Business News

Brighton & Hove LGBT Community Safety Forum to close

Gscene Editorial Team December 31, 2020

Open letter from Billie Lewis, Volunteer Chair of Brighton & Hove LGBT Community Safety Forum (CSF) re its closure.

After fifteen years as a volunteer with CSF, including the last ten as Chair, I have agreed with my fellow committee members that this is the right time to close the CSF.

I need to concentrate on my own return to full health after a year of challenging illness, and over the last six months – due to Covid – the majority of the volunteer committee members have had to make decisions about their own futures, this has involved several having to leave Brighton for other opportunities. We have struggled to find replacements and cannot continue to operate on such a reduced committee.

CSF is therefore formally withdrawing all its representatives from statutory advisory groups, both LGBTQ+ and others, to allow a new group of fresh community voices to step up and take part in the important work of community engagement & oversight.

We were able to make the decision safe in the knowledge that others in the city are working to deliver new ways of LGBTQ+ representation and interaction with statutory authorities, and we support them fully and wish them well with these new projects.

I’d like to thank all those who have volunteered with the CSF over the years, and especially those who stepped up to sit on the committee, and also to thank the wider LGBTQ+ communities who have supported us in being able to support you.

We have supported thousands of individuals over the years offering support on hate crime, homelessness, domestic and sexual abuse, mental health and loneliness. I am particularly proud of our work assisting in setting up the Rainbow Hub and The B Right On Festival and also our work with Brighton Pride from 2013 until 2018 where we ensured it was one of the most accessible outdoor events in the country. I thank all of the volunteers and service users that made all of our work possible.

Lastly my thanks go to the brilliant drag acts, performers, singers, licencees, venues, statutory authorities, Gscene magazine, Latest TV and the LGBTQ+ projects and organisations within the city that the CSF has worked and collaborated with over the years, it has been a real pleasure and I am sincerely grateful for your kindness and support.

I will of course personally continue to support the work of the Ledward Centre, Rainbow Hub, Rainbow Fund, Golden Handbags, Brighton & Hove Pride and Trans Pride and the many other important organisations our city is lucky enough to have.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a safe and prosperous 2021.

With warmest wishes, love and light.
Seo go tús nua.