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Rock band donation helps fund London LGBTQ+ community centre

Rock band donation helps fund London LGBTQ+ community centre

London looks set to get its first LGBTQ+ community centre after a crowdfunding campaign to raise £50,000 beat its target.

New community centre will offer range of services to LGBTQ+ members. Photo: Eivind Hansen Photography

The fundraiser, which still has days left to run, was given a surprise boost when British rock band, The 1975, made a sizeable contribution to the campaign.

‘When a friend of mine sent me the link, I was quite surprised that such a good idea had not yet raised enough to get over the threshold,’ The band’s frontman, Matthew Healy, told The Observer newspaper.

‘You might wonder why it is needed, and even ask yourself what exactly is everyone still scared of, but sadly, I think stigma still exists even in London and we still have some way to go.’

The generous donation surprised the campaigners behind the project.

‘We had about £8,000 in our bank account yesterday. And then today, something magical happened – a generous donor transferred us £16,000.’ The organisers wrote on their Crowdfunder page.

Community centre target now raised to £75,000

So far, the campaign has raised £60,000. With three days still to go before the fundraiser ends, that figure is set to rise further.

Only a week ago the campaign had only raised about half the original £50,000 target. Organisers have now added a stretch target to the campaign, following the boost.

‘We want to finish this Crowdfunder with £100,000. To get there, we’re going to stretch our target to £75,000’, the group said.

Georgia Whitaker, who works for the Green Party, is a volunteer rep on the project. She said that reaching the target so soon showed just how much London needs an LGBTQ+ community centre.

‘If we get the stretch target it means that our volunteer team can spend the next few months focussing on the operation and the fit out of the centre to bring this to life.’

New centre will be a ‘safe’ space for LGBTQ+ members

Campaigners said they aim to create a ‘safe and secure’ space for LGBTQ+ members. If successful, it will be the first centre of its kind since a similar one was closed in the 1990s.

Photo: Eivind Hansen Photography

No site has been chosen yet for the London centre. However, a cafe, workspace and events facility, as well as offices, counselling rooms and outdoor space are all envisioned.

The group thanked everyone who has donated to the initiative. ‘Every donation, whether £1 or £1,000+, is going to change the lives of LGBTQ+ people today and for generations to come.’

Cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Berlin have dedicated community centres to cater for the needs of LGBTQ people of all ages and backgrounds.

The campaign to raise funds for the new community centre ends on 13 June.