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Birmingham LGBT was set up in 2002, with the aim of reinvigorating the diverse LGBT community in the city.

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.

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.

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 culture is now in its fourth year. 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.

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 addresse health and wellbeing. In 2011 Birmingham LGBT were successful in a bid to the Big Lottery Reaching Communities strand for £480,000 over four years to set up an LGBT Health & Wellbeing Centre; with a £250,000 capital investment from Birmingham City Council the project is being developed.

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 has been 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

Time Line of Activity

2002 Birmingham Pride Community Trust set up

2004 Supported Birmingham City Council in setting up a Sexuality & Faith Think Tank

2005 “Are You Being Served?” consultation event

2005 “Gay Life Matters” event for LGBT service providers and users

2005 First “Queer Question Time” in Birmingham

2005 Consulted on the Birmingham Carers’ Strategy

2006 “Proud History” event

2006 Established Birmingham LGBT Forum

2007 Created “City Shapers Game”

2007 Held first “Political Briefing”

2007 First “Pink Picnic” held

2008 “Gay Birmingham Remembered” project launched

2008 Systematic review on LGBT Health published by Birmingham University

2008 Gay Village Petition handed to Birmingham City Council

2008 Community Guide launched

2009 First SHOUT Festival of Queer Culture

2010 Name changed to Birmingham LGBT

2010 Faith & Sexuality event – “Listening to Hidden Voices”

2010 Birmingham City Council invests £500,000 in the Gay Village area

2011 “Out & About” research published

2011 “Gay Birmingham Back to Back” project launched

2012 LGBT Leadership Training

2012 First SHOUT Film Festival

2012 PING Brum Festival

2012 Pride in Sports Festival

2012 Gay Village Gateway Sculpture unveiled at Pride

2012 “Pull Yourself Together” Film premiered

2013 Birmingham LGBT Toolkit Developed for Schools

2013 Birmingham LGBT Centre opens its doors

2013 Older LGBT people’s service developed

2013 Birmingham LGBT wins National Diversity Award

2014 “Coming Out Stories” heritage project launched

2014 Birmingham LGBT joins the National LGB&T Strategic Partnership

2014 Birmingham LGBT partners with University Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust to deliver sexual health services

2015 LGBT IDVA service launched to support people experiencing domestic violence