LGBT Bristol is Closing

LGBT Bristol is about to close its doors for the last time, on 30th September 2020, after 26 years’ service to the LGBT+ communities in Bristol.

Originally established in 1994 as the Bristol Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Forum, the role of the charity was to provide a Forum for LGB people in Bristol and to provide an LGB Voice to Bristol City Council (BCC).  The Council provided core funding for the Forum alongside other Equalities Forums: the Disability Equality Forum, the Women’s Forum, the Older People’s Forum, the Race Forum, the Young People’s Forum and the  Multi-Faith Forum – to  tackle discrimination suffered by protected characteristic communities, along the various strands legislation that would event coalesce into the Single Equality Act 2010.

By 2012  BCC gradually began to cut, and in 2017 to eventually cease funding the majority of the Equality Forums.

LGBT Bristol – trading name of the Bristol Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Forum – continued to operate largely by collaborating with other organisations on specific projects and work while continuing to support individuals and groups with advice and help.  We are now without core funding and have been running on our reserves.  This left us to compete with many other organisations for the same, often small pots of funds. Sadly, however, over the past year, only one of our funding applications has been successful and we have found it increasingly difficult to engage with our membership and communities.

Covid 19 further exacerbated our position with the suspension of all meetings in person,  we have been unable to even hold our Annual General Meeting again as our original attempt,  in December 2019 on a wet and stormy night, having being inquorate.

Since then several Trustees have stepped down and only 3 remain, including the Chair and Vice-chair – along with 2 co-optees.

The Management Committee and its co-opted Trustees reluctantly instructed the Development Manager Sarah-Louise Minter, after a poor response from our first appeal, to send out a final appeal to the membership and supporters to get in touch and for any that wish it, signal to the Trustees their desire for either the Forum to continue to operate or to support a change to an unfunded volunteer run and led community organisation, and to indicate their willingness to get involved in the first person – it is too much for the remaining Trustees to do on their own.  The response was so minimal that it constituted a tacit vote in its own right, to close down the Forum. Thus we will close and donate any residual funds to unfunded LGBT+ organisations operating to a similar set of Objects.

The Trustees and Co-optees wish to thank the Forum Manager Sarah-Louise Minter, for her loyal, skilled and faithful service for the past 17 years, and wish her the very best for the future.

Please note therefore that, as of 30th September 2020 the Charity registered as the Bristol lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Forum, (known as LGBT Bristol), will stop operating, the mobile number and email address will no longer be operational and any correspondence will be redirected ‘Return To Sender’.


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