Councillor sets up borough's first LGBT forum
PUBLISHED: 14:42 25 May 2016 | UPDATED: 14:42 25 May 2016
An openly-gay councillor has set up Havering's first LGBT forum to provide support and a place to meet.
Cllr Alex Donald is inviting the LGBT community to attend the first session at Havering Town Hall, Main Road, Romford, next month.
He said the forum would be an opportunity to meet in a “safe, friendly environment”.
He added: “The purpose of the forum will be to provide a space where LGBT people can meet others in the area and to work with the council to highlight relevant support services, should anyone need them.
“I am particularly looking forward to seeing new faces and listening to new ideas on how to move our forum forward for everyone to benefit.”
During LGBT History Month earlier this year, the Recorder reported that despite Havering being considered LGBT friendly with an active nightlife, there are no council-run or independent support groups.
Cllr Donald said the report highlighted the lack of services.
“Being an openly gay councillor has meant constituents have felt confident to get in touch with me on LGBT-related issues,” he said.
“Having a service in the borough like this is no less than a lifeline.
“Barking and Redbridge have support group forums, as does Essex.
“Yet when it comes to Havering, we are severely lacking.
“As the London borough with the largest elderly population, I am particularly concerned about older LGBT people out there who are suffering a higher rate of social isolation due to past negative social attitudes throughout their life.
“From housing to welfare, Havering LGBT Forum will work with the council, police and health services as well as other members in the community to address the specific needs of LGBT people in Havering.”
The first meet-up will be held on June 7 at Havering Town Hall from 8pm.