Brighton charity facing closure as funding shortfall bites

Posted On 16 Nov 2011 at 2:44 am

A Brighton and Hove charity is facing closure – and one of the city’s three MPs has added his voice to an urgent appeal for funds.

Brighton and Hove LGBT Switchboard said that it was struggling to stay afloat and needed to raise £20,000 between now and April.

The charity, which has been running a helpline since 1975 and also offers counselling, said that it had cut costs and put up counselling fees for those who could afford to pay.

It currently helps more than 1,000 people a year.

Hove Conservative MP Mike Weatherley said: “The LGBT Switchboard desperately needs to raise £20,000 by early next year in order to avert closure and to keep providing their valuable counselling.

“I urge anyone who can help to get in touch with the Switchboard as soon as possible.”

Natalie Woods, the services and development manager, said: “A combination of rising costs, fewer funding opportunities and a key source of time-limited grant funding ending in 2010 has meant that Switchboard is really struggling to continue providing its helpline and counselling service.

“We are funded by Brighton and Hove City Council and Brighton and Hove City Teaching Primary Care Trust but this is not enough.

“LGBT charities are rarely on the top of people’s list of favourite charities to support.

“We really need LGBT individuals to choose us as their charity to donate regularly to.

“If LGBT people don’t support us, who will?”

The charity has submitted fresh funding applications and hopes to receive money within the next six months to secure its future for next year.

In the meantime, it said: “Switchboard is doing all it can to cut costs and has already reduced the manager post to half time and increased its counselling fees for people who can afford to pay more.

“If 1,000 people donated just £3 a month they could help save Brighton and Hove LGBT Switchboard.”

To set up a direct debit or to find out how else to help the charity, which is based in Bartholomews in Brighton, call 01273 207050 or email brighton.manager@switchboard.org.uk.

  1. Rostrum Reply

    Is LGBT Switchboard worth the money?
    Are not they now just another part of the mainstream community?
    Should not advice and counselling be for all part of the community rather than such a small-subset.
    Why not a Community Swichboard of give money to Citizens Advice?

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