Sussex transgender people are set to benefit from a new support group.

Sussex Police, Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, members of the Terrence Higgins Trust and representatives from transgender groups in Hastings and Brighton came together to celebrate the launch of transgender support group Papilio.

Papilio will be based in Eastbourne much to co-ordinator Ann Boniface's delight.

She said: "We found that individuals were having to travel all the way over to Hastings and Brighton to attend a social drop in.

“Papilio was therefore set up to increase individuals social networks and to provide a safe place where they are not alone and where they feel supported.”

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd said: "I wholly appreciate the challenges and abuse some transgender people receive. It is simply wrong to bully and target someone because they are different.

"The formation of this group shows the possibilities and is a tribute to the tolerance of our wonderful town."

Tiffany, a transsexual from Eastbourne, added: "The transgender community can be very shy and lack confidence in coming forward. The opportunity to meet and socialise with other like minded people in the town will be welcomed by them.”

Papilio meets on the second Wednesday of each month from 7pm to 9pm at a central location in Eastbourne. There are changing facilities available at the location.

The meetings are informal, over tea, coffee and biscuits with the aim of making new friends and contacts. Carers and family members are also welcome to come along.

For further details about Papilio you can contact Ann in confidence on 01323 430203 or email