“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.”
BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGE BY SWITCHBOARD/THE GENDER SPECTRUM COLLECTION BY BROADLY
Brighton and Hove’s oldest LGBTQI charity, Switchboard, has launched a Crowdfunder to help our LGBTQI community recover from the devastating impact resulting from the pandemic. This month marks LGBT+ History Month, and whilst we look back, it is also important that we invest in the future.
Last year, Switchboard’s Health & Inclusion Project released a report which explored the ways in which Covid-19 had impacted LGBTQI people within Brighton and Hove. The results from the survey showed that 22% of respondents didn’t 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 and 33% had considered suicide. The results were certainly stark and with 24% of respondents sharing that they could not access the support when they needed it, it is clear much has to be done to help our community to get back on our feet.
In response to the findings, Switchboard has launched a Crowdfunder to meet the rising demand of its services. The organisation also aims to extend and create specific and targeted support to those who need it most. This includes:
- Extending helpline opening hours
- Increased 1 to 1 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 1 to 1 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, said: “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.”
You can donate to Switchboard’s Crowdfunder here.
All donations will be doubled between 3 February and 2 March 2022.
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