Top 10 LGBT+ Charities or Community Initiatives 2019

In alphabetical order

This category is for a charity or community initiative that has changed or continues to change the lives of LGBT+ people.


Newly formed charity Bi Pride UK held its first event in September, attended by more than 1,300 people. This is the biggest bi-specific event which has ever happened in history. The group painted The Round Chapel in Hackney, pink, purple, blue and yellow to promote bi visibility and discussed serious issues regarding bi erasure and biphobia, as well as enjoying a great day of entertainment. Bi Pride is set to host two events in 2020 – the flagship event in September and a smaller Bi pride outside of London, and also launch Unicorn, the world’s first bi arts and culture magazine, this year.


Colours Youth Network was founded in 2015 by a group of youth workers, all people of colour and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning, who wanted to work to create services locally and nationally for young people who were both people of colour and LGBT+. The Network has already put on three national residential events for young lgbt people of colour, and has regional quarterly meet-ups where young people run workshops for their peers. The group held its first national conference Colours Youth Festival in 2018, which was attended by more than 80 young people, and was shortlisted for a National Diversity Award in 2019.


After losing friends and peers to AIDS-related illnesses, iconic musician Elton John was inspired to set up the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992. The Foundation is committed to an AIDS free future and believes in no more discrimination, no more HIV infections, no more AIDS deaths, no matter who or where you are. They fund projects for the prevention, treatment and education of HIV/AIDS and prioritise the most marginalised groups: gay men, adolescents, people who inject drugs, sex workers and transgender women. On top of this, the Foundation battles the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS; as Elton John himself said, “The AIDS disease is caused by a virus, but the AIDS epidemic is not. The AIDS epidemic is fuelled by stigma, by hate, by misinformation.” The Foundation also runs various fundraising events, including the star-studded Academy Awards Viewing Party.


Goal Diggers Football Club was set up by Fleur Cousens in 2015 because she was tired of being told that it was a man’s game. The club, which is open to women and non-binary people, aims to make football a sport for everybody and to be a supportive environment that challenges gender stereotypes and norms. The club is membership only and consists of 200 members playing as little or as often as they like. The club also offers free 40+ sessions, fully subsidised memberships and a quarterly fundraising queer club night ‘Murder on Zidane’s Floor’.


This organisation, which takes its name from the Arabic word meaning “guidance”, is a nationwide group for LGBTQI+ Muslims in the UK. It campaigns for social justice, and to defeat the stigma, taboo and discrimination faced by many in the LGBTQI+ Muslim community. Comprising practising and non-practising Muslims, Hidayah welcomes both Muslims and non-Muslim allies to its events up and down the country, aspiring to create a society free from discrimination. The group, which was the winner of LGBTQ North East’s Charity & Community Initiative Award, offers community and educational workshops and safe spaces for LGBTQI+ Muslims to socialise.


London Gaymers is a non-profit social community providing a safe space for LGBT+ gamers in London and across the UK. Established in 2012 as a social group to help LGBT+ gamers find new friends across London, the group has grown into a thriving gaymer community, with regular monthly meet-ups, online tournaments and events throughout the year. The group’s Discord channel with voice chat means that members can always find others to play with, while live events such as board game days, bowling and trampolining bring opportunities to make new friends in a real-life environment as well as online.


MindOut saves LGBTQ lives with its pioneering mental health services run by staff, volunteers and trustees who are all LGBTQ and have lived experience of mental health.  The charity provides independent, non-judgemental peer support, advocacy, mentoring, suicide-prevention and low-cost counselling in  Brighton and the South East, as well as an international online out of hours support service.  They provide training and consultancy around the UK. The registered charity’s aim is to see a world where the mental health of LGBTQ communities is a priority, to reduce the stigma around mental health issues and to promote positive mental health and wellbeing in LGBTQ communities.


The national transgender charity Sparkle was formed in 2005 and was granted registered charity status in 2011. Its aim is to promote awareness and acceptance of the transgender community, and it organises a range of events to help with that goal, the best known of which is Sparkle Weekend every July, based around Manchester’s Canal Street. This weekend, which is claimed to be the world’s largest transgender event, includes talks, workshops, stage events and stalls, supported by local businesses. Sparkle also hosts the Manchester Transgender Day of Remembrance every November to honour the victims of transphobic crime.


Working in association with Stonewall Housing and supported by the Mayor of London, The Outside Project is the first night shelter specifically for the LGBT+ community. The initiative was launched at London Pride in 2017 by a group of LGBT+ colleagues and friends working in the homeless sector who had personal experience of homelessness and were aware that many in the community were not approaching support services because of fears of prejudice and past negative experiences. The group raised funds for a 12-bed tour bus to provide emergency accommodation. In 2018 they achieved their goal of opening a year round crisis shelter and Community Centre based in a former fire station in Central London.


The Proud Trust traces its roots back to the 1970s when the Gay Youth Group met in Manchester, with a purpose-built Gay Centre created in 1988. The group’s founder, Sally Carr, received an MBE in 2012 for services to LGBT young people. In 2015 the organisation became The Proud Trust, to reflect the aspiration that every young person can be proud of their identity, without fear or shame. The Trust helps LGBT+ young people empower themselves and make a positive change in their communities through youth groups, coordinating national and regional LGBT+ youth work networks and managing the LGBT+ Centre for Manchester.