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Case Study East London LGBTQ+ Seniors

June 26, 2024

LGBTQ Seniors have little support as they get older. Find out how Compost was able to support Bill when he set up East London LGBTQ+ Seniors. East London LGBTQ+ Seniors is a Newham based organisation that creates opportunities for friendship and support for older LGBTQ+ members of society. Older members of the LGBTQ+ community are often dismissed by younger age groups, rarely have family to care for them, and other issues that are invisible to the community. Alongside coffee, chat and friendship, the main aim of the organisation is to encourage members’ voices to be heard on the issues that affect them most.

The organisation

LGBTQ+ Seniors is a Newham based organisation that creates opportunities for friendship and support for older LGBTQ+ members of society. Older members of the LGBTQ+ community are often dismissed by younger age groups, rarely have family to care for them, and other issues that are invisible to the community. Alongside coffee, chat and friendship, the main aim of the organisation is to encourage members’ voices to be heard on the issues that affect them most.  

The group directly supports Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer people of more or less retirement age, and their partners, and younger volunteer supporters, who hail from Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham, Waltham Forest, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge, Havering, Essex, and other places with easy transport to Stratford. They link with service providers in the East end of London and beyond to feed back issues that LGBTQ+ face as they grow older.

The person

Bill Hopkinson is the founder of the organisation and takes on many of the roles to drive the organisation forward.  

 

The ask

LGBTQ Seniors is a newly founded organisation and came to Compost as they needed funding to support activities and advice on the organisational development of the group. A further requirement was how to access a venue(s) that was central enough to encourage members to attend and carry out their activities. A more specific need was that the venue is able to provide confidential space for the sensitive conversations that may need to take place from time to time.  

Our response

Compost supported the group by initially connecting them with Aging Well, and LGBTQ Seniors were able to receive a small amount of funding. Other positive outcomes included further connections with and support from the Aging Well team.

In terms of supporting a search for a venue, Compost connected the group with Age UK Hackney as a possible base, who also support financially with meetings, however the distance travelled by some of the members made it unsuitable, other suggestions by Compost included the library, however this is not great for 121 personal conversations. Compost is continuing to provide support going forward.  

An important piece of support from Compost involved support around strong governance, identifying and implementing the correct policies and assisting in crafting a full term of reference (TOR).  

Their feedback

As a new organisation Bill was pleased by the support offered in ensuring the organisation has a viable constitution and the assistance provided in ensuring a stronger infrastructure  

Through Compost’s involvement Bill has developed a vision for where he wants to go to next, as it has been a roller coaster journey of two years.

What they think the sector needs going forwards

Bill would love to see more connecting of groups. He has always wanted more time to speak to other charities to share opportunities and resources, including venue and office space.  

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