Today’s post is guest written by Hannah Graeber.
As enriching as it is to celebrate history, it is also important to look forward, and ask ourselves what we can do to further our community’s wellbeing, rights, and sense of community.
With that in mind, and in celebration of day 25 of LGBT History Month, here are five suggestions for charities that you can support in a variety of ways, in diverse locations across the UK.
The Albert Kennedy Trust
It is estimated that 25% of homeless youth in the UK identify as LGBTQ+. Considering that estimates of the percentage in the total population rarely exceeds 10%, it can safely be said that the 25% figure is disproportionate.
Due to evidence that there are often specific reasons why LGBTQ+ young people become homeless, and that therefore specific solutions are often required, a group of volunteers decided to set up The Albert Kennedy Trust.
The trust was founded in 1989, and has been providing safe homes, mentoring, training, advocacy, and support to young people ever since.
This year, AKT will be celebrating its 30th birthday, and takes on volunteers on an ongoing basis for a variety of roles, such as champions, mentors, and fundraisers.
Currently, they are actively looking for suitable people, who are over 25 and located in London, Greater Manchester, and the North East, to host vulnerable young people.
The TIE Campaign
The very existence of LGBT History Month indicates to us that there is a lot of work to be done to combat the erasure of contributions to society by marginalised people in terms of their sexual and/or romantic orientations and gender identities.
The TIE (Time for Inclusive Education) Campaign is a Scottish charity that was founded in June 2015, in order to remedy exactly that. They believe that the inclusion of LGBT role models and history, as well as the current issues facing the community, is an essential part of education.
In addition to running a national, political campaign for inclusive education in all schools, TIE also provide assemblies, workshops, teacher training, and resources, all free of charge.
In addition to celebrating our achievements and successes, it is also important that we take time to take care of each other when things go wrong.
In amongst celebrations of steps forward for equality such as marriage rights, where a pressure to present ourselves as upstanding, fine members of society is often present, it can sometimes be forgotten that just like cis, straight, allo people , we too can have issues within our relationships. (Allo is short for allosexual, meaning people who experience sexual attraction).
As well as dealing with the effects of hate crime and sexual violence, Galop, founded in 1982, provides services for survivors of intimate partner violence.
Like the Albert Kennedy Trust, Galop recognises that there are often extra or different issues specific to the LGBTQ+ community, which cannot always be solved by mainstream services.
Galop are looking for donations for their helpline, support services, and outreach, and are open to applications to volunteer on an ad hoc basis.
The Intercom Trust works across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, and the wider South West, providing services such as counselling, training, advocacy, and consultancy.
They have also compiled an extensive directory of groups and services in the region, and run a confidential, non-judgemental helpline.
As well as their team of dedicated staff, who have been training organisations and groups such as the police, schools, and healthcare professionals since 1997, Intercom Trust also has a small team of volunteers, which welcomes all new, skilled applicants.
Birmingham LGBT Centre
The centre provides services relating to sexual health, wellbeing, and mental health, as well as fitness classes and peer mentoring.
You can also find a range of social groups on offer, which provide alternatives to the nightlife scene, and encourage people to meet and spend time with people who can relate to them.
Birmingham LGBT also make a particular effort to reach out to older LGBT people, and LGBT asylum seekers; two groups who can be vulnerable to being put last on the list when it comes to services and advocacy.
The centre accepts one-off and regular donations, and are opening their ext round of volunteer training in Spring 2019.
Whether it’s donating time, money, skills, or a combination of all three – these are just five of the many dedicated, life-changing charities currently doing amazing things for the LGBTQ+ community, needing continued support for their vital work.
If you don’t see anything local or feasible in this list in terms of your location or skills, perhaps it can instead give you a few research ideas if you would like to find something similar in your own region.