Supporting individuals

 

What we do

HIV and sexual health programme which involves distributing over 600,000 condoms and 600,000 sachets of lube a year to over 60 venues; the provision of safer sex and awareness raising information through media such as our bi-monthly magazine, our internationally-used website, dedicated thematic resources and personal contact via community engagement activities and weekly sexual health testing clinics.

Mental health programme which involves organising a face-to-face counselling support programme; sessions and counselling specifically for young people; the provision of a telephone helpline 365 days a year; the facilitation of targeted social and support groups for a range of LGB people, (including LGB patients in a secure hospital); and the provision of information resources and signposting to sources of support on the LGF website.

Substance misuse work which involves engaging with LGB drug and alcohol users and those who service their needs; the provision of information, help and support through resources, our magazine and the LGF website; a smoking cessation programme; and leading on a major five year research project into the use of alcohol and drugs by LGB people throughout the regions of England, in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire.

Women’s work programme which involves providing information and advice through dedicated resources, our magazine and our website; providing sexual health packs; undertaking research into the neglected area of the sexual and mental health needs of lesbians and bisexual women; working in partnership with other organisations to support these needs; and organising networking and support events for LB women.

General health & wellbeing services which involves providing a range of advice surgeries every week; the provision of crisis intervention support sessions; facilitated drop-in support sessions; an extensive programme of community events and LGB social activities; and a comprehensive distribution network with hundreds of outlets increasing our access to the communities we serve.

The need

Θ The lesbian, gay and bisexual population of the United Kingdom has been estimated by HM Treasury to be 3.6 million people, (6% of the adult population).

Θ LGB people face particular issues including homophobia, bullying and discrimination that have a damaging or limiting effect on their life chances and their ability to achieve health and wellbeing.

Θ LGB people also face barriers when accessing and receiving health and social care services, and have specific needs that can be poorly met or understood, and which are often overlooked by service providers.

Θ Amongst a number of health related statistics it is important to recognise that:

  • 1 in 10 men who have sex with men are living with HIV, and of them 1 in 3 in the major UK cities are undiagnosed;
  • HIV stigma continues to be a debilitating social condition;
  • Only 1 in 10 lesbian and bisexual women of the appropriate age have had a cervical screen in the last 3 years;
  • 3 in 5 LGB people have experienced a mental health issue in the last 5 years;
  • LGB people are up to 8 times more likely to be heavy alcohol users compared to their heterosexual peers;
  • 2 in 5 LGB people use recreational drugs which is significantly higher than within the general population.
  • Nearly half of all LGB people smoke, compared with a quarter of the heterosexual population and two thirds of LGB smokers have tried unsuccessfully to quit.

Θ The health and wellbeing of LGB people is paramount to the purpose and ultimate success of the LGF.  We provide more health and well being services to our communities than any other comparable organisation within our sector.

Θ The LGF is uniquely well positioned to provide a leadership role across all sectors, to achieve more positive health outcomes for LGB people.

Θ The LGF is reported by service users to be one of the first points of contact for them when they have been at a crisis point in their lives.

Θ LGF’s services will need to take into account the changing demographic of the UK and, subsequently LGB communities, paying particular attention to the links between disadvantage, isolation and poverty.

Θ The LGF has a long and proud history of providing evidenced based services, helping to inform, educate, and empower communities, and has comprehensive distribution networks and communication channels accessing LGB people.

The approach

Θ To safeguard existing funding, and to secure new contracts to deliver services meeting the needs of LGB people, and to maximise future funding opportunities.

Θ To further develop a robust and comprehensive evidence base and outcome model to assist negotiations with current and future commissioners, and in the design, delivery and evaluation of current and future services.

Θ To deliver responsive and relevant services meeting the diverse needs of LGB people in a range of geographical locations, and in particular with people not currently in contact with the LGF.

Θ To adopt person centred approaches; communicating and giving a voice to LGB people’s experiences,  chronicling LGB  people’s life stories, preserving LGB people’s heritage, and collating people’s experiences of LGF’s services.

The ambition

Over the course of the next five years we will seek investment to:

Θ Further develop our information and support role for the whole community including: increased opening times; introducing a single telephone number to access our services, and ensuring the majority of enquiries are dealt with at the point of delivery.

Θ Further develop the LGF as a trusted and credible source of information including: developing our website, extending the reach of our distribution networks, developing the resource library and archive, and increasing the range and quality of information provided across all communication channels.

Θ Aim to secure three year HIV and sexual health contracts with existing and new commissioners, and further extend the reach and scope of the LGF’s Condom & Lube Distribution Scheme and broader sexual health programmes.

Θ Further develop a Women’s Programme to engage, support, and inform lesbian and bisexual women by being more visible in their community, identifying and addressing their specific needs, and empowering them to have a greater voice within society.

Θ Sustain and further develop existing work including projects within our Mental Health, Substance Misuse and General Health and Wellbeing Programmes.

Θ Expand the programme of Groupwork including; providing assistance to many more support and social groups, running community events and LGB activities, developing facilitated daytime and evening drop-ins, providing crisis intervention services, and piloting the development of satellite services.

Θ Develop specialist programmes to support identified needs and building on the work of our initiatives to support: LGB carers; LGB people in long term secure hospitals; LGB people in prisons; and in particular explore opportunities within the emerging personalisation of social care policy agenda.

Θ Provide a range of family services including: LGB people in and out of relationships, as a parent or prospective parent, supporting people coming out, people experiencing domestic violence, providing support to people to cope with bereavement and with any and all other needs relating to their family life.

Θ Launch a befriending and mentoring scheme, reducing social isolation by providing practical and emotional support.

Θ Launch the LGF Skills Academy providing peer training, leadership development, courses and training in relevant and appropriate life skills, and personal development programmes.

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