Age Concern branches in five London boroughs have received almost £390,000 from the Big Lottery Fund to improve support for older lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender people in their areas.
The funding for Age Concern in Camden, Hackney, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster will provide information and befriending services for LGBT people over 55, who are likely to number between 9.000 and 13,000 in the five boroughs.
Research shows older LGBT people are more likely to live alone and less likely to have the support of family as heterosexual peers, while they also may have different needs to younger LGBT people, having grown up when gay sex was a criminal offence.
Older LGBT people have reported fearing negative responses from institutions on the grounds of their sexuality when life changing events, such as bereavement or moving into residential care, occur.
The lottery money will be used to employ two full-time development workers who will provide a telephone advice/signposting service, a befriending scheme, social activities and information on services for those who suffer homophobic crimes.