Award-winning LGBT+ charity in Nottinghamshire receives over £37,000 in funding
The LGBT+ Service Nottinghamshire has received £37,476 of funding raised through the Health Lottery East Midlands and distributed by People’s Health Trust for their two-year project to support young people aged 11-25 years old across Mansfield, Worksop, Retford and Sutton-in-Ashfield.
The project provides a vital lifeline to form social links and build friendships with peer groups and provides specialist one-to-one, group and counselling services for LGBT+ young people and their families, including important specialist support services for transgender people. It also works with local and national LGBT+ organisations to expand their expertise and support for over 200 children and young adults in Nottinghamshire each year.
Helen Azar, Director of LGBT+ Service Nottinghamshire, said: “The LGBT+ service branched from a wider support project that we started in 1996 to support children and adults experiencing poverty and homelessness, support services for young parents, educational services for young adults and more.
“However, over the course of the project, we realised that one of reasons why those young adults were homeless was due to family disputes centered on their sexual orientation – and that was when the LGBT+ support project started in 2009. We have continued to grow and have been supporting children and young adults since.”.
During lockdown, where the support was needed the most, the project continued to support participants by moving all of their services to online or phone platforms, distributing guidance, holding further online training for staff, and increasing the number of support groups available.
Commenting on the funding using money raised through The Health Lottery, Helen added: “Through the funding, we were able to expand our services and gather the evidence that we needed to show how much impact the service has had for children in the local LGBT+ community, and to increase our visibility to reach those who are in need of our services”.
LGBT+ Service Nottinghamshire’s important work addressing these inequalities has been recognised recently with a spate of award nominations, including the National Diversity award, 2020 Community Organisation Award and the 2020 Lifetime Achiever Award for LGBT+ Service Nottinghamshire’s Director, Helen Azar. And they were also nominated and shortlisted for an award under the “Small Charity, Big Impact” category at the East Midlands Charity Awards in March, receiving a ‘highly commended’.
One of the project members commenting on the award nominations said “I nominate LGBT+ service because I have been regularly coming to these sessions for a few years now and they have helped me with a lot of stuff in my life and it definitely would be much more difficult without them. They help anyone in need, and may people benefit from their hard work and support”.
Commenting on the project, Martin Ellice, Managing Director of the Health Lottery, said “we are proud to support LGBT+ Service Nottinghamshire, Helen Azar and her team have been dedicated for many years to delivering support services to people in the community, and we are delighted to support them in their growth journey in expanding their support services and inspiring more LGBT+ youths in Nottinghamshire.”