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Marching with Pride: giffgaff gives back to LGBTQ+ communities



4 minute read

Community is at the heart of everything we do at giffgaff. We as a community ourselves that listens and cares, made a commitment to support diverse communities all year round and as part of our giffgaff gives back campaign, we are holding ourselves to that promise.

Over ten years old, we’ve always been big supporters of Pride. But this year we’re doing things slightly differently. Back in May, we hosted a panel called Not Straight Talking where we invited members from the LGBTQ+ communities to share their experiences and stories with us.

Discussing brand participation in Pride parades, we discovered a greater value in brands lending support beyond Pride month and sponsoring smaller, local LGBTQ+ communities throughout the entire year as well. So that’s exactly what we’ve decided to do - to march on beyond June - by donating to 5 grassroots charities who are making a difference in the LGBTQ+ communities.

Following a successful collaboration with Neighbourly on goodybank, we’ve partnered with them once again - this time to donate a total of £8.5K split evenly amongst the below charities. We’ve had some really touching stories come back to us from these charities on how our donations have helped. Take a peek at some of them here.

African Rainbow Family

This charity works with the LGBTQ+ people of African heritage and Black Asian Minority Ethinic groups seeking asylum in communities. African Rainbow Family is created and run by people who’ve been affected by this issue. They run regular counselling and confidence building sessions for emotional wellbeing. Their services also include signposting to immigration advice, organising social events and providing food and basic essentials for LGBTQ+asylum seekers.

How are they using the funds

Supporting 600 people per week, they are using the funds to manage day-to-day expenses and to aid volunteer led activities.

African Rainbow family
This giffgaff fund will go a long way in ensuring that we can reimburse our valued volunteers' weekly out of pocket expenses. We have no paid staff, our volunteers work tirelessly to keep the charity running and supporting our over 500 members especially during these covid-19 pandemic uncertainties.

LGBT Youth Scotland

Based in Edinburgh, this charity supports local LGBT youth groups across Scotland to help with their health and wellbeing. They work with youths between the age of 13-25 and organise live chats with trained youth workers for them. They also conduct the LGBT Charter programme for schools, organisations and businesses. During the pandemic, they’ve been focusing on providing digital youth work services to these LGBT groups.

How are they using the funds

The charity supports more than 200 people per week. The funding is helping them to provide digital youth work services via the Pride & Pixels platform which includes a digital community for LGBT young people and a soon to be launched learning hub with sessions on a variety of topics to increase skills and knowledge and to have fun.

LGBT Youth Scotland
Lockdown has been hard for many of us but for some LGBT young people who are either not at home or are living with unsupportive families it's been particularly tough. Being able to provide a safe online space for LGBT young people to connect and continue to receive support is key to improving their health and wellbeing. We wouldn't be able to do this without the funding we’ve received. With the fundraising being hit hard by the pandemic every penny makes a difference and ensures that we continue to be there for LGBT young people across Scotland.

Brighton LGBTQ Disabilities Project

This initiative is run by the Brighton and Hove LGBTQ Switchboard. They conduct activities, provide support and volunteering opportunities for LGBTQ+ people with disabilities.

How are they using the funds

The charity supports over 300 people per week. They are using the funds to organise events fostering inclusion of LGBTQ+ adults with disabilities.

At Switchboard we are delighted to have been awarded this grant. As a small grassroots and community-led group, this is a significant amount of money for us. It is wonderful that an often hidden part of the community has been acknowledged. This grant will directly reduce isolation and improve the health and well-being of LGBTQ adults with physical disabilities, mental health conditions and those who are neurodivergent.

Viva LGBT+ (West Rhyl Young People’s Project)

This charity provides support for 14-25 year olds identifying themselves as LGBTQ+ or are still exploring their identity. Viva LGBT+ deliver educational sessions, conduct youth group activities and one to one support to keep these youths connected with each other.

How are they using the funds

The charity supports more than 110 people per week. The funds will enable Viva LGBTQ+ youth groups to develop self-care and wellbeing packs to distribute to isolated LGBTQ+ young people across North Wales. The young people will co-design these bilingual booklets and packs which will promote a network of peer support across the region.

The conditions brought about by Covid-19 social restrictions have caused many LGBTQ+ young people to become more hidden, isolated and vulnerable.  This funding will help us to reach and support young people who, during lockdown, have struggled to access our online provision.

The Rainbow Project

Based in Northern Ireland, the Rainbow project focuses on physical and mental well being of the LGBTQ+ groups and people who are still finding out more about their orientation. The charity’s initial focus was on STI and HIV prevention but over the years they’ve extended support in educating about more issues related to physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. They also run social awareness and support programmes.

How are they using the funds

The charity supports more than 100 people per week. They are using the funds to support as many LGBTQ+ groups who are struggling

Rainbow project
The Funding will help The Rainbow Project continue to Change lives, Change Services and Change Society.

If you want to have a look at the amazing impact these grassroot charities have made so far, and if you wish to donate, you can do that through the Neighbourly page.

Written by shainak

Shaina is a Content and Engagement Manager at giffgaff