LGBT+ good causes in London get £1million in coronavirus funding
A London funding organization says it has given almost £1million of coronavirus funding to organizations with LGBT+ leadership.
Moreover, almost half of that has gone directly to ‘life-saving’ support for LGBT+ people.
Organizations benefiting include those providing mentoring and social activities for young transgender Londoners. Likewise, the fund has also funded online support for black, Asian and minority ethnic gay, bisexual and trans men.
The City of London Corporation runs the historic and banking center of the UK capital. But it’s also a major charitable funder, through the City Bridge Trust.
It set up the London Community Response Fund (LCRF) to help charities cope with the impact of the pandemic.
Since March, the LCRF has given £25million with £7million of that coming from the UK’s National Lottery Community Fund.
In the latest wave of funding, LCRF allocated a total of £940,999 to LGBT+ led projects. Almost half – £465,871 – went to projects specifically targeting LGBT+ communities.
Dhruv Patel, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said:
‘COVID-19 has changed everyone’s lives. But LGBT+ people have been particularly affected, often as a result of vital social or support networks being reduced or stopped altogether since the pandemic began.
‘Many of them have endured enforced lockdown with family members who may be unsupportive, or even hostile, leaving them feeling vulnerable and at increased risk of issues such as depression, anxiety or suicidal feelings.
‘The work that LGBT+ charities do is needed now more than ever.
‘This funding – thanks to the generosity of all those companies and organisations which have donated to the LCRF – is helping them continue to provide what is in many cases life-saving practical and emotional support.’
‘Vital’ safe spaces
LGBT HERO, the health charity which includes sexual health organization GMFA, received £16,835.
The money will fund online individual and group support sessions for gay, bisexual and transgender men who are also black, Asian or another ethnic minority.
Ian Howley, LGBT HERO chief executive, said:
‘Even before coronavirus, LGBT+ people were more likely to experience mental health issues, and within minority groups those rates are even higher. The pandemic and the lockdown have just amplified a lot of the issues that were already there.’
Moreover he said LGBT+ people of color often ‘can’t be open about their sexuality at home’.
He added: ‘They may have family who are homophobic. In some cases we’ve seen people who have been trapped in a domestic violence situation.
‘Having a safe space where people can come and talk is absolutely vital.’
Meanwhile LCRF also gave a £20,000 grant to Gendered Intelligence. It’s used the money to mentor young transgender people. And it’s funded an online replacement for camping trips which are no longer possible due to the pandemic.
Dr Jay Stewart, Gendered Intelligence CEO, said:
‘Many of our young people experience mental health issues which seem to have worsened in recent years. Gender-diverse young people sometimes have challenging family relationships, which can be even more difficult when everyone’s at home more.
‘People often feel isolated or alone with their feelings, but what we try to do is reduce isolation, help them build social networks and feel like they’re part of a community and foster an increased sense of pride in their gender identity.’
Mental health toll
Research by LGBT HERO earlier this year showed the damage the pandemic had done to mental health. Almost four in five LGBT+ people (79%) say that coronavirus lockdown has made their mental health worse.
However, there is help if you just reach out. You can find a list of LGBT+ resources and helplines all around the world here. Please note, some of the helplines may have different operating hours during the pandemic.
Published on GayStarNews Read the original article
Author: Tris Reid-Smith