This April, the Wandsworth 50+ LGBTQ+ Forum Coffee Morning celebrated their 5th Birthday back at the Furzedown Project.
The group have recently made a return to their weekly Thursday morning slot following the lifting of all COVID restrictions back in February.
Like many organisations, the group faced many challenges due to the pandemic but have emerged stronger than ever.
Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum Chair, David Robson said;
“The 5th birthday is not only a celebration of this wonderful group, but a chance to recognise that we got through the challenges of the last 2 years.
But I’m so pleased the group is now able to be together again at the project and we can focus on rebuilding the group to where we were pre pandemic with our guest speaker program and London wide activities.”
Chair of the Furzedown Project Liz Sines said;
“It has been such a joy to welcome back the LGBT group to Furzedown Project, they are like a breath of fresh air after the misery of the last two years, they are reenergising the project.”
The group was set up back in 2017 (with funding from Wandsworth CCG) as a joint project between the Furzedown Project and Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum in response to the lack of services for older LGBTQ+ in South West London.
Since then the service has been supported by Wandsworth Oasis and most recently, the Wandsworth Council Community Grants Scheme.
As the group continues to rebuild following the pandemic, there will be a change in the delivery of the service. At the start of the new project year in June the group will be taken in house by Furzedown.
The new project director James Atkins said;
“Our LGBT group is one of our most popular and lively services we run at the Furzedown Project. It is truly heart-warming to see what benefit and impact it has for our members, and ensures we are working towards becoming more inclusive for the local community. We are looking forward to celebrating many more milestones to come.”
One of the groups founding members, Vito Ward, said;
“I can’t express enough how important it is to include LGBT elders into all services and activities provided for older people. I strongly believe we have contributed a great value to the project merely by our presence here.”