OUTLine's General Manager, Trevor Easton, says the support organisation has seen a substantial increase in the number of incoming calls. Statistics based on the firsteight months of this year show an average of 454 calls per month; more than double the volume of calls the organisation was receiving in 2013, with face to face counselling sessions increasing three fold. Easton attributes some of the increase to a greater awareness of OUTLine as a service provider, saying that organisation has been working hard to make sure the general public are aware of who they are and what they do. This has included a nationwide brochure mail out and the launch of the 100% Tino Paisocial media campaign. He also notes that calls from the transgender community have increased, with people seeking more information and support than they were a few years ago, as are their families and friends. With services in such high demand Easton says the organisation is looking to take on new volunteers and has set dates for a fresh round of volunteer training. “OUTLine still runs financially on the smell of an oily rag and I don't see that changing unfortunately. “We really rely heavily on our wonderful volunteers to staff the phones and to assist in other ways to allow us to offer these services. We certainly don't have enough money or enough volunteers.” Basic statistical information such as the volume of calls, gender identity of callers and location is recorded by the organisation for use in grant applications however Easton highlights that any information provided by a caller is strictly confidential. OUTLine have also moved permanently into the NZAF building after two years occupying a temporary space at the offices. “It makes sense for us to be here on lots of fronts,” says Easton, “NZAF are a fantastic and supportive landlord and have great people working for them.” “We are still getting things organised, like the library, but we are getting there and it's great to have a home again. Also it's good to be in a space with other LGBTI allies to share ideas and thoughts,” he says. The new volunteers training intake will take place on the 31st of October, 1st 7th and 8th of November. Those interested can contact OUTline for more information.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Thursday, 24th September 2015 - 4:28pm
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