The London LGBTQ+ Community Centre – a safe, sober, intersectional and intergenerational community centre and café in Bankside – is hosting a FREE Christmas Eve vegan feast for LGBTQ+ folks who wish to spend the festive season in the loving company of their community.
The festive season can be an incredibly difficult time for LGBTQ+ people, especially those whose families aren’t accepting of their identities. We recognise this, and are providing a comfortable, welcoming space for all who need it.
Loneliness and isolation are something the LGBTQ+ community faces all year round, and this can be exacerbated by Christmas. LGBT HERO’s LGBTQ+ Lockdown Wellbeing Report found that loneliness has become an epidemic during lockdown, with young people being hit the hardest.
- Before lockdown, 21% of LGBTQ+ people said they experienced loneliness “very often” or “every day,” but during lockdown this more than doubled to 56%.
- As for young people, more than two in three (67%) of under 18 LGBTQ+ people felt lonely “very often” or “every day” during lockdown.
Our own research (A New Queer London Report 2022) found that half (51%) of LGBTQ+ people in London feel that there isn’t much of an LGBTQ+ community in London outside of Pride and nightlife. The Centre aims to provide an antidote to this, by bringing people together and offering space for different activities, including hosting free community meals such as this.
The vegan Christmas feast has been funded entirely by members of the community. We originally sought to raise £480 to fund meals for 60 people, but the community generously donated more than £1000 (£1051) to make the event happen.
In 2021, the Centre held free Christmas meals for 40 members of the community, and are thrilled to offer it up to more who need us this year.
In addition, Scott Pearson, founder of Queers Without Beers, launched a fundraiser to provide the Centre with a freezer. A generous donor gifted the full amount, and so we will now be able to fill the freezer with food throughout Christmas, New Year and for weeks to come.
Sarah Moore, co-founder of the Centre said “Thank you so much to every single person who has donated to ensure that we can be there for all LGBTQ+ Londoners who need us. Your generosity is greatly appreciated, and will make such a difference to so many. We recognise the impact that the Cost of Living crisis is having on the community, so it means the world that we are able to host LGBTQ+ folks throughout the festive season, and to be able to provide a Christmas Eve feast for free. Should you wish to contribute, you can donate on our website (www.londonlgbtqcentre.org/xmas.) Any further donations will go towards food, provisions and additional costs for running the Centre, including the installation of our new heating system.”
The London LGBTQ+ Community Centre is open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 12-6. No pressure, no Christmassy vibes, just hot drinks, books, great conversation and a whole lot of love.
The London LGBTQ+ Community Centre opened as a pop-up on 1 December 2021 after a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign in 2018 where the team raised £100,000 from individual community donations. Due to the success of the pop-up, the team has now signed a five year contract at their home on 60-62 Hopton Street, SE1 9JH.
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