Older LGBT+ Londoners’ charity receives six-figure funding to expand ‘Ambassadors’ scheme

London’s largest charity for older LGBT+ people has been awarded £300,000 funding to support a scheme representing the community’s voice to service providers, policy makers, researchers, and the media.

Opening Doors London (ODL) applied for a grant from City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, to help it develop and expand its ‘Ambassadors’ programme.

Led by volunteers with particular experience of the many challenges faced by older LGBT+ people (i.e. 50+), the scheme engages with local and regional commissioners and designers of health and social care services, and also promotes ODL’s work.

The charity will receive £300,000 to help fund the Ambassadors programme over the next five years, supported by a part-time Policy Officer and a part-time Ambassador Support Officer.

In response to its successful application, Opening Doors London says that the funding will give a voice to the older LGBT+ community, informing decision-making by policy makers, and improving well-being and independent living.

Dhruv Patel, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said:

“Opening Doors London’s work goes to the heart of our own commitment to tackle disadvantage across the capital and help make London a fairer and better place in which to live.

“My colleagues at City Bridge Trust were impressed by the charity’s sterling work to support the needs of people from the older LGBT+ community who, all too often, can feel isolated, lonely, and discriminated against.

“We hope that this significant grant for Opening Doors London will help it build upon the success of its commendable ‘Ambassadors’ programme over the next five years.”

Alice Wallace, Director, Opening Doors London, said:

"Opening Doors London Ambassadors are volunteers who are over 50 and who identify as LGBT+ and who are happy to speak about growing up LGBT+ before recent legislation was in place to protect their equality rights.

“They also speak to health and social care professionals about the inequalities that their generation still faces today.

“We are delighted that funding from the City Bridge Trust will ensure that our Ambassador volunteer programme expands in the years ahead, and that the experience of our LGBT+ city elders continues to inform and influence inclusive health and social care services in this internationally recognised city of diversity."

City Bridge Trust is the funding arm of Bridge House Estates, the City of London Corporation’s charity. It is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million every year to tackle disadvantage across the capital.

The Trust has awarded around 8,000 grants totalling over £400million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the City Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.


Notes for Editors:

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. 

About City Bridge Trust:

City Bridge Trust is the funding arm of Bridge House Estates, a Registered Charity, with its primary aim the maintenance and support of five Thames bridges: Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Southwark, Blackfriars and the Millennium footbridge.

City Bridge Trust was established in 1995 to make use of funds surplus to bridge requirements and provides grants totalling around £20m per year towards charitable activity benefitting Greater London. The City of London Corporation is the sole trustee of the Bridge House Estates.

About Opening Doors London:

Opening Doors London (ODL) is the biggest charity providing information and support services specifically for older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT+) people in the UK.

We are a membership organisation providing regular social opportunities across the capital to help develop networks and communities for LGBT+ people, aged over 50. We also offer specialist training and consultancy for statutory and voluntary organisations, such as care homes, housing associations and hospitals, to help them understand the needs of older LGBT+ people.