|London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard||
National Diversity Awards 2012
LLGS has been nominated for this years LGBT Community Organisation Award. If we are to be shortlisted we need your help.
You have until July 27th 2012 to vote for us. If you have ever used our services it would be great if you could spare a few moments to show your support.
The Community Organisation Award recognises outstanding contributions to the comunity.
Click on the link below which will take you to the nomination form.
Consultation on Gay Marriage
The government has published a consultation on proposals to remove the ban on same-sex couples having a civil marriage.
The key proposals are:
Current legislation allows same-sex couples to enter into a civil partnership but not civil marriage.
London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard Expands its Service into New Media
The UK’s National LGBT Helpline Celebrates its 38th Birthday by Finding New Ways to Reach People
London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard, the UK’s national LGBT helpline, is expanding its telephone helpline to offer support through new digital media, including email and instant messaging.
Since 1974, LLGS has been at the centre of the UK’s LGBT community, offering listening, support, information and referrals to LGBT people, or anyone who needs to consider LGBT issues, through its confidential helpline.
The helpline is staffed entirely by volunteers.
Emails are answered as soon as possible, usually within hours, while online chat offers a similar experience to phone calls, with instant answers and a “conversation” between caller and volunteer.
As with the telephone helpline, all online “calls” are completely confidential, and volunteers will never be judgemental or directive. LLGS has been trialling these services on a limited basis, without advertising them, for several months prior to their public launch. The result of the pilot has been overwhelming, with hundreds of people using the new services through online chat and email.
Early indications are that the online chat/instant messaging service particularly appeals to younger people, and could offer benefits in reaching people who are isolated because of their living situation – for instance,people living in a family home where they are not “out”, and people with hearing difficulties. It offers privacy to people who may be in situations where they fear being overheard on the phone, and it can be cheaper than a phone call.
LLGS is also changing its telephone helpline operations, moving from an 020 to an 0300 number. The new number is 0300 330 0630, which will be charged at the same rate across the country. Nearly half of LLGS helpline calls are from outside London. LLGS phone lines are open from 10am to 11pm every day of the year.
Mark Gatiss, patron of LLGS, said: “After nearly forty years of serving the LGBT community, it's fantastic to see LLGS embracing the 21st Century with their new instant messaging and email services.”
LLGS is now hoping to raise funds to expand its online services further, by training more volunteers to provide online messaging and eventually to offer the service throughout the same hours as its telephone helpline.
“We are very proud of the service we offer, and the value for money we provide. Our overheads are so low because our organisation is led and run by volunteers, with only one paid staff member,” said Joe Lee, co-chair of the organisation.
LLGS is one of the oldest and biggest LGBT organisations in the UK. It has about 180 volunteers, all of whom identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans, and who speak to about 20,000 people a year, while thousands more visit the web site www.llgs.org.uk. People contact LLGS for all sorts of reasons – because they are coming out, or want to find out where they can go to meet other LGBT people, to find out about safer sex, or because they’ve experienced homophobia. Maybe they’re calling because they are considering a civil partnership, or because they’re feeling isolated and want a chat.
In recent years, the number of information calls has dropped substantially, as people can find information more easily on the internet, and access LLGS’s own database directly through the web site www.queery.org.uk.
London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard’s helpline number is 0300 330 0630, and the lines are open 10am to 11pm, seven days a week.