No 1, Canal Street and loads more news!


Happy Birthday, Owen on 13th July

Meet up – 8 July 2020

Sixteen of us met at No 1, Canal Street for food, drinks and a really nice afternoon. We had planned to sit outside but it was rather cold, so we moved inside.

We had four tables in order to follow social distancing rules. The procedure is that names and telephone contacts are taken on arrival and table service is provided. There is no queueing at the bar.

There are more photos here

We will meet again at No 1, Canal St, Manchester M1 3HE on Wednesday, 22 July from 1.00pm to 3.00pm … put the date in your diary now!


Church House

The Senior Staff at Church House have made the decision that there will be no external meetings held until January 2021 and that will depend on whether a second spike happens.

This news is a real blow to us … but in the meantime we will arrange meetings in pubs and outside when the weather permits.


The press release from the LGBT Foundation:

LGBT Foundation Says Goodbye to 5 Richmond Street and Hello to New Possibilities…

We have made the bold decision to say goodbye to our Community Centre at 5 Richmond Street in Manchester, as we embark upon another exciting stage of our journey in our 45-year history. This decision, which wasn’t taken lightly, will allow us to invest in further innovation of our vital and lifesaving work, and allow us to further support you our magnificent staff and volunteer team who deliver these services every day of the year.

In the last decade, we have evolved significantly as a charity. We have changed our name and our approach to become fully trans and bi inclusive, have expanded our delivery beyond Greater Manchester into other parts of the country, and in the last few months, have successfully shown that services can be delivered remotely.

We are extremely proud of our history and legacy in Manchester’s amazing Gay Village, one of the few remaining large LGBT quarters in the UK. We would not be where we are today without our space in the heart of the city, which has allowed many to find a safe refuge and a place where they can truly be themselves, often for the first time in their lives.

However, it has become clear that we are outgrowing our current building. Our staff numbers have increased, our volunteer base continues to grow, and the diversity and sheer number of services we offer has expanded.

In March, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we decided to take the then difficult decision to move nearly all our services online, a week before the Government announced its lockdown measures. Although this brought its own challenges, we have been overwhelmed by the positive reaction of our communities, our funders and all our stakeholders who have been so supportive.

Not only have we been able to support our existing service users we have also been able to support people who would never have been able to come to our physical space, whether for fear of being seen entering an identifiable LGBT space, or simply because public transport was not accessible or affordable to them.

Demand for our services continues to increase. Since lockdown many more people are using our services than ever before; more people are calling our helpline each day, with everyone seeking support on coming out, reporting a hate crime, getting support with challenges in their lives or simply reaching out due to isolation.

Our staff and volunteers have adapted incredibly to remote working, moving counselling and support group sessions online, posting out HIV testing kits and health resources, developing an online training academy and introducing a new telephone befriending service for the most isolated in our communities. We are immensely proud of their commitment and their tenacity in making this happen so smoothly and so quickly.

We know that this has been a very difficult time for many charities, but we have continued to deliver the majority of our services throughout the pandemic and with the needs of LGBT people increasing we know that LGBT Foundation has a vital role to play in the months and years ahead of us.

Although some organisations are beginning to return to their offices, no one can have certainty in what happens next. The decision not to renew our current lease, which finished in June, comes after a period of reflection on how we can best serve LGBT people who need us now, and in the future. We want to assure our communities that this does not mean access to LGBT spaces is being lost – quite the opposite, in fact. This is a chance for us to invest in the future and to be there for even more people who need us.

We are already exploring how we can expand our remote offer with an online Community Hub that is open to all. This will include engagement and support for those who face digital exclusion, and we are looking at different physical spaces in Manchester’s Gay Village and other locations across Greater Manchester where we can safely deliver face-to-face services.  In fact, it is our intention to take our services to where people live, work and socialise and ensure we reach even more people than ever before.

We want to collaborate with new and existing partners to find spaces in other community centres where we can deliver services across Greater Manchester and beyond. We are particularly interested in talking to organisations who want to consider sharing space and partnering with us to deliver services to LGBT people in new and innovative ways in the widest range of geographical locations.

At the heart of this decision is our commitment to serving our communities in the best way possible. We want to help more people in crisis, to increase the confidence and wellbeing of LGBT people, and to create a stronger movement for LGBT equality – something that feels even more fragile and precarious at the moment than in the previous five years.

If you want to explore possibilities with us, have some space to offer or just want to have a chat about what we will be doing next we would very much welcome you getting in touch with us and joining us in our exciting new chapter.

Stay safe and stay in touch, and I look very much to hearing from you,

With all very best wishes,
Paul Martin OBE
Chief Executive

Invisible Women

The story of the lesbian pioneers who formed the Northern branch of the GLF and put women’s rights on the agenda.

Angela and Luchia started the first Gay Liberation Front group in Manchester in 1971, at the same time as moving into the Manchester Women’s Liberation Centre, where they lived for 5 years. This centre was the hub for dozens of WLM groups, including many consciousness raising local groups. It was also the springboard for Manchester Women’s Aid, Rape Crisis, Amazon Women’s Press and the Northern Women’s Liberation Rock Band.

They were also active in starting Lesbian groups and in the fight against Clause 28. Their activism continues to this day, in the area of the rights of and housing for the older LGBTQ+ community, climate change, documenting the stories of other veteran feminists, and generally fighting the good fight, as grumpy old women! Watch the video with this link:


LGBT Foundation Housing Survey

We have previously posted about the LGBT Housing Survey. So far they have received over 150 responses but they are aiming for double that number by the time it closes on 31st July. 

They are currently in need of more responses from people of colour and those who identify as bisexual, and on balance a lot more men have replied to the survey so they need more entries from women to balance that out! Click on the link to complete the housing survey

Silver Pride – 25 to 26 July 2020 (online)

This is a virtual event and free to attend – but you can make a donation if you are able (suggested £7.95).

Join Friends of Dorothy, LGBT+ celebrities and friends for the inaugural Silver Pride UK; a culturally diverse and enriching programme of live performances, masterclasses and events to champion social inclusion and ensure elderly LGBT+ people are socially connected, celebrated and recognised for their contributions to culture and society. Everyone welcome!


One thought on “No 1, Canal Street and loads more news!

  1. Sorry to be a kill joy but the rules say that only people from TWO households can meet together in a pub. The social distance is 1 meter plus. The plus means that people should sit side to side or back to back and not face to face. The photos suggest that these rules are not being adhered to.The more they are ignored the more likely it is that there will be a second spike.


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