We hope this finds you all safe and well.
We have all faced a year like no other, with challenge and hardship many of us could never have anticipated. It has warmed our hearts to see the ways our queer communities have come together to support each other.
With life under lockdown slowly fading into the past – fingers crossed, for good – and many of us looking ahead to a brighter and more hopeful tomorrow, it is time to come together again. Time to lean in towards our community, to build and rebuild, to heal, and to plan for the futures we want.
The pandemic has changed so much in our world. But it has also shown us the true value, power and spirit of our LGBTQ+ community, and we believe as we emerge from this crisis the need for our own physical and digital spaces has never been clearer.
Our project leads and trustees have been busy behind the scenes since we all last spoke, and we wanted to give you all an update on what we’ve been doing since the start of the year, and introduce what’s in store for the rest of 2021.
Recruiting a Project Manager
You may remember at the start of the year we advertised for our first-ever paid staff member. Well, we found them, and they’re amazing! It’s a pleasure to introduce Bisila Noha, our new Project Manager for Community Centre Development.
Bisila (she/her) is Spanish and has lived in London for the past 8 years, so considers herself a Londoner in her heart now.
With a background in Translation and International Relations, Bisila has vast experience as a Project Manager. Moreover, she co-directs Lon-art Creative, an arts and activism organisation that offers a platform for everyone to create, collaborate and reflect upon social issues through the arts. Their main focus at the moment is on Violence Against Women and Girls through their flagship project Sheroes.
As a passionate advocate for social justice and inclusion, Bisila also is a Trustee at Headway East London, a local charity supporting people affected by brain injury.
Along with her community work, she also is a Ceramic Artist. With her work, she aims to challenge Western views on art and craft and to reflect upon the idea of home and oneness pulling from personal experiences in different pottery communities around the world. You can check out her ceramics here and here in the New York Times.
Bisila loves a good book and all kinds of music, so any recommendations, don’t hesitate to send them her (and our) way at Bisila@londonlgbtqcentre.org!
A Pop-up Community Centre and Cafe
We’re currently working on plans to deliver a pop-up community centre and café open for three to six months.
Our pop-up will be a much-needed base and home-away-from-home to the LGBTQ+ community in London. It’ll provide relief to the severe isolation many in our community have experienced throughout 2020 and 2021 giving us a chance to gather, meet, heal and (re)connect – and be together as a community, again.
We’re in conversation regarding a potential venue at the moment, but we’re open to hearing your suggestions too. If you have or know of an underutilised space that we could use as a cafe and community space, that’s wheelchair accessible and in zone one, we want to hear from you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sit tight for potential volunteering opportunities too!
We’ve joined the Rainbow Lottery! This is a weekly draw with tickets costing only £1 per week. 50% of the funds come to us, and you could win £25,000!
Become a Friend of the Centre
To enable our work towards the Centre to continue, we need your help. As a Friend of the London LGBTQ+ Community Centre, your monthly donation will ensure we create a centre that is sustainably funded and can adequately serve the diverse needs of our community. Your money will go towards finding a space for the permanent centre, fitting it out, and covering ongoing costs.
Can you give £5, £10, or even £20 per month to keep our work going?
Thank you to our supporters, friends and community. We can’t wait to all be together again!
Yours in solidarity,
London LGBTQ+ Community Centre Project Volunteers