Opening Doors London aims to specifically meet the needs of the older LGBT community and is aimed at people who identify as LGBT* and are over the age of 50. We have members from across London and beyond.
The aims of Opening Doors London are to develop services for the older LGBT* community that combat isolation through the provision of:
- regular social activities
- a befriending service
We do this because older LGBT* people are:
- 3 times more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to be single and live alone
- less likely to have children and far more likely to be estranged from their families
- significantly more likely to experience damaging mental health problems
Why I’m a member of ODL
“My name is David Mitchell. At 83 years of age I’m old enough to have lived through, and survived, the post-war period of intense homophobic persecution, by the authorities and society in general, which caused a great deal of distress to a lot of inoffensive people.”
“The survivors of this time have lived to see enormous improvements in the position of LGBT people – but they still carry the scars, and remain vulnerable and sensitive to the prejudice and ill-treatment that still exists. Being an Ambassador for Opening Doors London means, for me, an opportunity to support older LGBT people in their efforts to find respect and understanding as ordinary members of society – and also to take part in the battle, not yet won, alas, against the continued existence of homophobia in the wider community”.
Would you like to join or support?
Are you over 50 years old and a member of the LGBT* community? If so please get in touch to join Opening Doors London for free as a member. As a member you’ll be able to attend film clubs, coffee mornings, walking groups, visits to museums and galleries and day trips. You’ll meet people like yourself and those from all along the LGBT* spectrum. You’ll have the chance to pop along to activities that interest you and
Or would you like to support Opening Doors London as a volunteer or by donating? Have a look on our website for more information on how you can get involved.
With your support ODL can continue their vital work in supporting older members of our community.
“Brian became extremely withdrawn from the world when his partner of 45 years died. He spent six years at home alone, only leaving his house between 9 and 9.30am to go food shopping – this became a daily routine and for those years his only social contact was with the sales assistant at the local supermarket. Brian was being treated for severe depression by a hospital psychologist, who saw an advert for the Opening Doors London Befriending Scheme and made a referral.
When the Befriending Coordinator first visited Brian he was withdrawn and did not feel that he could be helped. After regularly visiting him over a few months in order to get to know him, Brian was introduced to his volunteer Befriender. The Befriender is actually older than Brian, he is retired and has therefore been able to dedicate a lot of time to getting to know him. They have formed a really lovely friendship, and meet up at least three times a week. They regularly take trips to concerts, social events and other activities.
Over time, the Befriender has helped Brian become more and more socially included. They both attend Opening Doors London social groups and friendships with other members have blossomed. Brian continually thanks the Befriending Coordinator for the effect the Befriender has had on his life – “look how happy I am now, I never stop smiling”. In the two weeks leading up to Christmas last year he informed staff that he had 10 social events to attend.
The Befriender is now helping Brian to visit various animal rescue centres in search of a small dog to keep him company at home. The transformation observable in Brian – physically, mentally and emotionally – is incredible and access to ODL services through the Befriending scheme has been life changing.”
For more information on Opening Doors London see the website openingdoorslondon.org.uk or call 020 7239 0400.