After 22 years and having supported hundreds of individuals within the LGBT+ community the Trustees of Brighton and Hove LGBT Switchboard have made the difficult decision to close the counselling service.

Dawn Draper, Chair of Brighton and Hove LGBT Switchboard said, “This has been a very difficult decision for the Trustees to make. The service is highly valued, with referrals regularly exceeding our capacity, so it is clear the community continues to value LGBT+ specific counselling.  However recent funding cuts required us to review the service and concluded that we are no longer the right organisation to provide these services going forward.  We will be approaching other local counselling organisations to find a continuing place for our network of skilled LGBT+ counsellors, and for those clients we have yet to be able to support.

LGBT Switchboard’s CEO Daniel Cheesman said: “We are sad to see the counselling service close, and we would like to say thank you to all of our counsellors past and present, who have volunteered their time to support hundreds of individuals. We would also like to acknowledge those who have supported the counselling service over the last 22 years including those who have funded the project as well as supported and promoted it.

“Looking forward, we will be reviewing and refocusing on Switchboard’s core services. Our role to listen, connect and support is as important as ever, and we have exciting plans to develop services including our helpline, our online presence and our community engagement work, including the Health & Inclusion Project (HIP) and the Older Person’s Project, in ways that will ensure we maximise our reach and benefit for the LGBT+ communities of Brighton & Hove.”

“Any referrals to the counselling service dated after the 1st April will not be taken, but all current counselling clients will have their counselling sessions completed meaning that the service will finally close in June 2017.  During that time, Switchboard will be working with other counselling providers in the area to identify possible opportunities for the trained LGBT+ counsellors in our existing network, and for the continued provision of LGBT+ specific counselling in Brighton & Hove.”