Community News & Features RVT Sports Day in aid of LGBT HERO to return to Vauxhall Forget the Olympics, RVT sports day is back! Raising vital funds for LGBT HERO on bank holiday Monday, 30 August 2021. The Royal Vauxhall Tavern in partnership with LGBT HERO returns with its annual RVT Sports Day on bank holiday Monday, 30 August raising money to support LGBT HERO, the national health and wellbeing charity for LGBTQ+ people. Ian Howley, Chief Executive of LGBT HERO said, “I’m delighted that LGBT HERO is working in partnership with the Royal Vauxhall Tavern to bring back the 14th Annual RVT Sports Day. I was so disappointed that last year, due to the COVID pandemic, we couldn’t run Sports Day, but now that the government has confirmed the lifting of restrictions we are able to bring it back in all its glory. “This year we’re asking teams to help us raise money to fund our mental health and wellbeing services. Since the beginning of the pandemic we’ve seen a 48% increase in LGBTQ+ people seeking mental health advice and support. The number of people accessing our peer-support services has doubled with over 11,000 people using them in May. In April, we surveyed 2273 LGBTQ+ people and found 35% of respondents reported feeling suicidal with 6% reporting a suicide attempt. However, it was young people who were affected the most, with 46% of under 25s having felt suicidal in the past year and 14% of under 18s having attempted suicide in the past year, of these, 53% were trans or gender diverse. "This is why the return of Sports Day is so important for us. Since the pandemic began we’ve lost out on over £50,000 in funding with little or no opportunity to raise vital funds in our community. Yet, LGBT HERO continues to support over 100,000 LGBTQ+ people a month with trusted information, advice and group/peer-support.” In assessing how safe the day will be for everyone he stresses that LGBT HERO will do everything to make people feel as safe as possible. He says, “As a health promotion charity it’s very important for us to look after people’s health and wellbeing - this of course includes COVID. We will be making sure all teams, volunteers and spectators are as safe as possible under the current guidelines by providing masks, sanitizer and encouraging social distancing where possible. Also the event is outdoors which is the safest environment for an event like this.” Ian talks about the event itself, “We are calling out for teams to get involved with the RVT Sports Day. All you need is five people, a team name and a pledge to raise £500 to support our services. Sports Day has always been a wonderful event in the LGBTQ+ calendar which brings the community together to have fun and raise vital funds. We encourage anyone taking part to come in fancy dress, be sporty, or wear whatever you want. Just have fun and let’s make a difference in our community.” Some of the events at RVT Sports day include; the egg and spoon race, tug-of-war, and the handbag toss. This year the RVT Sports Day will be hosted by Baby Lame, with commentary from the BBC’s Bob Ballard and Nick Heath. RVT Sports Day takes place on Bank Holiday Monday, 30 August 2021 from 1pm in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, just behind the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. If you are interested in entering a team or want to know more visit www.lgbthero.org.uk/sportsday. You can support LGBT HERO’s services by making a donation at www.lgbthero.org.uk/donate or text 365LGBTHERO to 70085 to donate £10.