth projects
8th July 2007

YGS : Crossroads
I am really pleased to announce that Gay Surrey have received additional funding for our YGS Crossroads project.

The total sum awarded was £11,500 which is absolutely fantastic news, combined with the additional funding of £6460.20 we can now proudly present a grand total of £17,960.20

Our Aim : to create a youth support group for 13 to 19 year olds with HIV or who knows a friend or family member with HIV.

YGS : Speak Out
Secured funding of £9342.00 for YGS Speak Out, the new website dedicated to young people aged 13 to 19.

Our Aim : to create a brand new website for the young. The best part of "YGS Speak Out" is the very fact that young people will have the say to the look, feel and content of this new website.

Chair of Gay Surrey, Gino Meriano says "This is a fantastic news and only demonstrates how organisations and grant makers in Surrey believe in our projects. Gay Surrey has certainly grown from strength to strength over the last year and we look to the future with further projects in our continued aim of helping the community of Surrey. I personally like to thank everyone at Gay Surrey that helped in making the above happen and to launching these great new projects later this year ".


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BBC Southern Counties Radio interview
6th July 2007

Gino Meriano, Chair of Gay Surrey spoke out about hate crime, stats and under reporting in Surrey

hear the Interview


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EACH survey - the report
4th July 2007

In 2006 Surrey Police commissioned the charity EACH to conduct research into the underreporting of homophobic crime within the Surrey police area. This research was based upon the Force's concern that many homophobic hate crimes were not being reported to the police in Surrey and it was hoped that this independent research would present the Force with ideas as to how it might improve trust and confidence within gay men and women so that they may feel able to report such crimes.

Read the report


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IDAHO Surrey a huge success
18th May 2007

News and Mai coverage

Gay Surrey's IDAHO was an amazing night with over 120 people attending the evening at the Oatlands Park Hotel.

The evening kicked off with the release of 77 balloons highlighting the 77 countries around the world where it is still illegal to be gay.

The night unveiled the need to raise awareness to hidden homophobia in Surrey and how we as a community should be more visible and speak out in putting an end to hate crime.

Gino Meriano Chair of Gay Surrey, followed Bill Buckley's opening speech by talking about the meaning behind IDAHO and hate crime across the world and the importance of speaking out, forming new partnerships and their new stophate now campaign, QBOY's powerful speech about the young and his live performance of his latest single closed the evening on a high and created a new buzz for action".

Gino says" the night was electrifying there was so much support, not only from our community but from everyone, including organisations that believed more needed to be done, IDAHO Surrey was not about promoting the work our charity have done so far but the importance surrounding the "International Day Against Homophobia" as awhole. There is enough hatred in the world we need to come together as never before and reinforce the need for social acceptance and understanding, we are people to".

The committee were proud to have the following sponsors who also kindly donated to the night from Surrey Police, the Met police, Falcons Football Club, Blackfords Solicitors, THT, Connexions. and GYSE.

From creating IDAHO Surrey 2007 to the actual night itself the charity raised over £870 towards their campaign and wish to thank everyone that contributed towards making this happen.

Gino Meriano, Chair of Gay Surrey continues "this event proved there is so much more to do and as a result of this we will be launching the StopHate Now conference later this year. This will be part two of IDAHO Surrey 2007 offering everyone the opportunity to find out what has happened in Surrey since the 17th May and where we and our partners are heading for the future, more details will follow".

IDAHO is about awareness and your support is always needed, believe it or not we are already planning IDAHO Surrey 2008

Find out more


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Qboy to speak and perform live at IDAHO
International day against Homophobia

20th April 2007

Gay Surrey would like to thank the following publications for offering their support for IDAHO and the charities night on the 17th May at the Otalnds Park Hotel, Weybridge Surrey

3Sixty Magazine

QX Magazine

GScene

More to follow
Press please call Gino Meriano on 07971 277609
IDAHO details


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A brand new look for Gay Surrey
18th April 2007

Three years of helping the community and today we celebrate our first year of being a registered charity, we have taken the charity to the next level with a fresh look, new additions and some fantastic projects launching later this year. With over 7500 unique visitors to our site a month and around 2500 subscribers Gay Surrey is proving to be one of the most sought after and proactive gay charities in Surrey.

So time to bring you up to speed. minus the few tweaks we will encounter for a short while....

GAY SURREY
The new site offers more options, including a new...

The lifestyle Survey
We have probably started Surrey's first regular gay lifestyle and attitude survey. Our aim is to publish regular information on the feelings and experiences of our community here in Surrey. We will then be able to show authorities like the council, police and health care services why they should take your opinions seriously. Please help us by completing the survey and spreading the word http://www.gaysurrey.org/surveys.htm

Civil Partnership section
Featuring venues and suppliers who all want to help raise the profile of Civil Partnerships in Surrey and have contributed towards the work the charity offers Sports and Fitness
Over time this section will grow to offer a great range of activities around Surrey including our very own gay surrey sports day, coming soon.

Parents and Families
This section has already grown and we are proud to have two groups for gay parents in Surrey and new partners coming on board to help gay families in so many ways from support, anti natal, adoption rights, family support and the list goes on..

Holidays
We welcome Charter Travel as a corporate supporter and they have kindly donated money to the charity and for every booking made will continue to donate

YOUNG GAY SURREY
Our fresh look will only stay for awhile but watch out "Young Gay Surrey, Speak Out" launches later this year. We would like to thank t he Youth Opportunity Fund and Youth Capital Fund for their generosity of £9342 and Woking Borough Council for  £250 to help make this project a huge success.

The best part of "YGS Speak Out" is the very fact that young people will have the say to the look, feel and content of this new website, we will be launching a competition for ideas over the coming weeks and the winner will receive a fantastic prize, but remember this only applies if your aged between 13 and 19.


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Opening night at TWISTER EPSOM
Getting to Know You!

30th March 2007

Twister Epsom opened its doors for the first time last night and welcomed its new members with helium balloons, streamers and a big chocolate cake!

Keir Schiltz, Enterprise and Enhancement Manager for Surrey Youth Development Services, made the opening speech and praised the members for their determination and involvement with the LGBTQ Young People Service and of course their fund raising skills which created the opportunity to open Twister Epsom.

Amidst the socialising and exploration of the building the young people created a 'Getting to Know You' collage and everyone added something about themselves. Items included badges, poems, doodles, pictures, ribbon, and loyalty cards. The collage will be displayed and other items added as Twister Epsom matures and new members join.

Find out more


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The Equality Act - Lords result - success for equality!
21st March

I'm delighted to be able to let you know that the House of Lords has just voted by 168 votes to 122 in support of our new goods and services protections for Great Britain . This was the very final vote we'll face on this issue and the new regulations will now come into effect from 30th April 2007.

Gino Meriano, gay rights campaigner and Chair of Gay Surrey says "A fantastic result and a new era is born, from the 30th April we finally have equal rights . When this legislation comes into effect organisations of all sizes supplying goods and services maybe caught off guard. Its just as important for gay businesses to understand the true impact this law will have on society today".

This is the end of a hugely tough campaign which has lasted more than two years  These new laws are long overdue and will make an enormous difference to the everyday lives of millions of people in Britain

I would personally like to thank everyone who has supported our work, campaigns and who helped us submit over 10,000 signatures to parliament over the last year alone.

Equality Matters Conference
Once the Act is finally in place the The Equality Matters conference will offer a clear vision, experience in gay rights and carefully selected speakers this ground breaking conference offers delegates a fast track and definitive guide to the impact the Act will hold and the changes the future will make.

Are you ready for the 30th Apri ??

just in .... key not speech and opening by Mayor Ken Livingstone

Find out more


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QBoy perfoms live at IDAHO Surrey
19th March

Gay Rapper QBoy supports the charities event IDAHO
Following QBoy's documentary 'Coming Out to Class' shown as part of Channel 4's recent Gay Teen Awareness Week, QBoy comments about coming at in Schools, the EDA and government stating "This is a symbolic step towards equality for children in our schools. If we are lucky enough to get parliamentary support then I'd be very happy, but if the EDA is duly ignored for the most part, then it shows if nothing else, that the safety of gay teenagers in schools is of no consequence to the British Government, which is exactly what I intend to help change"

Find out more


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Peacocks cancels Gay event
8th February
By Rob Brown, Woking News and Mail

Centre suggest workshop, On Tuesday Mr Keeping indicated that there was no room for compromise on the issue. The following morning the Peacocks shipping centre appeared to be performing something of a u-turn. Mr Keeping said " I know what the kids are like around here, we got all sorts of problems. "Maybe a compromise would be for Gay Surrey to come in on another week day. "I would have no problem if we were to set up a workshop where people could elect to come along". Gino Meriano, Chairman of Gay SUrrey " I believe this turn around was a result of intervention by us and the News and Mail. The original decision was based on ignorance and a total lack of understanding".


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Gay rights laws challenge fails
9th January

Gino Meriano, Chair of Gay Surrey would like to thank all the members of Gay Surrey who signed the petition to help support the Equality Act

New rules outlawing businesses from discriminating against homosexuals have been upheld in the House of Lords.

A challenge led by Lord Morrow of the Democratic Unionist Party failed by a majority of three to one. The Lords voted 199 to 68 against the religious lobby's wrecking amendments

Despite over 1000 religious zealots protesting outside parliament tonight, including Ian Paisley, Stephen Green and George Hargreaves, their attempt to annul the SOR regulations have FAILED.

Their campaign against the extension of legal protection for gays and lesb ian s in the pr ovision of goods and services was characterised by gross misinformation and, frankly, a litany of lies and distortions.

Gino Meriano, Gay campaigner for equal rights and founder of Pink Weddings said "It was a great debate and a fantastic result, we now truly welcome the new law coming in this April 2007 and a time to see discrimination stop once and for all. Its a major step forward in securing genuine equal rights for gay families and a reality check for Ruth Kelly".


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Gay bashers sentenced
5th January

Weybridge News and mail
Weybridge and Walton Guardian

Gay campaigners have condemned as shockingly lenient the sentences given to two "queer bashing" Elmbridge teenagers who used a Samurai sword and imitation rifle to terrorise their victims.

Gary Smith, 19, of Cowley Crescent, Walton-on-Thames, and Spencer Payne, 18, of Locke King Close, Weybridge, drove to Ockham Common, a well-known gay rendezvous near Wisley, last May with the weapons in the boot of their car.

After taunting and insulting the men gathered there, they got out the sword and aimed the rifle at them as they fled for their lives.

But on December 22 the pair effectively walked free from Guildford Crown Court after receiving suspended sentences with community service orders.

Smith had pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon in public, Payne pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Detective Constable Pete Foster, of Surrey Police, said: "These were serious offences that caused the victims to fear for their safety. No-one should have to suffer victimisation and intimidation simply because of who they are."

"It's shocking. If they wanted to send out a message that using a fake firearm and Samurai sword to target gay people is a very serious crime then this sentence isn't anywhere near strong enough."

Gino Meriano

However, Gino Meriano, chairman of the charity Gay Surrey, said strong words from police were being undermined by light sentences handed out by the courts. "It's shocking. If they wanted to send out a message that using a fake firearm and Samurai sword to target gay people is a very serious crime then this sentence isn't anywhere near strong enough," he said. "These people are specifically going to the area with the intention of hurting gay people." He added that there was little in the way of support for victims of gay-hate crimes.

In court Rupert Hallowes, prosecuting, said the teenagers had been drinking at the Hand and Spear pub in Weybridge on May 1, 2006 before driving to the common.

He said Smith walked over to a car and urinated in front of it while taunting a number of men standing next to their vehicles.

As the pair got more aggressive the men got into their cars to leave. Smith went to the boot of his car and pulled out what a witness believed was a lethal 80cm long Samurai sword. Payne grabbed a rifle from the boot and aimed at cars as they drove off.

Later that night officers arrested the pair. Mr Hallowes said as Smith was arrested he was heard to say: "All this for a bunch of queers." James Buchanan, defending Smith, said that his clients' behaviour that night had been "reprehensible" but did not justify a jail sentence.

Defending Payne, David Castle, said the supermarket worker had drunk eight pints of lager and several tequila shots at the pub.

Recorder Jack Bayliss said: "You went out with the intention, I have no doubt, of upsetting and harassing members of the gay community who were using Ockham common.

"Whatever your personal views may be, society will not put up with what is commonly referred to as queer bashing."

Payne was sentenced to 51 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years with 200 hours unpaid work. Payne received a 30-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, along with 150 hours unpaid work. Both defendants were also ordered to pay £235 costs.


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World Aids Day
1st December

Gay Surrey are proud to support World Aids Day and THT in the campaign in Surrey

Gino Meriano, Chair of Gay Surrey says "The gang at Gay Surrey turned up in full force to help raise awareness and money in Woking and Weybridge today, even in the pouring rain it was still a pleasure seeing so many people helping THT and members of the community donating to the cause".

 

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Site Tracks Sex Offenders
17th Nov

In today's Sky news report, some of Britain 's most wanted child sex offenders are being identified publicly on a new website dedicated to tracking them down.

The site has been set up to appeal for information about child sex offenders who have gone missing.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre says the men are not wanted over unsolved crimes.

They have served punishments and then vanished after failing to comply with legal restrictions on their movements.

Breaching these so-called "notification requirements" is an arrestable offence punishable with up to five years in prison.

"While it isn't new for the UK police to publish details of offenders on their own sites, this is the first time that a nationwide - and indeed global - approach has been adopted," said chief executive Jim Gamble.

"We believe this new site will be an invaluable addition to the intelligence tool kit when compiling information about child sex offenders."

The initiative is running together with the Crimestoppers Most Wanted site, which is designed to help track down Britain 's most dangerous on-the-run criminals.

Gay Surrey are showing its support by launching a dedicated page to help raise awareness

Visit the page

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Gay Surrey Stats
1st Nov

With so much happening in and around Surrey our website has seen a great growth last month with  5860 unique visitors checking out our services and events.

Last month saw the launch of the new nightlife section to the delight of our visitors, this new look section will grow over the coming months with more listings and events, watch this space for further updates visit http://www.gaysurrey.org/bars.htm

Support Pages. Yet again the support pages are really moving around.

Crystal Meth takes 1st place. We would like to thank Life or Meth for all their help in raising the profile surrounding this awful drug. In addition we are so pleased to hear.....

The Government is reclassifying crystal meth as a Class A drug.
The move comes after a dramatic increase in its distribution, thanks to the ease with which the drug can be produced. "The Government is determined to [remove] more drugs from our streets," says Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker. There are concerns regarding the drug's links with HIV, due to its euphoric effects on users which can lead to unprotected sex. Known to the gay community as 'krank', 'tina' or 'ice', crystal meth can induce paranoia, agitation and aggression in users.

Top Ten
Nightlife Section
What's on Young Gay
Surrey Clubnight at the Quake - 9th Dec night
Links
Fitness
Film Reviews
3Sixty Magazine
Over 30's night's night
Staying in ideas

Support
Crystal Meth
Gay Surrey Parents page
THT
RASASC
Blanche Heriot
NHS Sexual Health
Surrey Police
Married Mens Group
The Met Police
The NAZ Project

Youth
Young Gay Surrey
Twisters - Youth Night
GYSE - Youth forum and news 
Lambent Productions with Twister
Youth Group Youth Links

 

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Surrey Advertiser and Aldershot News, Features on Hate Crime
15th Oct

Gay Surrey are pleased to announce their latest drive in raising awareness, both the Surrey Advertiser and Aldershot News interviewed our Chairman Gino Meriano about Hate Crime in Surrey and the latest campaign from Surrey Police

Gino Meriano adds "It is great to see partnerships working and finally gaining some great exposure for the many projects Gay Surrey approach, my intention is to build a stronger relationship with Surrey Police in their drive to get the community to report hate crime, but believe we still have some ground to cover".

 

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Chris Collins, our operations director, was nominated for an award
5th Sept

It's a well know fact that Gay Surrey likes to get involved with different aspects within the local community but we are really please to announce that one of our own members of the board has been awarded a certificate by Wolsey Place Shopping Centre's Charity Star awards, which is a new community programme started this year.

Chris Collins, our operations director, was nominated for his work with the Terrance Higgins Trust with whom he has been associated for a number of years. The nomination was made to recognise not only the contribution made to THT but how Chris has managed to bring together two local charities and have them united on several projects which in turn makes life easier for local people who benefit from both charities in which he is involved.

The Chairman of Gay Surrey, Gino Meriano, says, "Its wonderful to think that someone who works quietly and professionally in the background of both charities has been thanked for his work. It's also a wonderful testament of the collaboration between Gay Surrey and THT to improve conditions for the visitors of both charities and its only right that local charities join forces professionally and show a united front to the local community. Its good to know that the judging panel have seen the value in the work that both charities do by issuing this award.""

View the certificate

 

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Phaze Radio and Gay Surrey
29th Aug

Phaze Radio Gay Surrey are really proud to be partnered and sponsored by Phaze Radio, the gay owned station based in Surrey broadcasts a great range of music and has an excellent chat room to meet new people from across the world right down to your doorstep.

The gang have sponsored Gay Surrey by helping raise our profile through their online radio, in addition we are excited to announce that Phaze Radio will be broadcasting the following events live Quake

HEAT Night - 30th Sept 
Gay Surrey Comedy Club

Gay Surrey will also be taking its very own slot on the radio talking about gay issues in Surrey and around the world, interviews with key people around Surrey and taking questions from listeners plus a great range of music too, so watch this space for more information. Phaze Radio is a gay owned station and some of our presenters are gay too although not necessarily targeting a gay audience we air news, events, features and discussions that all can listen to and enjoy. Here at phaze there is a show and a Presenter to suit all tastes.  

Phaze was launched on the 7th of August 2006 after much planning and development. A lot of the staff are experienced members of radio and have worked on various stations on the world wide web and also in the world we call reality too.

So help support the radio, listen and chat live

Featured article in the Surrey Comet newspapers on the 1st Sept
New gay radio show for Surrey

Gay Surrey has partnered up with gay radio station Phaze Radio to broadcast its own show on gay issues. The slot with include interviews with key people around Surrey, live broadcasting of Gay Surrey's club nights and choice music. Phaze Radio is a gay-owned station with some gay presenters but targeted at a mixed audience. For more information and to tune in, see gaysurrey.org/phazeradio.htm

 

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Gay Surrey are proud to launch the first of many "Gay Surrey Comedy Club" nights.
28th Aug

Gino Meriano, Chair of Gay Surrey says "as part of our ongoing commitment to provide Surrey with a wider range of social events. The first night will be jammed packed with some of the UK's most outstanding comedians and hosted by the hilarious Charlie Ross".

You can also see Charlie perform live at our charity fund raising dinner on the 27th Oct

The Gay Surrey comedy Club kicks of our fourth social project, from....

  • working in partnership with Sam at Connexions in starting a new youth group in Guildford
  • a popular over 30's drinks night at the Hautboy Inn
  • a gay night at Quake nightclub in Woking
  • a series of gay comedy clubs coming later this year.

Gino continues "Our mission is to host as many different styles of events in the coming three years and will be seeking funding to open our own Gay Surrey venue, but for now we are focussed on the comedy club which I know will become a regular and very popular event, more details coming soon"

 

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Meth may take hold of gay clubbing scene - Local Observer Newspaper Group
14th Aug

A Surrey charity which offers support and advice to gay men and women has spoken out about the dangers of a drug taking hold in the gay clubbing scene.

Chairman of Gay Surrey Gino Meriano said the charity - formed last year to support Surrey's gay community - had become aware of increasing problems surrounding the drug, called crystal meth or methamphetamine.

The drug is a highly potent form of speed which inflicts severe damage on the cardiovascular and central nervous systems.

Mr Meriano said: "Research shows that 10 per cent of gay men in London and Surrey have used this extremely addictive drug.

"It disfigures a user's looks with scabby sores and they get terrible lows after the initial high. The drug gives the user a sense of euphoria and false confidence, which can lead to practising unsafe sex.

"After our research we decided to devote a page on our website to the organisation Life or Meth, which promotes awareness of the drug.

"We need more support from organisations in Surrey to raise awareness about how dangerous, harmful and life threatening this drug is."

A user from Surrey, who took the drug in central London, said: "Crystal is by far the most dangerous drug ever to be seen in the gay scene. It must be stopped and the dealers weeded out and users educated."

A spokesman for Life or Meth said the drug was clinically more addictive than heroin, more destructive than crack and a factor in rising global HIV transmission rates.

He said: "We encourage users to give up the drug by looking at underlying addiction issues. We also give potential users the hard facts about it so they can make a well-informed choice about whether to take it or not."

Story covers the Surrey and London regions

Find out more

 

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Gay Surrey launches HEAT at Quake night club
13th Aug

After the success of the White Party last month, The Quake club have set aside another date for Gay Surrey, so here it is 30th September 2006

All eyes are on this night to set the precedent for a regular monthly chance to add a new and fresh club night to your diary. 

With your help we can prove Surrey does want, need and enjoy another gay place to hang out and have fun. More details cab be found on HEAT

but for now, help us spread the word and lets make this night rock.

 

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Life or Meth Campiagn
2nd Aug

Life or Meth acknowledges Gay Surrey in their work to raise awareness surrounding Crystal Meth

Editor of Life or Meth says "Thank you so much for you support, It will help me immeasurably in my campaign to convince the London health charities that there is a demand for more awareness around crystal meth!!"

We have are now featured on the website for our work and support

Life or Meth Testimonials

UK News featuring Gay Surrey

Gino Meriano, Chair says "Gay Surrey will continue to raise the profile around crystal meth and campaign for a better understanding and support from organizations around the UK".

 

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July with Gay Surrey
1st Aug

We pushed the boat out last month and raised the profile of Gay Surrey and the services the website offers, last month saw a dramatic increase in the number of people who visited us, Gay Surrey saw an amazing 5024 unique visitors in the month of July.

The "Top Ten"  has seen less movement last month, but great to see the Civil Partnership page moving up one place. The "Support Pages" saw a staggering 1st place for our awareness campaign on Crystal Meth.

Top Ten

Bars and clubs
What's on / Local
Clubnight at the Quake
Links
Young Gay Surrey
Fitness
Film Reviews
3Sixty Magazine
Civil Partnership
Staying in ideas

Support
Crystal Meth
THT
NHS
Sexual Health
EACH
Blanche Heriot Unit
Surrey Police
RASASC
The Met Police
Silence is not golden
Married Mens Group

Youth Young Gay Surrey

Twisters - Youth Night
GYSE - Youth forum and news
Youth  Police
Youth Parliament

What's happening with Gay Surrey

-We are promoting two crucial surveys to help the community, produced by
1. EACH for Surrey Police http://www.surrey.police.uk/homophobic_form.asp
2. Vital Statistics 2006 survey with Ian Cole http://www.gaysurrey.org/gmss.htm  

-Wokings first dedicated gay club night at the Quake was a huge success and we are in talks with the club to make this a monthly event. Gay Surrey would like to thank everyone at the Quake Club who worked hard to make this night a success, special thanks to Nate and the gang We have formed partnerships

-With selected local newspapers to launch a new ad campaign for Gay Surrey later this year.

-The Boogies Lounge in Epsom opened its doors to a regular gay night in June with Eric working hard to get this off the ground, with the help of Gay Surrey we have raised the profile of the night and secured coverage in this months latest edition of 3Sixty Magazine.

-Over the coming months Gay Surrey will be highlighting the need for increased understanding surrounding the Equalities Act when it comes into play this October and will be sending out information packs about how organisations can be better prepared for this new change in the law, in partnership with Page Nine design agency.

 

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The White Party @ Quake Club, Woking - A huge success
30th July

Thanks to those of you that came along to support the White Party last night. It was a great success and as a result of  this fantastic night I have been informed by the Quake that we can host another  club night  in September - so keep checking those emails or check out our website, further details coming soon 

It was rather amazing to  view this sea of mobile phones coming out and people were ring ing their friends telling them to get to the Quake and within what seemed a matter of minutes people just kept pouring through the doors like an invading army of party goers. The entire evening was electric and the foam really went down a treat, in more ways than one

Come on guyz and girlz  lets make the  next  club night even bigger than this one! The more support we get the more club nights "Gay Surrey" will be able to host, so put on those dancing shoes and get down to the next one.....check out the club page

 

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Gay Surrey announces Bill Buckley as their new Patron
25th June

We are proud and excited to have Bill Buckley as our patron for Gay Surrey Since speaking with this remarkable guy Bill has kindly offered his support as our patron Bill says "I'm honoured and thrilled to be a Patron of Gay Surrey, an organisation and website with the power to enrich the lives of local gay men and lesbians in so many ways.

It's easy to think that, with so many positive changes in the law and social attitudes in recent years, our fight for respect and equality is all but won, but there is still much to do, and our foes are forever around us! It is important that Surrey's Gay population has a forum to meet, socialise, share opinions and provide each other with support. Congratulations on your first birthday, Gay Surrey: I hope to be associated with you for many more!"

Bill Buckley
 

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Gay Surrey are proud to host "The Charity Dinner" 2006 - 27th October 2006
25th June

Our fund raising dinner will be a night like no other, with an amazing venue, fantastic menu and some uplifting entertainment, The Charity Dinner will be the start of many fund raising dinner events to highlight social accceptance for the Gay community of Surrey

Whats in store

  • raise money for selected charities/voluntary organisations in Surrey.
  • be greeted by the famous butlers in the buff
  • welcomed and hosted by the fabulous "Fonda Cox"
  • see magic unfold before your eyes
  • live entertainment, will Kylie and or Robbie be there ?
  • party into the night with our itsybitsycheesy disco
  • auction and prizes to be won - including a bottle of the sexiest "Diva Vodka"
  • black tie, ball gowns or full on bling

Nominated charities will be announed in Sept 2006.

Find out more

 

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Gay Surrey Launches "The White Party" at Quake Nightclub - 29th July 2006
29th May

Gay Surrey have teamed up with Quake Night Club to bring you a gay night called "The White Party" for the first time in Woking, sponsored by 3Sixty Magazine

The club night will be held on the 29th July (yes a Saturday night) and starts from 9pm

Continuing our programme for raising awareness for the gay community, the club night is one of many events which will be held in the one year project

Gay Surrey is committed to raising awareness and funding for many charities and voluntary organisations supporting the gay community of Surrey.

50% of the ticket price will be donated back to Gay Surrey and to it's grant making programmes

Find out more

 


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Gay Surrey launches two fund raising projects
18th May

Gay Surrey are launching two projects, on the 29th July and the 27th October, both events will be announced in June but will raise the profile for equality and social acceptance in the community of Surrey.

In addition both events will raise monies for four selected charities/gay organisations, kick starting the first of many grant making projects for 2006


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Gay Surrey supports the Laramie Project Tour
27th April 2006

Gay Surrey is proud to introduce The Laramie Project Tour, an innovative new project which The Camberley Theatre are bringing to schools throughout July. The Laramie Project is a play made from first hand community accounts of the brutal murder of a young gay man in Laramie Wyoming USA in 1998. The play, which has also been made into a film, has been extremely well received critically and is now the second most performed play in schools in the United States.

Xpress Theatre Company performers (aged 16 - 19 years) are being trained to become peer educators so that they can tour the play along with a post show discussion/workshop to students in Year 10+. The aim is to combat homophobia and raise awareness about hate crimes and their effect in a community. This project is supported by The Safer Surrey Heath Partnership, Surrey County Arts, Schools Out, Connexions, the charity Gay Surrey and the Arts Council England.

Gay Surrey are offering to fund the £50 to schools in Woking, Weybridge, Addlestone and Chertsey. find out more


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Gay Surrey is awarded charity Status
19th April 2006

We are very excited to announce that Gay Surrey has now been granted charity status! We have been working hard over the last year to bring together the Gay Communities in Surrey . This has already been a great success, and with over 3000 unique visitors to our site each month, we have become the most active community networking website.

Our aim for 2006 is to seek funding  and become grant makers for the gay community, supporting new businesses, and to help us put on or support gay social activities. We have already started hosting small scale activities once a month which are growing in popularity and we will strive to host more across the Surrey region.

With our new charity status not only can we continue to offer help, support and advice locally to those who need it, but we can also increase our services and offer more activities to help to bring the Gay Community of Surrey together.

Registered Charity Number 1113772


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Charity bid for gay community group
Kingston Guardian Group Newspapers
3:30pm Friday 6th January 2006

Hot on the heels of his success in helping same-sex couples celebrate their big day, Pink Weddings founder Gino Meriano has his sights set on a new goal.

The Weybridge-based businessman is hoping to gain charitable status for Gay Surrey, a website and community group for gay people which he launched in April 2005. It would enable him to apply for funding and grants in order to organise events, days out and even set up a youth club for gay teenagers.

At the moment he finances activities out of his own pocket.

Gino said: "The site is getting so big and we are aiming to make it the only community network for the gay community in Surrey.

"There's a lot of money out there available to help charities. When we set up the site, we wanted to see whether there was a real interest and from the way it's grown there obviously is."

Gino hopes to apply to the Charities Commission by the end of next week for charity status, looking to receive around £50,000 a year.

For more information go to www.gaysurrey.org


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