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Diverse Communities, Active Lives

Diverse Communities, Active Lives is a comprehensive guide about volunteering and community participation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

This guide covers a wide range of opportunities that we hope will inspire and encourage LGBT people to become more active in public life.

Not all of the examples in this guide will be available in your area. New ways of involving LGBT people and groups are being created all the time and opportunities may vary according to where you live, so we have tried to cover every aspect of active citizenship.

What we do offer is a description of some of the main areas of public life that provide the chance for you to play a part in the community, what you can expect from that role, what you can gain and what you will be expected to give back in return and a list of useful contacts to help you get started.

Most opportunities described in this guide offer chances for people to use their skills and experiences from everyday life, combined with their enthusiasm and commitment, for the benefit of the community. It’s worth remembering that most of us have more talents and experience than we realise. For example you may look after a home or take a lead in planning social events, and not realise that you have the organising and negotiation skills that would be really useful in public life.

Some of the opportunities in this guide do require certain qualifications or a track record of achievement in the relevant field; when this is the case we make it clear.

We know that people have different amounts of time and energy to offer, depending on personal circumstances, family obligations and professional commitments. This guide therefore covers opportunities that range from full-time, well-paid jobs (for example MPs and MSPs) to part-time roles that pay expenses (for example Children’s Panel) or are entirely voluntary (for example Neighbourhood Watch).

This part of the guide consists of 7 sections under the headings:

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