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Helping older people cope with isolation

December 11, 2013

Through Investing In Communities we strive to support communities and families in greatest need. Often this means helping people facing isolation and loneliness. Earlier this month we awarded £421,964 to the LGBT Age Scotland project from the LGBT Healthy Living Centre to help them to expand a groundbreaking project working with older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Lothian and Glasgow.

Their service means there is now more support for the LGBT community aged over 50, an often an overlooked minority, who have lived a great part of their life in less liberal times.

Trish is a lesbian in her late 60’s who was referred to the LGBT Age Scotland for befriending following the death of her same-sex partner. Here Trish talks about the difference it has made.

Trish said: “Befriending is so needed. When my partner was alive we were so insular, we didn’t need anyone else so when she died I was suddenly alone, completely isolated. I had family and some friends but it wasn’t the same and I couldn’t speak about my partner with them or about intimate things, they just didn’t want to hear it because we were a lesbian couple.

“Meeting with a befriender can be a lifeline. I met someone likeminded and could talk about my partner and being a lesbian and that was accepted. This service really needs to exist. Partly the difference has been time, the grieving process doesn’t stop but with time I get a little better. Having this space to be able to talk about her and have somebody care has been essential, we’ve had lots of laughs too.”

LGBT Rainbow Flag

LGBT Health and Wellbeing Director, Maruska Greenwood, added: “The LGBT Age Scotland project provides one-to-one support, information and safe and a welcoming social space where individuals can be themselves without fear of prejudice or discrimination. The project supports individuals to maintain their independence, and build the natural supports in their lives.”

“This award from the BIG Lottery Fund is fantastic news as it allows us to continue our service in Lothian and roll this out to the Glasgow area, where there are currently no targeted services for this section of the community.”

For more information on awards made recently from Big Lottery Fund Scotland go to www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/scotland

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