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02
Oct

LGBT charities threatened with closure

lgbtlondonSeveral lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender charities have issued a stark warning about cutbacks to their services, with some facing closure due largely to cuts in funding that are being implemented by London Councils. The newly-launched LGBT Say No! to Cuts campaign has been formed in alliance with the following charities; Broken Rainbow, The Consortium, Galop, Kairos in Soho, PACE, Stonewall Housing, and LVSC Voluntary Sector Forum Campaign. It is calling upon supporters to write to their council leaders, grants committee members and MP to point out the value of their services. Template letters and further details can be found at www.lgbtlondon.com

London Councils is a key funder of the LGBT sector in London. The charities concerned say that London Councils is now planning to end funding that is vital for many of them to continue.
“A decision to end funding from London Councils would mean Stonewall Housing’s unique LGBT housing advice service would close and at least four people would be unemployed,” said Bob Green, CEO of Stonewall Housing. “Without Stonewall Housing’s advice, [clients’] physical and mental health would deteriorate as they remained homeless or in substandard accommodation with constant fear of abuse or violence, placing a larger burden on council finances in the future through the health or criminal justice system.”
Deborah Gold, CEO of Galop, 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.”
“I know that tough decisions are being made at the moment and that many areas face cuts, said Tim Franks, Director of PACE, “But with so few specialist LGBT services available, I fear the impact upon our community may well be disproportionate.”
At the same time as the LGBT Say No! to Cuts campaign was being launched, another charity issued its own stark warning of possibly closure. Just months after moving into large, new premises in Hammersmith, London, the Naz Project – a groundbreaking HIV and sexual health services for black and ethnic communities, has said that it faces closure unless it can urgently raise some much-needed funds by the end of this month. A press release sent out by Operations Manager Ravi Chohan say; “We need to raise a minimum of £75,000 by the end of October 2010 if we are to keep going.
“Naz Project London (NPL) has been providing quality HIV and sexual health services to Black and Minority Ethnic communities for 20 years. NPL – like so many other organisations in the UK at this time – is going through some very stormy waters financially. NPL is at a make-or-break juncture: the recession has hit us hard and our funding sources have dried up.
“The impact of NPL disappearing from the sexual health landscape in London and nationally will be the slowing down and eventual reverse of what has been achieved to reduce prejudice and stigma experienced by BME people living with HIV and what has been accomplished to challenge homophobia and institutional racism.”
The charity has set up an online donation page here where people can donate money.

Posted: 2 October 2010

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