LGBT Sector Support
At our June 2017 meeting, our Committee agreed three Strategic Initiative grants totalling almost £700,000 to provide additional resources and support for the capital’s LGBT sector. These resulted from a special meeting of the LGBT sector convened by the Trust and a report by Trust for London called “Still Out There” which identified a number of issues which had led to the closure of some organisations in the sector. This report showed a clear need for funding to protect specific support services in London.
The grants awarded by the Trust are:
- £281,000 to the GMI Partnership (charities Positive East, Metro and Spectra) to expand and diversify its work supporting the LGBT community in London, including looking at different approaches to HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health.
- £217,000 to the LGBT Consortium to create and manage an online directory of services in London and to give general support to the LGBT third sector to make it easier for people from the LGBT community to access support. The directory will also be used to highlight current gaps in service provision.
- £165,000 to Opening Doors London for a programme to develop the quality of services provided to older LGBT Londoners by voluntary and statutory organisations. The project will inform and educate commissioners and service providers about the specific needs of the LGBT older community, how to ensure these needs are met and that discrimination is minimised.
The Trust For London “Still Out There” report, which was launched in August 2016, highlighted the serious challenges faced by specialist service providers to be able to meet the needs of LGBT Londoners, in a time of rising demand and diminishing resources.
The report found that LGBT service provision is largely underfunded or unavailable within many areas of London, leaving many members of the community unable to access LGBT specific services nearby.
Following the Trust’s own observations of issues within the LGBT sector, we convened a meeting of LGBT charities to discuss the specific issues facing the sector and agree an action plan to ensure the sustainability of LGBT services in London. One area of concern was the lack of specialist infrastructure support within the sector, and so proposals were invited to fill this gap.
It is hoped that these three awards will make a significant and positive difference to the lives of LGBT people in London, both on an individual service basis and through helping to protect and develop key agencies which themselves provide important support to this sector.