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LGBT Foundation (formerly known as The Lesbian & Gay Foundation) is a national charity based in Manchester with a wide portfolio of services. With a history dating back nearly 40 years, it campaigns for a fair and equal society where all lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people are able to reach their full potential. They support over 40,000 people directly every year, and a further 600,000 online.[1] They provide direct services and resources to more LGBT people than any other charity of its kind in the U.K.[2]

LGBT Foundation
Lgbt-foundation-logo.png
LGBT Foundation logo
Motto"We're here if you need us"
FormationJanuary 1975
Legal statusCharity
PurposeLGBT rights
Chief Executive
Paul Martin OBE
Organisational Values
Passion, Integrity, Empowerment, Respect
Websitehttps://lgbt.foundation/

The charity is governed by a board of trustees from a variety of backgrounds and with a wide variety of skills and qualifications. The trustees are supported by a Chief Executive, Deputy Chief Executive, Director of Operations and five Assistant Directors who oversee directorates for Services, Public Affairs, Inclusion, Income Generation and Contracts & Finance. The charity provides a broad range services including a substance misuse support, sexual health testing including rapid-HIV testing, free condom and lube distribution, mental health services including counselling and IAPT talking therapies, wellbeing support, community safety and hate crime reporting and domestic abuse support.[3]

HistoryEdit

Formed in April 2015, LGBT Foundation was previously known as The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, (The LGF).[4] The LGF was created in April 2000 as a result of the unification of two organisations: Healthy Gay Manchester (HGM) and Manchester Lesbian & Gay Switchboard Services (MLGSS).

Drawing upon experience gained from MeSMAC Manchester, HGM was formed in 1994 by Paul Martin OBE[5] (current Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation), and Gerard Gudgion with a clear aim to reduce the incidence of HIV infection through sex between men. Famed for its ground-breaking approach to safer sex campaigning, HGM was a pioneering gay men's health organisation offering free condoms and lube, counselling, services, groups and volunteering opportunities such as condom packing evenings.

MLGSS began 44 years ago on 2 January 1975 when six gay men got together to provide an information and support service for the growing number of gay men coming out following the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967. The line ran from 7 to 9pm each evening with calls being taken about a wide range of issues. Over the decades, the services broadened out to include counselling, group work and email support.

LGBT Foundation has witnessed and responded to and impacted a number of national and international developments for LGBT equality[6] LGBT Foundation co-operated with Manchester Pride for the organisation of its yearly "Pride" event. It used to provide media partnership to Manchester Pride with its own magazine Out North West[7] until Out North West was discontinued.

Current WorkEdit

As of 2019, LGBT Foundation is the largest LGBT health and community services charity in the UK, offering a range of services serving over 40,000 people in person and over 600,000 people online every year.[8]

LGBT Foundation provides a wide range of wellbeing and support services. Their domestic abuse programme provides practical housing advice, 1:1 casework support and advice sessions to LGBT victims of domestic abuse.[9] Their substance misuse programme provides 1-2-1 and group support for those addicted to drugs and/or alcohol.[10] Their talking therapies team deliver LGBT-affirmative counselling support.[11] Their befriending service helps people to build their support networks, make friends and reduce loneliness.[12] The Foundation Direct helpline – the organisation's oldest service - provides crisis email and phone support to over 5,000 people every year.

They operate a sexual health testing service for men who have sex with men and LGBT people.[13] Over the past year they have delivered 498 rapid HIV tests and 260 full sexual health screenings alongside providing access to sexual wellbeing advice and support. They also do outreach testing across Greater Manchester.[13] Each year their sexual health team distributes over a quarter of a million loose condoms and sachets of lube.[14]

Pride in Practice is LGBT Foundation's quality assurance support service that strengthens and develops Primary Care Services relationship with their lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans patients within the local community.[15] As of 2019, 2.1 million patients in Greater Manchester are now registered at Pride in Practice accredited GP practices.[16]

The Village Angels and Village Haven are LGBT Foundation's night-time safety and harm reduction projects. They provide support to vulnerable people in Manchester's historic Gay Village on a Friday and Saturday evening from 9pm to 5am.[17] The Village Angels was first established in 2011, where a team of volunteers and a first-aid trained shift lead patrolling the Gay Village every Friday and Saturday from 9pm to 3am, wearing the hot pink uniforms for which they are renowned. In 2016, they piloted an expansion of the Angels programme - the Village Haven. The Village Haven is a night time safe haven for those too vulnerable to be out on the streets.[18] Following the success of this pilot, the Village Haven became a permanent fixture of LGBT Foundation's community safety programme in 2017 working continually in tandem with the Village Angels.[19] Each year the programmes support 5,000 people every year, including 450 highly vulnerable people.[19] In 2017, they partnered with Smirnoff as part of their "We're Open" campaign making a short video about the Angels work[20] and to begin expanding the programme nationally.[21] In 2018, the Village Angels and Haven volunteers won the 'Dedication to Volunteering' award at the Greater Manchester Health and Care Champions Awards, an initiative of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the NHS.[22]. In 2019, the Village Angels were awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service, the highest honour a voluntary group can receive in the UK.[23]

LGBT Foundation has dedicated Men's and Women's programme. In 2019, LGBT+ Futures Fund announced they would fund the Men's Programme to continue to delivering creative activities for gay, bisexual and trans men.[24] The Women's Programme works to support and empower all lesbian and bisexual women to improve their health and wellbeing, increase their skills, knowledge and confidence, and reducing their feelings of isolation.[25] Through their events, workshops and community leaders project, the Women's Programme has gone from providing 1 event per month to ensuring at least one activity per week for lesbian, bi, queer and trans women. They also manage over 2,500 meetup members and 2,500 bulletin subscribers with content dedicated to lesbian and bi women, and support over 2,000 women a year have greater access to targeted information through outreach and netreach.[25] In 2019, to mark International Women's Day, they unveiled the preliminary results of The National Sexual Wellbeing Survey for Women who have Sex with Women.[26] It was the largest research of it's kind for over a decade.[26] In 2019, the Women's Programme was nominated for the 'Inclusion Champion' award at the Greater Manchester Health and Care Champions Awards.[27]

LGBT Foundation also has a dedicated Trans programme which supports people with services, events and groups.[28] They also have a Trans Advocacy service, which provides practical support to those facing barriers to services or experiencing discrimination.[29]

More recently, LGBT Foundation has expanded it's operations to Greater London. The Soho Angels, a night-time harm reduction programme based upon the Village Angels, was established in Soho in 2018 in collaboration with Westminster City Council and Smirnoff.[30] The Government Equalities Office to had commissioned the LGBT Foundation to roll out Pride in Practice through five London clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) —  Lewisham, Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth CCG and North West London.[31] Nationally, Eastern Cheshire, Mid Essex, St Helens, Greater Huddersfield, Calderdale and North Kirklees CCGs have also expressed interest in running the programme in future.[31]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Our Impact & Accounts". Retrieved 2019-05-14.
  2. ^ LGBT foundation website, Support services.
  3. ^ LGBT Foundation website, Meet LGBT Trustees.
  4. ^ Attitude.co.uk, Lesbian and Gay foundation change their name to celebrate diversity.
  5. ^ Greater Manchester Voluntary Sector and Support, O.B.E. For Manchester gay rights and equalities campaigner.
  6. ^ "LGF is acting regarding homophobia issues in Russia". Manchester Pride. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
  7. ^ "LGF's magazin Out North West as medial partner to Manchester Pride". Manchester Pride. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
  8. ^ Charity report, Reg. charity no. 1070904.
  9. ^ "Domestic Abuse". Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  10. ^ "LGBT Foundation's Substance Misuse Programme". Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  11. ^ "Talking Therapies". Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  12. ^ "Befriending". Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  13. ^ a b "Sexual Health Tests". Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  14. ^ "Condoms and lube". Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  15. ^ "Healthcare Professionals". Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  16. ^ Foundation, LGBT (2019-05-08). "Over 2 million patients in Greater Manchester are now covered by Pride in Practice accredited GPs We are excited to be expanding our Pride in Practice programme this year to ensure all LGBT people have access to healthcare which is inclusive and understands their specific needs.pic.twitter.com/cHDmGuVUJK". @LGBTfdn. Retrieved 2019-05-13. line feed character in |title= at position 98 (help)
  17. ^ "Village Angels". Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  18. ^ "Village Haven". Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  19. ^ a b "Village Angels". Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  20. ^ LADbible (2017-12-20), These volunteers protect our streets after dark, retrieved 2019-05-13
  21. ^ "Smirnoff aims for 'societal change' with new LGBT campaign". Marketing Week. 2017-11-27. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  22. ^ "Greater Manchester Celebrates its Health and Care Champions". Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership. 2018-07-16. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  23. ^ "The London Gazette Publication date:2 June 2019". line feed character in |title= at position 19 (help)
  24. ^ "LGBT Foundation Receives Funding from LGBT+ Futures Fund". Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  25. ^ a b "Women". Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  26. ^ a b "It's time for us to talk about women who have sex with women". Metro. 2019-03-17. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  27. ^ "Shortlist announced for Champion Awards 2019". Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership. 2019-05-09. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  28. ^ "Trans People". Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  29. ^ "Trans Advocacy". Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  30. ^ "Soho Angels help you to end the night right". London Live. 2018-12-07. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  31. ^ a b MAY 2019, The Pharmaceutical Journal10. "London pharmacists to be offered training to support LGBT patients". Pharmaceutical Journal. Retrieved 2019-05-13.