To coincide with LGBT History Month, Switchboard, Brighton & Hove’s oldest LGBTQ+ charity, has launched a Crowdfunder to help the LGBTQ+ community to recover from the impact of Covid-19. The charity is asking people to mark LGBTQ+ History by investing in LGBTQ+ futures.
Last year, Switchboard’s Health & Inclusion Project released a report which explored the impact of Covid-19 on the LGBTQ+ communities of Brighton & Hove. The results showed that LGBTQ+ people were disproportionately affected by Covid-19 in a wide range of areas.
In a survey of 600 LGBTQ+ people, Switchboard found 22% did not have a safe place to call home, 68% were lonely or isolated, 86% were feeling anxious or depressed, 40% were using drugs or alcohol to manage their mental health, 33% had considered suicide, and 24% could not access support when they needed it.
As a response to these findings, this Crowdfunder has been launched to raise vital funds to meet the rising demand of Switchboard’s services, as well as to extend and create specific and targeted support to those who need it most. This includes:
• Extending helpline opening hours;
• Increased one-to-one support;
• Emergency supplies such as clothes, toiletries, or transport for people in crisis;
• Connecting people with LGBTQ+ befrienders;
• LGBTQ+ specialist dementia and bereavement support;
• Increased advocacy in housing, health, and hate crime.
Jacob Bayliss, Switchboard’s CEO, said: “From 2020 onward we saw demand on our services soar, in some cases by over 300%. Our projects are supporting hundreds of people each week online, over the phone, and in person. Our team are providing more one-to-one support and crisis support than ever before, and with your help, we want to continue being there for the rising number of LGBTQ+ people who need us.”
Scarlett Langdon, Switchboard’s Communications and Engagement Officer, added: “Whilst we celebrate LGBT History Month this February and reflect on the progress that has been made for LGBTQ+ people, please consider investing in the future of our LGBTQ+ communities too.
“All donations made through our Crowdfunder will be doubled, thanks to match-funding, taking your donation even further. We’ve also got some amazing exclusive rewards, kindly donated by local LGBTQ+ artists.”
To donate to Switchboard’s Crowdfunder CLICK HERE; your donation will be doubled between February 3 – March 2.