The London based charity LGBT+ Switchboard has shut down its physical phone room for the first time in 46 years. In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, the confidential helpline has been forced to go remote in order to keep up with the demand in these unique and extremely difficult times.
COVID-19 has seen a surge in people requiring it’s services. From Trans teens Isolating within hostile households, to older people whose isolation from society is being compounded by the lack of a friendly face or person to chat to. Being an all-encompassing and inclusive service, Switchboard, the calming voice at the end of the line, has been overwhelmed.
Natasha Walker, Co-Chair of Switchboard said “This is an incredibly difficult Tim for everyone, with increasing levels of anxiety, isolation and loneliness. We knew we had to find a way to keep the phone line open for our callers and I’m proud to say that we have made history in doing so. Almost every single call we are taking at the moment features increased anxiety and isolation because fo covid-19.
It’s magnifying any existing situation those people may already be in – from domestic violence, to transphobia, biphobia and homophobia, and of course lonliness, something we have been battling heavily against within the LGBTQ+ communities for a while now. We also operate an instant message and email service, something which is especially important right now, as it may be harder to find a private space to speak on the phone.
It’s so important that we can get the message out to everyone that we exist, that we are still open and that you can still reach us. We have been here for the LGBTQ+ communities since 1974 and we have no plans to stop now.”
Anyone LGBTQ+ who needs to get in touch and talk to one fo their volunteers about emotional well-being can do so by phoning 0300 330 0630. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org, or even instant message them at www.switchboard.lgbt for a friendly and confidential chat.