Teach Solais, the LGBT+ resource centre for AMACH LGBT Galway has been forced to close its doors “due in part to COVID-19 but mainly due to the lack of a sustainable funding stream affecting our capacity to manage the work we are doing.”
In a statement released on Friday, August 28, they say that their lease in Teach Solais ends today (August 31) and that they are sadly not in a position to extend their time in this venue.
“Over the last 5 months, AMACH LGBT Galway understand that it has been very challenging times for all community groups. AMACH and our resource centre Teach Solais are no exception to this. We have been faced with some very difficult decisions due in part to COVID-19 but mainly due to the lack of a sustainable funding stream affecting our capacity to manage the work we are doing
“We wish that AMACH are able to inform you that we had achieved our vision of sustainable funding and long term government support but unfortunately that is not the case. Our lease in Teach Solais comes to an end on the 31st August 2020. Without sustainable funding and government support we do not have the means to continue to finance the space we currently occupy and sadly, we are not in a position to extend our time in this venue.
“This has not been an easy conclusion to come to and we struggled immensely with this decision but we must focus on the future and continue to work hard for our community with the resources we currently have.”
We’re disappointed to announce the close of Teach Solais in its current venue, this has been a difficult and heartbreaking decision for the board to make, please see our statement for more information. We want to thank everyone who has supported us this far. pic.twitter.com/NPTffG5WB8
— Teach Solais (@TeachSolaisLGBT) August 28, 2020
Teach Solais provided supports essential to the welfare of local LGBT+ people – its health and wellbeing services include the Galway branch of the national LGBT Helpline, mental health talks and panel discussions, peer support groups such as trans group GOSSIP, and free HIV testing by AIDS West.
It also provided an invaluable social outlet for the queer community, with meditation sessions, yoga classes, a book club, photography, creative writing, and sporting activities including a running club and soccer team.
The dedicated team have been working hard to keep the services up and running during the pandemic and their online drop-in services will continue as normal. Their phone line also still operates from Monday to Friday between 12 pm and 3 pm (089 235 8476).
Thankfully, Teach Solais having to close is not the end of AMACH LGBT. In the statement, they announced that they will be moving to the Westside Resource Centre soon.
“We are currently in the process of moving and are working hard behind the scenes to ensure a smooth transition. Teach Solais may be gone in its current form, but AMACH together with the community will continue the spirit of Teach Solais until we find a forever home.”
The team at AMACH LGBT are using this time to develop a key strategic plan saying they will continue their work to develop a sustainable LGBT+ resource centre in Galway City.
“We want to thank everyone who has supported us and visited the centre over the years. The support of our community and the wider community in Galway means the world to us and we look forward to continuing our work building a safe, happy and supportive environment for LGBTQ+ people in Galway and the West of Ireland.”
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