Community groups serve a vital purpose for LGBT+ folk. They can bring people together – even virtually – and provide life-changing support for the vulnerable.
The Community Group Award at the PinkNews Awards 2020 recognises the contributions of organisations that serve people across the LGBT+ spectrum.
Each of the nominees has provided vital support and services to LGBT+ people over the last year. These groups have never been as important as the coronavirus pandemic continues, pushing more and more queer people into the margins.
The winner will be revealed at the PinkNews Awards 2020, which will take place virtually from December 2-4. The nominees are listed below.
AKT (The Albert Kennedy Trust).
AKT (the Albert Kennedy Trust) provides support to LGBT+ young people aged 16-25 in the UK who are facing or experiencing homelessness.
It is a vital service, as statistics tell us that LGBT+ people are disproportionately impacted by homelessness. Almost a quarter of young homeless people identity as LGBT+.
AKT has been supporting LGBT+ youth since 1989 when it became the first charity in the world to respond to the issue of LGBT+ youth homelessness. It has continued its vital work throughout the coronavirus pandemic, quickly adapting to provide services digitally where possible to ensure that young people can access much-needed services.
Bi Pride UK.
Bi Pride UK was launched in 2019 to celebrate everyone who experiences attraction beyond gender. Since then, this group has highlighted issues around bi visibility and bi erasure, putting a vital spotlight on the issues facing bisexual people.
Since its inception, Bi Pride UK has become a registered charity, and even founded UNICORN magazine, a space dedicated to underrepresented voices in the queer community.
The group also launched Activism Corner in 2020, where an activist from the bi or queer community does a live Instagram takeover and educates the community remotely about pertinent issues.
Courageous Leaders is a programme that helps LGBT+ teachers win promotions to leadership roles.
Now in its fourth year, Courageous Leaders pairs aspiring leaders from the LGBT+ community with a mentor who helps them achieve their goals.
The programme has had a significant impact on the lives of participants. Since its inception, eight teachers have successfully come out in their school communities, while 10 went on to start Pride clubs for young people.
In addition, 12 LGBT+ teachers went on to become authors for the first time by writing a chapter for a book about queer inclusion at school.
The LGBT Foundation has been fighting to improve queer people’s lives ever since it was established in 1975.
The group works on various issues that are important to the entire LGBT+ community, such as sexual health, substance abuse, domestic violence, as well as issues that affect older LGBT+ people such as dementia.
The LGBT Foundation was forced to adapt its operations in the face of coronavirus and its services were offered remotely throughout lockdown.
This group has proven that it is committed to providing vital supports for the entire LGBT+ community – and those supports have never been as important as they are right now.
This charity is dedicated to the needs of trans and gender-diverse children, young people and their families – and the support they provide is deeply affirming and and much-needed.
We are living in a time of shocking hostility and aggression towards the trans community, and Mermaids is a voice of calm in the storm. Over the last year, this dedicated team has dealt with almost 12,000 queries through its helpline, email and web chat services. It has also worked with 200 people with legal queries relating to discrimination in healthcare and education.
Mermaids provided this support against a backdrop of persistent and often aggressive abuse from anti-trans activists.
The winner will be revealed at the PinkNews Awards, which will take place virtually from December 2-4.