Pride Month is a time for communities worldwide to come together and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, recognising their rights and vibrant contributions to society. In this spirit of inclusivity, The Abbeyfield Society stands as a beacon of support, actively embracing diversity and, creating warm and welcoming environments for our residents and staff.

What is Pride Month?

Pride Month, celebrated in June is a time when people come together to honour the history, achievements, and ongoing struggles of LGBTQ+ individuals, and to promote inclusivity, acceptance, and equality for all sexual orientations and gender identities.

The origins of Pride Month can be traced back to the Stonewall Riots of June 1969 in New York City. Since then, Pride Month has evolved into an annual celebration that takes various forms worldwide. It includes parades, festivals, marches, art exhibitions, and community events that bring together LGBTQ+ individuals, and organisations, and those who support them, fostering unity and pride. The month is marked by vibrant displays of LGBTQ+ pride, with the rainbow flag, a symbol of LGBTQ+ unity and diversity, prominently displayed.

The Rainbow Flag

The pride flag was created in the 1970s by gay activist Gilbert Baker. The flag colours have changed over the years, a new Progress Flag created in 2018 offers an even more inclusive design. Each colour has its own representation:

  • Red represents life, signifying the colour of blood, the vital part of our bodies.
  • Orange represents healing, a fun celebratory colour.
  • Yellow represents sunlight which is radiant.
  • Green represents nature which is a healing place.
  • Indigo/blue represents serenity and calmness.
  • Violet represents spirit which is calming and spiritual.

The new colours of the flag:

  • Black and brown represent people of colour
  • Pink, baby blue and white represents transgender people

Where can I find support?

Two notable charities; Stonewall Housing and Opening Doors play crucial roles in providing housing support and promoting the well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals.

Stonewall Housing:

Stonewall Housing, is a leading UK charity that specialises in providing housing support for LGBTQ+ people of all ages, including older LGBTQ+ adults who may face unique housing challenges due to their life experiences. They offer a range of services and support to LGBTQ+ individuals, including housing advice, assistance with finding suitable accommodation, advocacy, and support for those facing homelessness or housing instability.

If you or someone you know is in need of housing support, Stonewall Housing provides various ways to get in touch:

  • Call their housing advice line, which operates every weekday from 10:00 to 13:00, at 0800 6404 404.
  • Submit a referral through their online referral form.

Drop-in housing advice sessions are also available at the following locations:

London Friend Drop-in:

Every Friday: 14:00 - 15:30

Venue: London Friend, 86 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DN

Tonic Housing Drop-in: 

Every other Tuesday (from 5th July 22): 14:00 - 15:00

Venue: 20 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TJ

Opening Doors

Opening Doors is a national charity in the UK that focuses on supporting LGBTQ+ people over 50, helping them live full, vibrant, and respected lives free from isolation, loneliness, discrimination, and prejudice. They provide a range of services and activities to support the well-being and social inclusion of older LGBTQ+ individuals. This includes befriending programmes, where volunteers provide companionship and support to isolated individuals, as well as social and community activities that promote connection and a sense of belonging.

Opening Doors has many aims, one of which is to reduce the social isolation and loneliness of LGBTQ+ people over 50. To achieve this they have many events going on throughout the year, including Friday Coffee Social, Hackney Art Group and Sunday Lunch Club. To find out more about these events and many others available, you can visit their website.

Opening Doors can be contacted via the following methods:

  • Phone: 0207 183 6260
  • Write: Opening Doors, Unit 4.5 Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA
  • or you can send an enquiry via their website.

Additional LGBTQ+ support services:

For more LGBTQ+ support services, specifically for those over 50, consider reaching out to the following organisations:

Age UK advice line: 0800 678 1602, or visit their website for advice for older people, their carers, family and friends.

Age UK's LGBT groups: Visit their website and enter your postcode to find LGBTQ+ support services in your area for those over 50.

London Friend: Explore their support groups for the LGBTQ+ community and specific groups for those over 50.

GALOP: Visit their website for support regarding domestic abuse or other crimes against LGBTQ+ people.

Switchboard: Contact their helpline on 0300 330 0630 or visit their website for support, including emotional assistance, for LGBTQ+ individuals.

LGBT Foundation: For support and advice regarding domestic abuse faced by LGBTQ+ people.

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Everyone is welcome at an Abbeyfield retirement home. Wherever you find us, you'll find we're warm, open and friendly. Abbeyfield is more than just a retirement home, it's a neighbourhood, a community, a family.

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