Voice spoke to  Founder of Rainbow Newport, Adam Smith, to tell us more about his mission. Here’s what he had to say:

V: Why did you start Rainbow Newport?

A: I started Rainbow Newport because very little support and awareness was available for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans community in Newport. To no fault of anyone, I just felt that more needed to be done, especially with hate crime in Newport and beyond on the rise I felt I had a responsibility to future generations to ensure support was there for them unlike myself.

V: What is the main ethos behind your group? And what is your ultimate goal?

A: Our main ethos is to make Newport a friendlier city for the LGBT+ community. I want to ensure that decisions made across organisations, businesses and the local authority included the views from the community. I want to ensure that the community feels included and accepted within the city they work and live in. Yes, some people may say that this happens already, but just like other minority groups, some needs of the community are different and I don’t want them to be an afterthought.

My ultimate goal is for Rainbow Newport not to be needed anymore, where society is accepting of the community, where hate crime doesn’t exist but I can’t see that happening, nice to dream though.

V: How did you feel when you found out that you’d been recognised for your hard work and won the V Award?

A: It was a nice feeling, the hard work put in by all involved since we started was recognised. We are all volunteers, so it was in a way a huge thank you, which means the most.

V: What’s happened since you we last spoke to you in the summer of 2017?

A: We are now in partnership with Newport Libraries, and have launched the LGBT+ range of books. In Newport we now have over 100 fictional, biography, poetry and educational books, which people can now hire for free. What we are most pleased about is that we have extended our reach, not only helping people in Newport, but also the surrounding areas too.

V: Now that your profile has been raised, have more people contacted you for help?

A: We have noticed an increase in new people contacting us and attending the coffee clubs, which is a massive achievement. Hopefully this will continue throughout 2018, especially with the new monthly event we are hoping to get up and running by February.

V: What plans do you have for Rainbow Newport in 2018?

A: Well plans are well under way for the Newport City LGBT+ Conference and Information day on February 14 at Newport Riverfront Theatre. Last year over 200 people attended and this year we hope for more. We are looking to launch a Newport Book club time and we are going with the flow, listening to the community and working with them to put on activities and events they want.

V: How can people get in touch?

A: Usual communication tools, Facebook and Twitter, we can also be contacted on email at rainbownewport@ outlook.com.