Statement about RVT Sports Day in partnership with LGBT HERO.
A message from LGBT HERO's Chief Executive, Ian Howley.
Donate/fundraise here >> http://virginmoneygiving.com/fund/RVTSportsday2020
I know many of you have been wondering what is going on with RVT Sports Day this year. We’ve been working with the RVT and Lambeth Council to establish what we can and cannot do. However it’s with great sadness that I have to confirm that RVT Sports Day will not be taking place as per normal this year.
It should come as no great surprise that due to COVID-19 the chances of us being able to run Sports Day this year were very slim but we wanted to wait until the very last minute to see what may be possible. Last week the UK government announced that large outdoor gatherings in regards to events will probably not be permitted until October at the earliest.
That announcement isn’t the sole cause. RVT Sports Day is all about LGBTQ+ people coming together and showcasing the best of our community while raising vital funds for LGBT HERO. It requires hundreds of people to be in close contact, that's where the magic of Sports Day happens.
We cannot go ahead with something that would be a high risk event where the possibility of COVID-19 transmission could very well happen. It would be very irresponsible of us to put staff, volunteers, teams and the general community at risk.
We never want it to come to this. We’ve been running Sports Day since 2007 and it’s a highlight of our year. I know how much our staff, volunteers, teams and community look forward to it. LGBT HERO also relies on community fundraising to survive. Last year we raised over £12,000 which went to support our GMFA and OutLife services to better support LGBTQ+ mental health and wellbeing. This year with LGBTQ+ venues closed and events cancelled we are looking at a potential £18,000 loss in fundraising overall. This is why it’s important that we continue to raise funds over the weekend RVT Sports Day would have taken place. We are currently in talks with the RVT about what we can do and hope to announce something very soon.
In the meantime, we are asking our community to help us fill the loss of this money by doing anything you can to help us. Yes, donating money directly would be great but if you can put on an event, a raffle, run a DJ set, a drag show - anything to help us that would be wonderful. We had earmarked this money to invest further into building our mental health capacity to further support LGBTQ+ people. COVID-19 is throwing up big challenges in our community with increases in people experiencing depression, anxiety and loneliness with many contemplating suicide. It’s vital we put the support systems in place to prevent this.
LGBT HERO is a very small organisation but we pack a punch and reach over three million people a year, signpost over 750,000 people to sexual and mental health services and directly support over 50,000 LGBTQ+ people a year through groupwork and online-peer-support. If we lose money we will have to look at reducing or even stopping some services.
We hope to announce what will replace Sports Day soon but in the meantime if you can spare some cash please consider making a donation here: http://virginmoneygiving.com/fund/RVTSportsday2020
Keep an eye on our socials (@lgbthero) and we hope we can all come together in some way this year. RVT Sports Day will hopefully return in 2021.