Birmingham LGBT was established in 2002. Originally called Birmingham Pride Trust and then Birmingham LGBT Community Trust, it was established as a grassroots breakaway group from the Pride Festival by individuals who felt that a Pride event once a year did not meet the community’s diverse needs
Birmingham Pride Trust and then Birmingham LGBT Community Trust
Birmingham LGBT was established in 2002. Originally called Birmingham Pride Trust and then Birmingham LGBT Community Trust, it was established as a grassroots breakaway group from the Pride Festival by individuals who felt that a Pride event once a year did not meet the community’s diverse needs. From the outset, Birmingham LGBT aimed to raise awareness of issues that affect Birmingham’s LGBT citizens through consultation, community engagement, advocacy, strategic engagement and lobbying.
Strategic priorities and the LGBT Community Forum
In 2004 and 2005 the organisation carried out a series of events called Gay Life Matters. From these consultation events they identified four strategic priorities: younger and older LGBT people, LGBT health, housing and social care and BAME LGBT people. In 2006 the Birmingham LGBT established the LGBT Community Forum to which 36 voluntary and community groups are affiliated. In 2006 they also carried out a consultation event Are you being served?. The results were fed back to key stakeholders in the city. Birmingham LGBT became a registered charity in February 2007 and in April 2007, in partnership with Stonewall, hosted a political briefing for senior politicians and executives of Birmingham City Council.
SHOUT: Birmingham’s festival of queer culture
In 2007 Birmingham LGBT was active in lobbying for the regeneration of the Gay Village area and received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop the Gay Birmingham Remembered exhibition and archive. In 2008 in partnership with the Consortium of LGBT Voluntary and Community Organisations, Birmingham LGBT received three year funding from Capacity Builders to improve the reach, capacity and voice of the LGBT third sector and appointed their first full-time development worker. The trustees underwent a number of strategic planning days with the Consortium in December 2008 and identified the need to develop a strong strategic Board. A skills audit was carried out and a recruitment process followed to ensure effective governance for the organisation. In April 2009 Birmingham LGBT secured £35,000 funding from Arts Council England to pilot an LGBT cultural festival in the city in the month of November; SHOUT: Birmingham’s festival of queer. In June 2009 Birmingham LGBT secured a three year SLA from Corporate Equalities Birmingham City Council and appointed their second full time member of staff to the role Strategic Development Worker.
LGBT Health & Wellbeing Centre
In 2010 Birmingham LGBT carried out a series of community consultations and a large scale needs assessment (Woods et al 2011) which identified the need for a community resource to address health and wellbeing. In 2011 Birmingham LGBT were awarded £480,000 over four years to set up an LGBT Health & Wellbeing Centre from a bid to the Big Lottery Reaching Communities strand; with a £250,000 capital investment from Birmingham City Council the project was completed and the new centre opened in January 2013.
In 2011 the Board appointed a Director to oversee the strategic development of the charity and a Health & Wellbeing Manager. The organisation became a company limited by guarantee in 2011 (and a registered charity), limiting the liability of the Directors and allowing it to trade. In 2012 Birmingham LGBT appointed a Volunteer co-ordinator with a grant from Lloyds TSB to recruit, train and support volunteers for the Health & Wellbeing Centre and was successful in an application to Birmingham City council Adults and Communities directorate to set up a service for older LGBT people.
The last few years have seen a period of rapid expansion for Birmingham LGBT with exciting developments and major achievements, including being a delivery partner for sexual health services for LGBT/MSM in Birmingham and Solihull.
A short video about the Birmingham LGBT Centre’s Ageing with Pride Project