Monday 13 March 2023: On Friday 10 March the London LGBTQ+ Community Centre hosted its first annual fundraising event, bringing the community together to celebrate a year of progress. The Centre also revealed their opening line-up of new Patrons at the event, after receiving official charity status earlier this year.
The evening was hosted by Chloë Davies – Head of Social Impact for creative agency Lucky Generals and the Centre’s Trustee for Community Engagement. Over 70 people were in attendance, including Founder of the GIN Network – Joshi London, Journalist & Broadcaster – Shivani Dani, Centre Trustees – Angus Waite, Martin Lyons & Rachael Baker, Community Partners, LGBTQ+ organisations and members of the public. The event was held together in partnership with Taylor Wessing LLP at their London offices with speeches from equaliTW Executive Sponsor – Saleem Fazal OBE, Robin Panrucker – equaliTW Co-Chair, Founding Trustee – Angus Waite, the Centre’s Business Development Manager – Bisila Nola, Chair of the Centre’s Board Raga D’Silva and the new Patrons.
Next on the programme was an exciting live auction with star prizes donated by Patrons as well as bonus prizes from the BFI, the Tate Modern & The National Portrait Gallery. The event raised over £12,500 for the London LGBTQ+ Community Centre, which will be put towards ongoing LGBTQ+ community outreach initiatives, mental health support, online activities and a portion of the funds raised will be used to further improve the centre’s heating facilities.
Commenting on the Centre’s future Chloë Davies said: “It is a testament to the Centre Team, Bisila, Lip, Tom, Cherokee and all the centre volunteers to how [the Centre] has become a place of community warmth that feels just like your own living room. We are excited to welcome such incredible LGBTQ+ people as our new Patrons, their consistent commitment to championing the most marginalised of voices within our community is just one of the many reasons we asked them to become part of our team”.
The patrons announced at the fundraiser include:
Screenwriter, director and producer for film and TV, Shiva is a multidisciplinary non-binary artist whose works harness the power of storytelling to create inclusive spaces for positive gender-expansive representation in media. As an awardee of the inaugural Netflix Documentary Talent Fund, they directed a short film called “Peach Paradise” which premiered on TikTok’s first-ever live film showcase. Shiva’s independent short narrative film “Queer Parivaar” won the prestigious BAFTA-qualifying Iris Prize ‘Best British Short’ award, streaming now on Channel 4 it has gone on to premiere in over 20 countries. . More recently, Shiva’s latest documentary called ‘Always, Asifa’ (commissioned by Together TV’s Diverse Film Fund 2022) premiered at the BFI’s London Film Festival.
As a new patron of the London LGBTQ+ Community Centre, Shiva said:
“In the London LGBTQ+ Community Centre, we’re incredibly fortunate to have a welcoming physical space to call a haven for queer people of all backgrounds. One that can bring together and connect us, especially by the wonderful access it provides to resources, support, information, and community-building activities that account for intersectional and intergenerational differences. As a patron, I look forward to supporting the beautiful team in realising their mission of creating a more connected, empowered, and thriving LGBTQIAP+ community.”
Charlie Craggs is an award-winning trans activist, author and media personality dubbed ‘the voice of a community’ by Vogue, best known for her national campaign Nail Transphobia, her LAMBDA nominated book To My Trans Sisters and her groundbreaking BBC documentary Transitioning Teens. In 2016 Charlie topped the Guardian’s New Radicals list of social innovators in Britain and has gone on to be the recipient of a Marie Claire Future Shaper Award, front global campaigns for brands like The Body Shop, H&M and Selfridges, and speak at the Houses of Parliament.
Reflecting on her appointment Charlie said:
“The LGBTQ+ Community Centre is a lifeline for queer people; it’s such a shame that we’ve had to wait so long for something like this – a way of connecting with other queer people that isn’t centred around alcohol or sex, but it’s a honour to be a patron of the centre now it’s here.”
Dom&Ink is an illustrator and author hailing from Bolton via Narnia. They love to create work that empowers the queer community and celebrates queer icons. Dom has created art for Little Mix, Cheryl Cole, iWeigh, The X-Factor, Selfridges, Skinny Dip, Emma Watson’s ‘Our Shared Shelf’ and more. An official illustrator for RuPaul’s Drag Race for five years, he’s the author of two books, ‘Free To Be Me’ and ‘Queer Power!’ which both centre around celebrating our beautiful community and amplifying the voices within it.
As a new Patron of the London LGBTQ+ Community Centre, Dom said:
“I am so honoured to be asked to be a patron for the London LGBTQ+ Community Centre. It’s a place that is somewhere so many of us can connect, come together and thrive in our queerness. It’s become an anchor of the queer community in London and I’m so excited for what we can create together at the centre moving forward.”
Notes for editors
The London LGBTQ+ Community Centre is a registered charity and a sober, intersectional community centre and café in London where all LGBTQ+ people are welcome, supported, can build connections and can flourish. We collaborate with amazing charities and groups to deliver LGBTQ+-specific services, alongside a holistic programme of sober events. Our vision is for a more connected, belonging and thriving LGBTQ+ community in London.
In 2022, the Centre welcomed over 13,600 visitors through its doors and hosted more than 500 events. From HIV testing drop-ins and language classes to Queer Women’s Days and family story times, more than 8,000 people took part in the Centre’s events last year.
The concept for the Centre came out of conversations between friends and was brought to life by a group of volunteers. Since the inception of the project in 2017, hundreds of volunteers have contributed time, expertise and enthusiasm to get us to where we are now. To find out more about our team, visit www.londonlgbtqcentre.org/meet-the-team
PHOTOS – please credit to Valerie Leona