Project information

The Older LGBT Project

The Older LGBT project is part of Brighton and Hove LGBT Switchboard and provides activities and events for LGBT older people in Brighton and Hove and surrounding areas of Sussex. We aim to enhance the social inclusion of older LGBT people and improve their physical and mental health and well-being.

The project is ongoing

Charity information

Brighton And Hove LGBT Switchboard

Brighton And Hove LGBT Switchboard logo
  • Need


    LGBTQ people aged 50+ are the most likely to face discrimination and stigma in end of life care. They have particular needs for social support which are not met by mainstream services, for example bereavement for a same sex partner that others may not understand;, services that do not treat their relationships with equal respect, difficulty accessing LGBT spaces due to physical frailty or lack of suitability and ageing with HIV as a chronic illness. Social exclusion and isolation and fearare major issues


    Our befriending and other services, social activities and events address many issues facing older LGBT people by reducing social isolation and loneliness and improving self-esteem and confidence. These are vital to maintaining and improving health and well-being in our ageing population. We aim to listen to what older LGBT people want, and help with finding it or making it happen. Staff are trained to assess needs and service provision. Older LGBT people deserve options to be who they want to be .

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To reduce social isolation and loneliness of older LGBT people in Brighton and Hove and surrounds


    » Meet ups monthly in the west of the city.
    » Meet ups monthly in the centre of the city.
    » Meet up monthly in the north of the city.
    » LGBT cinema trips and outings.

    Monitor numbers of older LGBT people using befriending service and feedback forms

    Aim 2

    To improve generic older peoples services understanding of Older LGBT peoples needs.


    » Offering LGBT awarensee training to generic organisations around the specific needs of Older LGBT people.

    Monitoring numbers attending and feedback forms; engage users in designing programs so continuous improvement through feedback and input

    Aim 3

    To address service needs of older LGBT people and tackle discrimination.


    » Our staff are trained to think about people's needs and what is on offer. We link older people to existing services or hep make it happen if not there

    Monitoring numbers referred to existing services and satisfaction with them, measuring how well we have listened to users and influenced new service provision.

    Aim 4

    To make older people's residential choices more LGBT inclusive


    » We work closely with the local authority and sheltered housing providers to make older people's residential choices more inclusive and appropriate

    Feedback and monitoring changes to service provision and related housing policies

  • Impact


    Reduced social isolation of older LGBT people in Brighton and Hove, with improved health and well-being so that quality of life is enhanced and service delivery is appropriate and targeted to their unique needs. This will be demonstrated through surveys, case studies, user stories and feedback. Users are at the heart of the planning and delivery of this project and will themselves be powerful advocates for the positive life changes we are aiming for. We aim to make Older LGBT people more visible


    Risks include reduced funding for the project - built into fundraising strategy for our host organisation Brighton and Hove LGBT Switchboard. Risk that workloads and needs of users will outstrip staff capacity - recruit volunteers and manage and prioritise activities; fundraise to increase staff time. Risks around our users sometimes being hard to reach, for example no internet access - addressed in our communications strategy, using non-digital comms and utilising referral channels


    we will send a monthly email report and quaterly updates.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £21,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £12,000 staff costs One part-time worker
      £5,000 core costs ovheads, rent etc
      £2,500 events and marketing room hire, refreshments, printing
      £1,500 client transport transport to events and meet-ups
  • Background


    Associated with seaside fun, Brighton also has a thriving digital economy and a high level of start up businesses. We also have the largest LGBT community outside London, constituting up to 15% of the general population of 285,000. We have a higher than national average rate of single occupancy houses (36%) and a growing ageing population, along with pockets of significant deprivation and pressure on space and housing.


    Brighton and Hove has an LGBT community of up to 43,000, a significant proportion of which is over 50 years of age and many of whom live alone with no family in the area. We aim to reach the more isolated and vulnerable older members of our community through targeted interventions. Involvement of the wider LGBT community, including children from Rainbow Families, in initiatives such as the befriending service will enhance social cohesion across the wider LGBT community.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Older LGBT Project sits within the Brighton and Hove LGBT Switchboard which at 40 years old is the oldest continuous LGBT charity in Sussex. Switchboard is the only generic portfolio organisation serving the needs of the diverse local LGBT community and has the dedicated staff, experience, connections and expertise to make a success of this project. The project has been running for a year and has exceeded expectations of the local authority.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Helen Bashford

    Project Development Co-ordinator. Helen is a passionate community development worker committed to including and supporting older LGBT people.