The charity Age Concern has been awarded a £390,000 grant to help improve services in London for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people over 55.

The Big Lottery Fund award will pay for two full-time development staff who will work in the Westminster, Hackney, Islington, Camden and Kensington and Chelsea boroughs.

Age Concern has carried out in-depth research into the needs of older LGBT people.

A resource pack was launched last year to help those working in care homes and extra-care housing support older LGBT people.

A recent study by the charity found that older lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people can have more difficulty accessing community services.

Older LGBT people have lived a large part of their lives in less liberal times and that their experiences have made them understandably wary and cautious.

In practice, this means older lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are less likely to access services and will do so on limited terms.’

The lottery money will be used by Age Concern to provide befriending services, social events, a telephone advice line and help with homophobia.

It is estimated there are as many as 13,000 older LGBT people in the five boroughs of London where this money will be spent.