Pride – Opening Doors London
June is Pride month, a time when we celebrate the lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT+) community.
Opening Doors London is the only charity in the UK working specifically with older people who identify as LGBT+. Alice Wallace, the charity’s CEO, has explained that few members have someone close enough to count as next of kin or intergenerational networks. This means they don’t have anyone to help organise food deliveries or to contact their GP or social care providers. Older LGBT+ people may also have anxieties about reaching out to their neighbours because of the discrimination they have faced in their lives.
Opening Doors London provides practical support including a befriender – someone who will be in regular contact and check-in with their client regularly. They run social groups and activities (online at the moment) and specialist support for those affected by dementia. They also have support groups for people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities and trans/non-binary people.
Until lockdown they were running a social group for our residents and other older LGBT+ residents in Tower Hamlets and neighbouring boroughs at Peabody's Sundial Centre in Tower Hamlets. We hope to continue this group when it is safe to do so.
Visit the Open Doors London website for more information, including interesting and useful training on addressing the needs of older LGBT+ people.