LGBT+ Futures Covid-19 response fund launched

Graham Robson August 22, 2020

Consortium, which works to strengthen and support LGBTQ+ groups, organisations and projects, has announced the launch of the LGBT+ Futures: National Emergencies Trust Fund, which will distribute £350,000 of onward grants to diverse LGBTQ+ organisations from across the UK.

This important new fund is designed to address the additional needs LGBTQ+ people and communities have faced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It will support and strengthen LGBTQ+ organisations that have been impacted by Covid-19 and who are working hard to meet the needs of those most affected.

As part of the launch and responding to the evidenced increase in calls and requests for support through LGBTQ+ helplines, Consortium has announced the award of grants totaling £200,000 to helplines supporting LGBTQ+ people across the UK, including LGBT+ Switchboard, Brighton & Hove Switchboard, Galop, MindOut, The Intercom Trust, LGBT Health and Wellbeing, Cara-Friend and LGBT Foundation. This immediate injection of funding will allow them to respond to the huge increase in call volumes so as many LGBT+ people can access the initial support they need.

Applications are now being invited by any UK-based organisation working with and for LGBTQ+ people and communities. Funding of up to £15,000 will be available to organisations. Guidance and application details can be found by CLICKING HERE

Paul Roberts OBE, Consortium CEO, said, ‘We are delighted to have been awarded this funding. LGBTQ+ people and communities have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and we cannot thank NET enough for responding to the evidence and supporting our under-funded sector with these funds. Consortium is passionate about the long-term resilience of our LGBTQ+ sector and will use this funding as a springboard to raise the profile of diverse LGBTQ+ issues with other funders, government and external stakeholders.’

Helpline grant recipients, who will work together to share their knowledge, data and intelligence, have commented on the impact this injection of funding will have for LGBTQ+ in their geographical or thematic areas.

Leni Morris, CEO of Galop and one of the immediate grant recipients providing support to those facing domestic abuse, said: ‘Galop is delighted to be a recipient of these vital funds supporting the LGBTQ+ community in the UK. Galop helps thousands of LGBTQ+ victims and survivors of domestic abuse every year via our National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline, which has seen demand increase enormously this year. This funding will support LGBTQ+ victims and survivors of domestic abuse across the country at this time of crisis.’

Maruska Greenwood, CEO of LGBT Health and Wellbeing in Scotland, said: ‘LGBTQ+ people are disproportionately affected by Covid-19, as reflected in the dramatic increase in engagements experienced by our LGBT Helpline Scotland. The impact lockdown has had on people’s mental health is now a key feature of many of our calls. This funding will enable us to continue the delivery of our extended helpline opening hours.’

Steve Williamson, Chief Executive of Cara Friend in Northern Ireland, said: ‘In Northern Ireland we have seen an almost 300% increase in Helpline calls. Cara-Friend’s LGBT Switchboard Helpline is the main point of contact and support for so many of our older LGBTQ+ generation here, and especially for those who face rural isolation or who are forced to live hidden lives in difficult home circumstances during the pandemic. It is literally a lifeline. This new network of UK LGBTQ+ helplines is exactly the response we needed to see.’

Paul Roberts added: ‘We recognise there are parts of our diverse communities that are under-represented, whether geographically or those experiencing cross-cutting issues. With this funding we will also be exploring the impact on Welsh organisations and how best to increase capacity across the country and have ringfenced 20% of funding for organisations working with intersecting communities—with a particular focus on BAME/PoC communities. This is just a start, more funding will be needed. Consortium will be leading the charge to keep LGBTQ+ voices on the agenda.’

To apply for a grant, visit this website