Members of Derbyshire LGBT+'s Golden Rainbows project

LGBT+ Service Nottinghamshire offers a range of support and activities to LGBT+ children and young people aged 11-25 across Mansfield, Worksop, Retford and Sutton-in-Ashfield. The project provides a vital opportunity to form social links and build friendships with peer groups and provides specialist one-to-one, group and counselling services for LGBT+ children and young people and their families. This includes important specialist support services for transgender people.

LGBTQ+ people still face huge inequalities in Great Britain, including increased risk to mental health challenges[1], and one in five LGBTQ+ people are likely to have experienced a hate crime.[2] LGBT+ Service Nottinghamshire have been continuing to address these inequalities during lockdown, 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.

LGBT+ Service Nottinghamshire’s important work addressing these inequalities has been recognised recently with a spate of award nominations, including the National Diversity award to celebrate some of Britain’s most inspirational people and organisations, who through their work and dedication to helping others have made a difference; enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion in our society.

LGBT+ Service Nottinghamshire has also been nominated for the 2020 Community Organisation Award with LGBT+ Service Nottinghamshire’s Director, Helen Azar also nominated for the 2020 Lifetime Achiever Award. 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’ at the ceremony in June.

The National Diversity Awards are due to be shortlisted in July 2020 with a ceremony due to take place announcing the winner in September.

Helen Azar, Director of LGBT+ Service Nottinghamshire said, “I was extremely honoured, overwhelmed and surprised to have received a nomination for a Lifetime Achiever Award from the National Diversity Awards, citing my work over the last 20 years focused on establishing and sustaining vital support services for vulnerable and hard-to-reach people. My passion for equality and determination to mitigate oppression has been the driving force behind my commitment to create positive changes that contribute to wider societal change.

I feel immensely proud, privileged and honoured to work with such a dedicated staff team and service. Our collective efforts and the impact we have as a service has, again, been acknowledged and celebrated by others.”

A service user said, “This centre means the world to me, it is THE most accepting and supportive place I have ever been, they have changed my life so much. I was in a different place and a different person before I came here. They will never know how much they have done for me and how grateful I will be forever”.

LGBT+ Service Nottinghamshire is funded through the Trust’s Active Communities programme, with money raised by The Health Lottery East Midlands.

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