Age UK Camden (AUC), a Camden based charity, has received £75,000 over two years from the City of London Corporation’s charity, City Bridge Trust, to boost its Opening Doors London (ODL) project for Older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people.

As the largest Age UK group in London, AUC works with around 7,000 older people in Camden, improving their lives through a wide range of services including day centres, information and advice service, volunteering and counselling. The ODL project, which is the largest of its kind in the UK, was established to address the needs of the older LGBT community across the capital and ensure they have access to specialised support and advice for their later life planning.

It is estimated that there are as many as 150,000 LGBT people aged over 50 living in London, many of whom suffer from mental health problems, as a result of decades of discrimination and social exclusion. ODL supports almost 1,000 older LGBT Londoners, and this grant will be used to recruit two full time Development Coordinators to further develop vital services and strengthen referral networks.
Stacey Halls, Opening Doors London Project Manager at Age UK Camden, said, ‘This substantial grant from the City Bridge Trust is incredibly important to us, as demand for the support and services offered through Opening Doors London (ODL) for older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Londoners continues to increase significantly. In addition to lobbying and campaigning with, and for, older LGBT people to ensure that services can meet their needs, ODL also provides a wide range of services and activities which aim to reduce social isolation and help to improve the overall health and well-being of older people from LGBT communities.’

Jeremy Mayhew, Chairman of City Bridge Trust, said, ‘Over the past three years, City Bridge Trust has been working with AUC on this ground-breaking ODL project to expand its reach from five central London boroughs to all the North London boroughs; it is now developing throughout the capital. We are delighted to continue our support for this crucial project for older LGBT people, which provides a lifeline for this community, enabling their voices are heard and their needs are met.’

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City Bridge Trust is the grant-making arm of Bridge House Estates, whose sole trustee is the City of London Corporation. It addresses disadvantage by supporting London charities and providing grants totalling around £15 million annually.