Switchboard publishes ‘LISTEN UP!’ impact report

Graham Robson August 22, 2022

A new impact report from Switchboard, the national LGBTQ+ help and support line, has been published to provide insight into what the charity achieved in 2021, and also reflect on how the unexpected events of 2020 affected the communities Switchboard supports, and the ways the charity runs its service.

Due to the Covid pandemic, on March 24, 2020, Switchboard had to shut its London phone room, and run the support line service remotely for the first time in its history.

General Manager Stephanie Fuller and Co-Chairs¬†Tash Walker and Peter Zacaroli, said:¬†“We are incredibly proud that, despite¬†the challenges presented to¬†us, we remained available to support LGBTQ+ communities¬†in their time of need.

“This would not have been possible without our extraordinary
team of volunteers and highly determined staff team. Everyone‚Äôs commitment to the charity has been outstanding and allowed our service to keep running. So, we want to thank them for all the time they have given to help us through this difficult period.”

Throughout 2020 and 2021, listening volunteers handled 33,139 conversations. Through these conversations, Switchboard saw a noticeable increase in service users contacting them to talk about isolation and gender.

Stephanie, Tash and Peter added: “The conversation data that¬†has informed this report is often nuanced and complex, informed directly from what the ‚Äėservice user‚Äô shares with us.

“For example, conversion practices show up as a series of different behaviours that impact the caller, rarely described as the commonly used term conversion therapy. This is also true for several other topics, such as varying forms of abuse or insecure housing, so often linked to living in an unsafe environment.

“All¬†the conversations we have with service users at Switchboard cover a many number of issues and this should be taken¬†into consideration when reading this report and the conversation data.

“Looking to the future and our upcoming 50th birthday, we are more determined than ever to¬†be here for our communities.”

To see the report, CLICK HERE