It’s Pride Month and in villages, towns and cities across the UK, communities are celebrating and amplifying LGBTQIA+ voices through local pride events.
To mark the occasion, we’ve been speaking with non-profits working in the LGBTQIA+ space about what they do and how all organisations can bring inclusivity to the forefront.
Dive in for local pride inspiration and advice from 6 grassroots non-profits. And don’t forget that they’re taking action all year round. Let’s celebrate with Pride 365 days of the year!
Club F.O.D was started by Jamie Wake to remedy the lack of LGBTQIA+ spaces in the Reading area. The club started small, with a cafe intended to address social isolation. It has grown and now hosts a befriending service, TV show, radio show … and new projects are on the way!
The club is looking for funding to setup community hubs at Pride celebrations that will support connection and community.
Jamie’s advice for organisations that want create safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ folk:
First, define what a safe-space is as it means different things to different people. It should be led by the LGBT+ community and driven by them. It should also be accessible. That means not putting on events and activities with a cover charge. Not hosting something at venues that are not wheelchair friendly.
The folk at Broken Spoke are facing down 2 challenges: 1) people from LGBTQIA+ communities are severely under-represented in the cycling sector and 2) ‘loneliness and mental health issues tend to be more prevalent in […] LGBT communities’ (as shown in recent research from OFC).
Solving these two issues at once, Broken Spoke provides safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ cyclists. Central to their work is “Beryl’s night” – a free monthly session for women, trans & non-binary people to use the Broken Spoke workshop, connect with other members, and socialise.
Thanks to funding found on ActionFunder from Greene King’s Proud to Pitch in campaign, Broken Spoke is increasing the reach of its work, delivering more sessions and organising free social rides through Pride Oxford! You can find out more about their work here.
The volunteers at TransOxford have been supporting hundreds of people over the past 5 years. The group advocates for better inclusion for the trans community by educating other organisations, offering social services, and championing trans voices on TV and radio. The demand for their services are increasing.
With funding found on ActionFunder – from Sir Robert McAlpine – the non-profit’s improved their online presence and been able to setup a stall at Oxford Pride to support people with gender identity questions.
TransOxford has one key message for organisations that want to be welcoming to trans folk:
Educate yourselves and your staff in what trans is all about, that it’s a perfectly natural condition, the challenges we face and all we must go through. That understanding will result in an accepting and welcoming environment in your organisation.
Colours of Pride is a Bristol based, local pride non-profit pushing the boundaries of labelling in the LGBTQIA+ community through thought provoking images.
The non-profit is seeking funding right now to host a photography exhibition during Bristol’s Pride Week at the end of June 2022. The exhibition will showcase work by members of the local LGBTQI+ community, providing a space to explore challenges around sexuality and gender. Find out more about the project and launch a fund to support them here.
If you take one message from the work done by Colours of Pride it’s:
People should be allowed to be themselves without the need for labels, and be accepted for who they are.
The London LGBTQ+ centre is safe, inclusive, intersectional, sober and friendly place for the LGBTQIA+ community. The centre is supporting the community to thrive and grow by providing daily activities, quiet times, clubs and workshops. All activities are donation based to allow as many people as possible to attend without money being a blocker.
Angus, CEO at the London LGBTQ+ centre, says any organisation wanting to create inclusive, safe spaces should “listen to the community”:
We have conducted numerous surveys, open meetings and initiatives to hear the real views of the community. We also worked with an ‘insights’ organisation to conduct qualitative research with representative members of the community. This approach is vital – many people who need community spaces the most are not those who have their voice heard. It is important to actively find out and address their needs.
A disproportionate number of LGBTQIA+ folk experience poverty and homelessness with almost 1 in 5 people who identify as LGBTQIA+ having experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. Based in central London, The Outside Project is an LGBTQIA+ Community Shelter, Centre and Domestic Abuse Refuge that provides shelter, food and a safe welcome.
The Outside Project is currently seeking funding for 2 projects. One of those is a Pride Lounge: a weekly support group for LGBTQIA+ folk who have experience trauma, bullying, or exclusion due to their gender or sexuality. To find out more about the project and to support it click here.
Let’s amplify the community action that’s supercharging the LGBTQIA+ community – this month and every day of the year! By talking more about inclusivity, educating ourselves, and supporting the work of non-profits like Club Fod, Broken Spoke, TransOxford, Colours of Pride and The Outside Project. Explore more on the ActionFunder platform!