Issue 30 | Winter 2021
Opening Doors London (ODL) is the largest UK charity providing activities, events, and information and support services specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, non-binary or gender-fluid people over 50.
It’s a membership organisation providing regular social opportunities and events to help develop networks, communities, and create friendships for LGBTQ+ people, aged over 50.
ODL offers a range of specialist groups or services for members, including specialist training for statutory and voluntary organisations, such as care homes, housing associations and hospitals, to help them understand the needs of older LGBTQ+ people.
Membership is free and open to anyone who:
Members receive a monthly newsletter packed with information and listings for activities and events to help build support, social inclusion and be part of LGBTQ+ life. Members’ information will never be given to anyone else.
Opening Doors London exists to support LGBTQ+ people over 50 to live full, vibrant and respected lives free from isolation, loneliness, discrimination and prejudice.
The emergence of Covid-19 and resulting lockdown meant that ODL had to adjust and reconfigure the vital services it provides to over 2,000+ members. The changes included recalibrating all its services, including moving from a face-to-face befriending service to a telephone one-to-one befriending service; suspending over 40 monthly social activities and moving some of them onto Zoom; moving specialist support groups online and providing additional support via email and phone; sending out information by post; and sourcing information and communications technology for several members.
The Covid crisis has had a negative effect on the health and psychological wellbeing of many older LGBTQ+ people. Opening Doors London found in a series of online and telephone calls to its members that many of them were experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation.
ODL is there to let LGBTQ+ people over 50 know they are not alone.