Back in 2018, Time Out writer Alim Kheraj reported on a group of Londoners who were crowdfunding to open an LGBTQ+ community centre in the city. The campaigners argued that such a space would help change the capital for the better.
It would be a space where queer art could flourish, despite nightlife venues shutting down. It would be a booze-free place where people could find community without drinking. It would help out struggling teenagers and homeless people around the city. It would be truly inclusive. It would be the kind of place that London so obviously needs that many of us might have assumed already existed here.
Londoners (including many Time Out readers) got behind the campaign. The group smashed its fundraising goal. Now the centre is beginning to become a reality. The group announced on Twitter on Tuesday (November 2) that it’s opening a six-month pop-up centre and café in central London from December. It will be a pilot for a permanent centre.
The group posted on the social platform: ‘Our mission is simple: to provide a comfortable, welcoming space where the LGBTQ+ community can feel safe, relax, enjoy a warm drink, come to events and workshops and receive services from our partner orgs. We are a much-needed sober space, and our programming will reflect this. We are offering our space to community groups, individuals, charities and organisations to get involved and be part of our programming.’
Organisers say that if you run an LGBTQ+ community group that’s looking for a space to put on a social or workshop, you can contact them via email@example.com. They add that they’re recruiting for two paid roles – a pop-up centre manager and a pop-up centre assistant manager – as well as looking for volunteers to help run the space.
We’re looking forward to seeing this idea become a reality.
You can set up a monthly direct debit to support the centre here.
Read our original piece on the LGBTQ+ Community Centre from 2018.