London Friend launches new support for LGBT refugees
London Friend is launching a new project supporting LGBT refugees. Working with Say It Loud Club, a community group that supports LGBT people who have fled persecution in their home countries, the project will provide social, emotional, and educational support.
The partnership will run regular workshops helping LGBT asylum seekers and refugees to become active citizens in the UK. Sessions will provide information on rights and responsibilities as LGBT citizens, accessing healthcare and engaging in local communities. Regular social groups will help build confidence and self-esteem, and reduce the isolation many LGBT people can feel from having to leave friends and families behind.
London Friend will also provide conversational English groups, helping to build language skills and confidence. Service users will also be able to access counselling with London Friend, and the project will recruit and train volunteers from LGBT refugee communities to sustain delivery of support groups in the longer term.
London Friend’s Chief Executive, Monty Moncrieff, said “We know that LGBT asylum seekers and refugees can feel isolated, and that many feel uncomfortable disclosing their identity in mainstream services, having come from countries where it can be unsafe to do so. By supporting them to gain confidence and make connections with other LGBT people with similar experiences this will help them to feel more able to engage in their wider communities, and access support to improve their health and wellbeing. We’re delighted to build on our partnership with Say It Loud Club to deliver this project”.
Aloysius Ssali, Coordinator of Say It Loud Club, said “I am extremely grateful that we will work together with London Friend in reaching out to LGBT refugees. London Friend is a place of inspiration to the men and women who have had to flee their countries of origin due to harassment and persecution because of their sexual orientation. Working with London friend will give LGBT refugees a unique opportunity to compare experiences and confront mutual challenges in a safe and comfortable environment which will lead to improved wellbeing”.
Educational workshops will run on the fourth Friday of each month 2-5pm. Social groups take place on the first Tuesday of each month 7-9pm. Conversational English groups take place every Wednesday 11am-1pm. Counselling is by appointment. All services take place at London Friend, 86 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DN.
For more information in the services click here.
The project is supported by players of People’s Postcode Trust, a grant giving body funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. The one-year funding will allow London Friend to build its own capacity to support LGBT refugees in the longer term and invest in volunteers from LGBT refugee communities.
Please note: this project provides social, emotional, and educational support to LGBT refugees. We are not able to provide legal advice on immigration. We suggest contacting the UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group for specialist immigration support.