Canal Street Online Manchester

Proud Trust welcomes foreign visitors virtually

Proud Trust welcomes foreign visitors virtually

LGBT+ people from Mexico, Florida and Thailand visit Manchester’s LGBT+ Centre

Lockdown has provided LGBT+ people with many challenges and struggles including increased rates of self harm, a lack of mutual support, reduction in exercise and more money worries. However one project is bucking this trend and is providing vital, life-affirming, community support and engagement for people from Manchester and internationally.

Ali Hanbury, LGBT+ Manager said: “We were always used to welcoming LGBT+ visitors and tourists from across the country and internationally, but having folk access our events from Mexico, Florida and Thailand in such a short space of time has really highlighted to power and possibilities that online programming is bringing to the community. It’s a new and exciting way to connect and bring our community together”

On 27th April, The Proud Trust launched the virtual LGBT+ Centre. Having closed the doors the month before they carried out research to find out what people would like, what they were missing and which platforms they’d like to use. Not only this, they also opened up an opportunity for freelance facilitators and self employed artists to work alongside their staff to offer a programme of events.

“As someone whose chronic illness makes attending irl events very difficult I am extra grateful for these online events at a time I'm feeling extra isolated. And being able to learn new things while not having to be on my guard against transphobia, biphobia and ableism is worth a great deal. Thank you!”

Over the past 10 weeks more than 20 activities have been delivered, with attendees numbering almost 250! They have worked with a dozen external partners and secured funding from both We Love Manchester and Young Manchester. Activities have included a weekly Creative Café for under 25s, Story Shed for families with children, foraging workshops, an inclusive Bingo night, a vegan cook along, a handstand lesson and an LGBT Centre Tour to name a few. In the next few week’s they have a drag make-up tutorial, Pets Corner and zine-making workshops.

“Accessing these social spaces virtually works for me better now I have to focus on my mental health needs for the long-term.”

All activities are free and can be booked online via link below.

New activities are being booked each week so check back or follow #virtualLGBTcentre on socials.  

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Published: 2-Jul-2020

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