London Friend, the UK’s oldest LGBT health and well-being charity, needs your help to raise £200,000 to save our building from being sold at auction by our landlord.
The charity has been given just SIX MONTHS in which to raise the money to buy the premises from Islington Council, or potentially face eviction or substantial rent hikes. The news comes as London Friend is preparing to take over the running of Antidote, the LGBT drugs and alcohol service which is closing due to government funding cuts.
London Friend was given just three weeks notice in the run up to Christmas that our building was being put up for auction. After a lobbying campaign against this decision, supported by local MPs and Lord Smith of Finsbury, the Council agreed to remove the building from the auction.
London Friend has now been given SIX MONTHS in which to raise the money to buy the building from the Council.
London Friend has been at the forefront of gay and transgender activism and service provision since the early 1970’s - celebrating our 40th birthday this year. London Friend is a vibrant and progressive Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender health and well-being charity with a wide portfolio of well established services and a rapidly developing range of new initiatives aimed at meeting the needs of the LGB&T community.
Our services are developed to improve the health and mental well-being of LGB&T people and we work to be there when people need them most.
The charity offers a wide range of health and social services to help tackle the issues that have a huge impact on the lives of our community, and/or where support offered by mainstream services does not sufficiently meet the needs of LGBT people.
As well as running Central London’s only LGBT community centre, our other services include:
- one-to-one counselling
- couples counselling
- group therapy
- gender specific ‘coming out’ support groups
- a support service for LGBT carers and carers of LGBT people
- a helpline and advice service operating 365 days per year
- a hate crime reporting service
- a telephone befriending service
- & a number of social groups where LGBT people can socialise in a safe environment.
London Friend is also a member of the National LGB&T Partnership. The Partnership is a consortium of 12 LGB&T health organisations that have come together with a joint vision of improving the health of LGB&T people nationally, and campaign for improvements in health services for LGB&T people.
London Friend is in the process of merging with Antidote, the UK’s only LGBT-specific drug and alcohol support service. Antidote works with LGB&T people from across London and the South East who have support needs relating to their drug and alcohol usage. Antidote exists because of the proven fact that LGB&T people receive a lower level of support from generic drug and alcohol support services than their heterosexual people accessing the same services.
Antidotes’ current services include:
- one-to-one key working to address their immediate drug and alcohol support needs
- referral to detox clinics and prescribing centres
- one-to-one counselling to tackle the underlying issues that have resulted in clients presenting with drug and alcohol problems
- a weekly drop-in for LGBT people to discuss their drug and alcohol issues
- two weekly drop-ins based within sexual health centres
- a steroid user support service
- a telephone advice helpline
To ensure we can continue offering all of these services for the next 40 years
WE NEED YOUR HELP.
The money we raise will go towards buying the building from the Council and carrying out renovations that are needed ready for when we take over the Antidote service.
Please DIG DEEP and give all you can, and please spread the word!