COVID-19 Update from LGBT HERO
An update from LGBT HERO's Chief Executive, Ian Howley
I'm sure you've had a huge amount of updates about the COVID-19 virus but I've had some questions pop into my email and I wanted to answer them and give you an update on LGBT HERO and how we are affected.
First of all, at the moment we have not been affected by this too much. For the health and safety of all staff, the people we live with and the overall impact on society we will be working from home for the foreseeable future. This means there will be nobody in the LGBT HERO office for some time.
What does this mean for our projects?
As 95% of what we do is based online our services, GMFA and OutLife, won't be affected too much but we will have to push back groupwork and upcoming campaigns, such as Me. Him. Us. by a month or two while we wait to see what happens next. We are working away on items that do not require meetings such as our upcoming chemsex work, GMFA's new online peer-support and developing OutLife's FindOut service.
What about RVT Sports Day?
As far as we are concerned, RVT Sports day will go ahead as usual. This is due to take place on 31 August 2020 and we normally don't start planning anything until June. So our current plan is to wait and see what happens over the coming months and we'll assess where we are at. Should we have to postpone/cancel then it's likely we will need community support to fill this gap. The money that we raise from this helps to cover important costs such as the day-to-day running costs of GMFA and OutLife.
Will you be taking part in Pride in London?
At the moment there has been no word from Pride in London about whether they are going ahead or not. At the moment it is wait and see, though we have been told it's likely we're on the waiting list at the moment so it maybe out of our hands anyway. We'll update you all as of if and when we know.
Is LGBT HERO in danger of closing?
This keeps on popping up in my inbox. I understand people are concerned. At the moment we are in a healthy(ish) position. This year is the first time since 2013 that we are due to return a very small surplus - something that if you are a long term supporter you know how big a deal this is for us. The long term impact of this virus won't be known for some time but if I feel we're heading towards trouble we will let you know.
Is there anything I can do to help?
Right now as we are all adjusting to working from home and manage how we run the organisation from a remote location there's not a lot we need right now. But if you can help share two guides we have developed to help during this time it would help. Those two guides are:
But overall the best thing you can do now is to look after your health and look out for others. This is an important time. LGBTQ+ people are far more likely to experience mental wellbeing issues such as depression and anxiety so watch out for your health and check in with others, especially older LGBTQ+ people. Remember we offer online peer-support on OutLife if you need to connect with others, visit www.outlife.org.uk/forums.
I hope that answers some questions you may have, but feel free to drop me an email if you have any other questions or comments. If things develop further we will update you then.
Look after yourself.