Built for YOU!

When Umbrella Cymru was set up we knew that to meet our aims, we would need to be flexible in the way we provide support.

Because we know people’s experiences can be so varied, and the way you access our services can and will be unique, we developed and provide support to meet your individual needs and circumstances.

This can make it quite tricky to explain everything we do, but we’ll give it a go.  Warning!  We provide a lot of support – stick with us!

Where do we start?

We always keep YOU at the heart of any support, and we build a package around you.  First, we look at why you want or need support, discuss what matters to you, identify what you want to achieve, plan how you you might achieve it and then work out what you might need from us to help you.  We’ll help you build on your strengths, and support you in the best possible way we can.

This page will explain how we build a PACKAGE of support for you.  We first look at whether the support is SPECIFIC or NON-SPECIFIC, then we work out what CATEGORY the support comes under before we explore the TOPIC in more detail.  This helps us identify your goals so we can help you work towards achieving the best outcome.  Finally we discuss what SERVICES would help you reach your goal and plan how and when we can provide them.

Let’s look at building a support package…

What can you get help with?

It’s complicated!  You know we specialise in gender and sexual identity, diversity, equality and inclusion, but do you know that not all of the people we support identify as LGBTQ+. But how does that work we hear you ask!  Let us explain…

To support anyone, anywhere in Wales as specialists in gender and sexual identity, diversity, equality or inclusion we separate what we do into SPECIFIC and NON-SPECIFIC support services.

Specific Support

This TYPE of support is where someone has come to us for support that SPECIFICALLY relates to gender or sexual identity, diversity, equality or inclusion.  You do not have to identify as non-straight or cisgender to access this support because the support focusses on gender and sexual identity, diversity, equality or inclusion.

So what on earth is NON-SPECIFIC support?

Non-Specific Support

We provide support on a wide range of things that don’t relate to gender and sexual diversity, equality or inclusion, but we only provide these to people who don’t identify as straight and cisgender.

Why?  Because we know there are many barriers for people with a minority gender or sexual identity, and we are passionate about helping to remove or reduce them wherever possible.

Still confused…here are a few examples…

To support someone to come out, we might also need to support parents, carers, partners or other family members.  Of course, we might be supporting the person who’s actually coming out, but sometimes, people around them need support even if the person coming out doesn’t need any help themselves.  Lightbulb moment right??

Here’s another example (this one might really blow your mind).  We also know that not everyone who experiences hate motivated by hostility towards a gender or sexual identity would identify as LGBTQ+.  So who supports them?  We do of course!

Similarly, a person who does identify with a minority gender or sexual identity might prefer to access support in other aspects of their life from us if they feel more comfortable coming to us for this.  For example, you might be a young person who identifies as non-binary and feeling low in mood because of other things (exams, home life, school pressures etc), and you might feel more comfortable talking to our team about these things because we understand and support your gender identity.  This means you don’t have to explain your identity or pronouns to us and we can just talk about what matters to you right now.

In a bit more detail…

To help us tailor our support, we break it down into Support Category, Support Topic and Support Service.


These are broken down into areas like Identity, Education and Employment, Crime and Criminal Justice, Health and Wellbeing, Shelter and Accommodation, Home and Family Life, Social Interaction and so on.

These are the broad categories that someone might need support for.  Within each of these categories, we cover a range of specific TOPICS.  These are more specifically the outcomes people might want to achieve from accessing support from us.

This approach allows us to focus on working towards specific outcomes for people.


Within each of our CATEGORIES, there are a number of TOPICS.  For example, within the category of education, some of the topics people ask us for help with include dealing with bullying, accessing gender appropriate facilities, coming out in school, name changes on the register etc.

In other categories, topics could include anxiety, suicide and self-harm, social isolation, sexual health, healthy relationships, discrimination, adoption and fostering… and the list goes on.

What do people ask us to help with?

We get requests for support about a whole range of things, but some of our most common requests include:

Identity, Confidence and Coming Out

This includes our services that help someone explore, understand and express their gender or sexual identity.

This is core to the work we do. We know that people will have to come out to different groups such as friends, family, work, school, services and others throughout their lives. Some people find coming out to some groups easy, and other groups quite difficult. Some people find coming out to anyone a massive step on their journey.  Everyone’s journey is different.

No matter to whom, how, where or when you want to come out, we can support you along the way.  If you need someone to listen to you, give you some advice or guidance, or you are looking for longer term ongoing support, then contact us to discuss the best way we can help.

Let us help you build your confidence to be YOU!

Gender Identity Support

Through our Gender Identity Support packages, we support any trans, non-binary and gender diverse person. We do not provide medical intervention, but we can help you access treatment, surgery or social support.

We can help you understand the processes and timescales, advocate with healthcare professionals, and provide a range of practical support like filling in deed poll applications and making applications to the Gender Recognition Panel.

We can also provide emotional support to build your confidence and support you throughout your transition.  We support people who identify as any gender, and see gender as a spectrum.  Our support is available to people of any age.

Crime, Criminal Justice and Hate

We also support people who’ve experience crime and antisocial behaviour, and specifically homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate (where an incident is motivated, or perceived to be motivated, by hostility towards their gender or sexual identity).

We can support you following the incident, and work with you to maintain or improve mental health and wellbeing.  We also work alongside a number of local and national organisations who are skilled and experienced in supporting victims and survivors of crime.

We support people who have experienced any crime, and specifically work to support victims and survivors of hate crime, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and so much more.  We work with you to understand the best way for us to provide support.

School and Education

We can help you talk to your school about issues that concern or affect you.  Whether that’s about bullying you might be experiencing relating to your gender or sexual identity, changing your name on the register if you are transitioning, access to gender appropriate facilities such as toilets or changing room, or whatever else is important to you, let us help!

We also work with teachers and staff to help them support you.  We recognise that they will be on hand every day in schools, so we can make sure they understand your needs.

Family Support

We also provide support for parents, carers, guardians, children, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins…

We offer support to any family members. If someone in your family is exploring their gender or sexual identity, or if they’ve recently come out, we can help.

Some people just need to talk to someone about how they feel about it, and we offer a safe space to do this. Others might want more information about what it all means for the person they care about to come out, and particularly what they would be going through if they are transitioning or accessing gender identity services.  We also support partners and ex-partners of people who’ve come out.

Get it?  Got it?  Good!

Now you understand what sort of things we can help with, it’s time to look at HOW we provide it.  We call these our Services.

What services do we offer?

Our services are the ways in which we provide support.  We know that everyone wants to access support differently, so we offer different approaches.

You can either access one of our services (information and signposting for example), or you might need a few of our services to help you with a specific topic.  We offer a blend of services that are designed around your needs to help you to get the best out of our support.

Take a look at the different types of services we offer.  We can tailor the support we provide using a range of services, so don’t worry if you can’t decide on just one!