Scotland to shut gay counselling service on New Years Day

Scotland's pioneering and only LGBT dedicated counselling service is to close after 35 years of service due to funding cuts

Scotland to shut gay counselling service on New Years Day
25 December 2012

The Strathclyde Gay and Lesbian Switchboard (SGLS) which was set up on Union Street, Glasgow, in 1977, will shut on Scotland’s Hogmanay (New Years Day).

The charity said its major contributor, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, cut funding two years ago leaving SGLS surviving on savings since.

Another health board recently also scrapped its funding.

The service provides information, advice, arranges support meetings and one-to-one communication for the region’s LGBT community.

It also runs an additional lesbian and transgender help lines, and runs a social support group called ‘icebreakers’.

SGLS co-ordinator director David Thomas told the Glasgow Herald: ‘Changing times, improvements in health promotion, the application of equality duties due to legislation changes and some shrinkage in funding meant all funders had to ensure they targeted their funds at those services which can have maximum impact on the health area being tackled.

‘In the case of Glasgow our type of support service is viewed as covered by the in house counselling service delivered by professional counsellors’.

The pioneering service helped people with coming out during the 70s, and counselled many issues as safer sex and HIV when the subject was a taboo.

It also counselled callers on issues of homophobia, particularly during the campaign against repealing Section 28 in Scotland.

In a statement, the SCLS said: ‘With homophobia, bullying and discrimination still highly prevalent, it’s clear why a service such as SGLS is needed.’

The service will shut on the 1 January 2013.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Labour hosts faith group summit to support gay marriage

The Labour Party has warned the UK government not to ignore gay marriage at a meeting of faith groups backing the cause
No thumbnail available

Children of gay parents are thriving, family experts say

British gay couples are being urged to consider fostering or adoption as a new study shows they make great parents
No thumbnail available

Gay couple forced to the back of a bus for holding hands

An airport shuttle bus driver in Albuquerque, New Mexico, told a gay couple holding hands ‘if you’re going to do that, you’re going to the back of the bus’
Throw gays off a mountain imams to speak at London conference

Throw gays off a mountain imams to speak at London conference

One preacher attending Beloved to Allah incited Muslim dentists to punish gays by stabbing them in the gums with a ‘big, big needle’
No thumbnail available

Minnesota House of Reps passes gay marriage bill in 75-59 vote

If also passed by the senate,  Minnesota would become first legislature in Midwest to pass marriage equality
No thumbnail available

Credit Suisse launches LGBT equality index for Wall Street

International financial services group Credit Suisse has launched a financial performance index of US companies that support and promote LGBT rights
No thumbnail available

Germany’s openly gay foreign minister loses seat and job

Guido Westerwelle, Germany’s first openly gay Foreign Minister, has failed to retain his seat in parliament, forcing him out of that role
No thumbnail available

Iran internet turn-off threatens gays

New level of isolation and danger for LGBT Iranians as authorities prepare to switch off world web access
No thumbnail available

AIDS documentary How to Survive a Plague to be made into a TV miniseries

ABC buys rights to Oscar nominated film about activists who fought against disease and government red tape and apathy
No thumbnail available

Gay Australians in civil unions have less divorces than married straight couples

Just over 1 percent of same-sex civil unions have been dissolved in the six years that they have been available to gay couples in the Australian Capital Territory