Inspired by other major cities’ LGBTQ+ centres, our goal is to set up a safe, sober, intergenerational community centre and cafe for the LGBTQ+ community of London. It will serve as a meeting place, a place to build connections, to reduce isolation through intergenerational contact, to provide information through a signposting and information service and a place where services for the LGBTQ+ community are facilitated under one roof. Similar centres have transformed the wellbeing and connectedness of the community in their area, and that’s what we will do too.
The London LGBTQ+ Community Centre will be a safe space for the community to relax, meet up and hang out, as well as to receive the services existing groups and charities provide. Our Cafe will provide a sober hangout spot for anyone of any age or identity to come along to. In order to be accessible and combat poverty and classism, our cafe will follow the same model as the Sidney Street Cafe in Manchester, and will be genuinely affordable. We will have multipurpose rooms for a variety of events and purposes that fit within our charitable aims of promoting social inclusion and championing equality and diversity.
We will provide a home for the community to relax, be themselves and feel safe, working with existing groups and charities to facilitate and deliver services to combat isolation, improve wellbeing and connection to the community. A place where people can meet and make strong connections, where chosen families are built and flourish and where intergenerational socialisation is at the heart of it all – where everyone, of all ages and backgrounds, is welcome.
The coronavirus pandemic has shown us the true value of our communities, and being apart has had a hugely detrimental effect on everyone. But the virus put LGBTQ+ people in even greater danger – some were forced to live in houses with homophobic, transphobic or biphobic family members or housemates.
Despite the great challenges faced by LGBTQ+ people during Covid-19, the crisis has shown us the value and power of community and the need for both physical space and digital space. That’s what we hope to bring to life – a space to thrive and connect both in person, and online. So far, all of our work has been conducted by a very small team of volunteers.
Our project has already engaged with thousands of supporters and has garnered the support of the Greater London Authority, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and other political leaders, business owners, community groups, charities, health practitioners and the press. Find out more about our appearances in the press.