LGBTQ+ refugees, asylum seekers and migrants invited to first IRIS event

Switchboard has teamed up with fellow Brighton-based charity Conversation Over Borders (COB) to start a new service for LGBTQ refugees, asylum seekers and migrants – and are inviting people to its free first event.

The new service is IRIS, which stands for International Rainbow Inclusion Service. It offers friendly, discreet, weekly social groups and one-to-one social prescribing support.

Raf Galdeano, Switchboard’s Casework and Client Services Manager, said: “The aim of the service is to provide much-needed support to LGBTQ people who are newcomers to the UK.

“We are keen to do everything we can to help them adjust to new surroundings which may feel intimidating and difficult to navigate.”

Colette Batten-Turner, Founding Executive Director of Conversation Over Borders, said: “I invite LGBTQ newcomers, including people who are questioning their sexuality and/or gender identity, to contact IRIS.

“We look forward to giving them a very warm welcome and as much support as we can to help them feel at home in their new surroundings.”

IRIS is inviting LGBTQ newcomers and professionals who work with them to attend a cooking session from 11am to 2pm on Monday 11 December at Community Base, 113 Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XG.

During the event, instructors from Brighton and Hove Food Partnership will help attendees cook chana masala curry, coconut dhal, and turmeric and caraway seed rice. Everyone will then eat the food they’ve prepared.

The session will provide an opportunity to socialise and discuss how to develop the new service.

All ingredients will be provided.

Attendees with access requirements, allergies or intolerances are invited to contact Reuben Davidson by emailing [email protected]

Tickets can be reserved here.

For further information about IRIS, please contact Reuben via the email address mentioned above.