The London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard is re-branding – to adopt a name that is more inclusive of all LGBT people.
The LLGS is one of the oldest gay charities in the UK and provides confidential phone, e-mail and instant messaging services to support people who want to talk about sexuality and gender identity.
However, the charity – which was founded in 1974 – has announced that it will drop most of its historic name, to emphasise that it also caters for transgender, bisexual, and other-identifying people, as well as callers outside London.
The change will be officially confirmed on Thursday at a special Gala at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel in London, with the charity re-branded as “Switchboard, the LGBT+ helpline”.
Dave Maher, Switchboard’s Co-Chair, said: “So much is changing for our LGBT+ communities and so is our name to make it clear that we’re here for everyone, wherever they live, and in whichever way they choose to define their sexuality or gender identity.
“Even in our increasingly interconnected age, it’s not always easy to find the support we need at crucial times in our lives and Switchboard’s volunteers will continue to be here with calm words when those are needed most.”
Celebrities including Olympic diver Tom Daley, Radio 1 presenter Scott Mills and pop star Carly Rae Jepsen have posted a #SwitchboardSelfie to raise awareness of the charity – and Tom Daley has even donated a pair of his own swimming trunks to be auctioned by the charity.
Nuala O’Sullivan, Switchboard’s Co-Chair says: “This is an incredibly exciting time for Switchboard. We have so much to celebrate and a new chapter to look forward to.
“Our new name will help us to spread the message that we continue to provide a safe and confidential space where people’s concerns can be listened to and talked through.”