Rainbow steps and donations for Just Like Us
We’re doing Pride 2021 differently this year. With Black Pride taking place on 2nd-4th July and the Pride In London parade and weekend now happening on 11 September, we’re kicking off Pride season and showing our support for the LGBQT+ community via show-stopping rainbow installations and fundraising for the LGBT+ youth charity Just Like Us via contactless donation points.
Read on to discover what’s happening along with useful contacts and information on how you can celebrate, donate to and raise awareness for LGBTQ+ communities.
Paddington Central’s rainbow steps
Paddington Central’s grand amphitheatre steps have been transformed into a brightly coloured rainbow featuring words promoting inclusivity such as ‘respect’ and ‘equality’. People looking to support Pride season in a positive and open environment can experience these installations throughout the summer while soaking up the sun.
Support Just Like Us
We’re partnering with Just Like Us, the LGBT+ charity for young people. Founded five years ago, Just Like Us works to empower young people to champion LGBT+ equality and to spread the message that being LGBT+ is something to be celebrated. Devastatingly, LGBT+ young people are more than twice as likely to be worrying daily about their mental health and one in four is currently experiencing daily tensions in the place they are living (Just Like Us, 2021).
These experiences can have a life-long negative impact and teachers and peers are rarely equipped with the information they need to support them. Almost half of secondary school pupils say they have had little to zero positive messaging about being LGBT+ in the last year (Just Like Us, 2021).
Paddington Central (alongside sister neighbourhoods Broadgate and Regent’s Place) is determined to raise awareness of these issues by supporting and raising funds for Just Like Us and the incredible work they do in London and across the UK.
Visitors have the opportunity to donate to Just Like Us through contactless donations via a Giving Box which will be located next to the rainbow installations. You can also donate direct on Just Like Us.
Find out about BL Pride Alliance
The BL Pride Alliance is a wider network of British Land employees, who are both LGBT+ identifiers and their allies. This Alliance has grown to include over 50% of the company. By joining the Alliance, each person shows their support for diversity at British Land and within our communities, working together to create an environment that welcomes and respects LGBT+ individuals. By living our company value ‘Bring your whole self’, we empower others to do the same.
Stay in touch with your support systems
It’s important to stay in contact with people who can offer support outside of the home – taking time to keep in touch with friends and loved ones either in person (being mindful of social distancing guidelines) or over video calls, is vital. Joining an online LGBTQ+ group can improve support systems. Below are a few options:
- Stonewall has compiled a list of QTIPOC organisations
- MindOut is an online support charity for LGBTQ people facing mental health issues
- Terrence Higgins Trust is the leading HIV charity in the UK and has produced Coronavirus-specific advice for people living with HIV
- Regard is a national charity for LGBTQ people with disabilities
- Live Through This support LGBTQ+ people living with cancer and have online peer support services
- Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK is a network of local mutual aid groups supporting communities to look out for one another. Several areas, including London, have LGBTQ+ specific mutual aid groups
- Albert Kennedy Trust supports LGBTQ+ people aged 16-25 who are facing or experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environment
- Galop, the LGBT+ anti-violence charity has put together a pack to support transgender people
If you are feeling alone or need to speak to someone the below resources are available to you.
- LGBT+ Switchboard helpline. Open 10am to 10pm daily. Telephone 0300 330 0630
- Galop LGBT+ anti-violence helpline. Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm. Telephone 0800 999 5428
- Kooth.com can providing online mental health and wellbeing support for any young people (11-18) affected in your family
- Samaritans have a 24/7 helpline. Telephone 116 123
Heading to Paddington Central? Plan your visit.