A borough-wide consultation into the experiences and needs of Halton’s LGBT+ community, led by local organisations and facilitated by LCR Pride Foundation has been launched.
The work aims to discover what it means to be LGBT+ in Halton – if people feel safe, supported and seen – and what kind of events and services might enhance and improve their lives in the borough and beyond.
The consultation comes after a meeting last year at The Studio in Halton, hosted by LOOSE and attended by members of the borough’s LGBT+ community, LCR Pride Foundation and local community and youth groups.
While initially a meeting to discuss the potential for a Halton Pride event, conversations highlighted wider concerns in the community including lack of representation or space spaces for LGBT+ people, fear of discrimination and hate crime, and isolation.
Louise McNulty, Project Manager at The Studio and LOOSE Charity, said:
“The stories that emerged highlighted a need to gain a greater understanding of the challenges being faced by the LGBT+ community in Halton and what services, events or support might best meet those needs”.
“We heard from LGBT+ people who didn’t know any other gay couples despite living in the borough for a long time, a teenager who wanted to come to The Studio in drag to watch Masquerade but was afraid to walk the short distance from the train station in case they got beat up, and a same-sex couple who were only able to enjoy a dance together on their anniversary at a venue in Halton when The Studio hosted an LGBT+ Valentines event this year.”
Despite concerns, the meeting also revealed positive attitudes as well, including entertainment and hospitality venues that had expressed a desire to do more to support the LGBT+ community and businesses willing to also lend support.
“While there are issues to be challenged there is also plenty of support for the LGBT+ community in Halton and this consultation will be pivotal in identifying what the community wants and needs, and how we can focus resources and energy to deliver something that meets those needs. We are looking forward to seeing the responses to the consultation later this year and transforming the outcome into actions.”
The consultation is being facilitated by LCR Pride Foundation, the Liverpool City Region’s LGBT+ organisation. The foundation was established in 2019 with the founding mission to position all six boroughs as the most LGBT+ friendly region in the UK and improving the lives of LGBT+ living in and visiting the region.
Andi Herring, Interim CEO of LCR Pride Foundation, said:
“There is a clear desire to bring the LGBT+ community in Halton together in pride and celebration. This year LCR Pride Foundation’s theme is ‘Young at Heart’, which promotes the right for LGBT+ people to live happy, healthy and carefree lives, regardless of how they identify or where they live.
“We want to support LGBT+ people in Halton to live a happy, healthy and carefree life with access to the services, events and support they need. We encourage the community to engage with the survey so they can have their say in how that happens and shape the outcomes of the consultation.”
Once complete, the results of the consultation will be shared with the public and LCR Pride Foundation will work with the community, local organisations and Halton Borough Council to facilitate and develop action points raised.
If you identify as LGBT+ and live in Halton, you can have your say. Simply complete go to www.lcrpride.co.uk/halton and complete the survey by midnight on Wednesday 9th December 2020.
If you have any questions or want to know more about getting involved in our work in Halton, please email [email protected]