Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) charities in London which provide vital services to said communities are facing unprecedented threats to their funding, which is currently provided by by London Councils.
London Councils, a pan-London membership organisation made up of all 32 London boroughs, the City of London, the Metropolitan Police Authority and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, distribute nearly £28 million in grants each year to voluntary groups in the capital, including a host of LGBT charities which provide specialist help that otherwise would not be available.
An alliance of LGBT organisations is now launching The LGBT Say NO! to Cuts campaign in response to threats to cut cash flow to such services.
Services under threat include: homelessness advice, youth homelessness prevention, homophobic and transphobic hate crime prevention and victim support, domestic abuse services, anti-homophobic bullying work in schools and support to under-eighteens at risk of sexual exploitation.
These are key services for some of the LGBT community, as mainstream services often do not always meet their needs.
For example, domestic violence services often work only with women and many LGBT people prefer to receive support from LGBT organisations. There is also the fact that LGBT people are often at increased risk of homelessness, increased violence and forced marriage.
Cross-borough, pan-London funding currently makes such services possible, albeit on a tiny budget. This funding could be potentially taken away as soon as March 2011, a move which could have a disproportionate effect on the capital’s LGBT community.
Deborah Gold, CEO of Gallop, an LGBT safety charity and one of the organisations behind the No! to Cuts campaign said: “If we lose our funding from London Councils, the risk to these vital services would be catastrophic. And the impact on Londoners who experience homophobic or transphobic hate crime, or domestic abuse, would be enormous – with the only London-wide service that meets their needs closing its doors.”
For further information on the campaign, go to firstname.lastname@example.org.