ODL Members’ Christmas Party is on the afternoon of Monday 4 December . We are again being very kindly hosted by our friends at The Breakfast Club, Canary Wharf – Limited places – Book your place here.

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The next ODL Fundraiser: is on Friday 8th December 2017

We are so so excited for THE Nadine Benjamin to perform for an exclusive ODL fundraising concert at St. Saviour’s Church, Eton Road, NW3 4SU early bird tickets £10, standard tickets £20. Book here. Celebrated and renowned soprano Nadine Benjamin will be in concert at this special fundraiser for Opening Doors London (ODL), a charity that supports older members of the LGBT community.
Nadine will be performing popular arias by Puccini, Verdi and Mozart, including Mi chiamano Mimì and Quando m’en vo from Puccini’s La Bohème.

Refreshments will be available: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nadine-benjamin-in-concert-tickets-39476711908

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Thursday 14 December Carol Concert for Opening Doors London members at St Anne’s Church, Soho. Book your place here. – come along and sign your favourite carols and have a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie with the ODL family!

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Opening Doors expands to Southwark – join us and have your say
We are delighted that we have received funding to develop our work in Southwark. We will be delivering training to housing providers, promoting the Befriending Service, and developing new activities for members.

To make the most of this new opportunity we want to hear from people living in and around the borough of Southwark who are interested in getting involved to setup a new activity or group for older LGBT people. Register here or email Juliet.Chard@openingdoorslondon.org.uk for more information.

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Support Group for gay and bi men affected by Prostate Cancer
ODL is working with Prostate Cancer UK to provide a virtual support group for gay and bi men affected by Prostate Cancer. Our first meeting took place in October. Ben, our facilitator commented: ‘For me it highlighted each persons unique reaction to being diagnosed and the effects on their lives. It also reminded me how much more work we have to do in the NHS to improve our attitudes and understanding of the needs of gay and bisexual men. As each man’s story unfolded there was a true sense of comradery and despite the odds we are all in this together’. For more information contact ann.innes@prostatecanceruk.org.

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Our Rainbow Memory Café facilitated by Sally Knocker appears to have taken off well, with Sally saying “We couldn’t have wished for a more lovely group of gay men and women talking about how dementia impacts on their lives. A real sense of sharing our stories too from LGBT* venues in London which have come and gone, early Pride marches and coming out [or not] to our family and friends”.

This really validates the need for a separate and safe place for us to feel safe to be ourselves. It really needs more funding to enable us to offer transport, do more publicity and keep it going beyond 6 months pilot – so if you are able to help in any way, please let us know. And in the meantime, please promote … and come along!

The group will develop based on what members want, but will include time to share, tea and cake, information talks and some social activities. The group runs on the second Monday of each month. For more information and to register your interest please email sally.knocker@openingdoorslondon.org.uk.

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Our first birthday party!
Friday 21st July Opening Doors London hosted a fantastic event at NBC Universal’s Skyline venue raising over £8000.

More than 150 of our supporters joined us to celebrate our first birthday and 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act. We also had performances from the Gay Men’s Dance Company and the Barberfellas and an auction with top prizes including an LBGT* tour for up to six people with Baroness Liz Barker around the Houses of Parliament, followed by a cup of tea in the HoP cafe.

The money raised will help us to continue supporting the older LGBT* community.

Following the event we received the following quotes:

“It was such a lovely evening. Looking around at all the joyful faces and seeing our members boogeying on down with such happiness!”

“Celebrating one year of Opening Doors London with the amazing team of volunteers and those who benefit from their service was amazing. The speeches and anecdotes were moving and the performances were fantastic!”

“The work that ODL do is invaluable. Older members of the LGBTQ+ community are some of the most vulnerable and in need of not just mental and physical support but also human to human connection and friendship. I think a nationwide service like that of ODL is definitely needed.”

Watch out for news of our second birthday next year!

We also had a Media Event prior to the party where a number of members were interviewed by the press:

“Not only was it an enjoyable evening but I felt it brought together young and old to celebrate the 50th anniversary, which in my view is so important to remember because of the horrific things that took place pre 1967 and in the years that followed. Thinking back, because I internalised everything and didn’t publicly show my sexuality, I was not a
target of the legal system or social attitudes at the time but I knew people who were. Even now, I find it emotional to talk about those days and it’s only in recent years that I’ve been able to talk about them openly so I found the interviews very liberating. I certainly wouldn’t have felt able to do such interviews ten years ago, so for me, the event was not only a great celebration but also very useful.”

Press coverage included:
Gay Star News

The Gay UK

Thanks to all members who took part!

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Run a half marathon for ODL!

Want nut cracking thighs, to see central London like you’ve never seen before and to feel a warm fuzzy feeling that you’re helping a great charity? Then run in the Royal Parks Half Marathon for Opening Doors London (ODL)!

The charity, which supports older members of the LGBT community, has three places up for grabs in this fantastic event, which takes place on Sunday October 8.

The 13.1 mile race begins in Hyde Park, goes through Green Park and St James’ Park and finishes in Kensington Gardens. Along the way it takes in such iconic landmarks as the Houses of Parliament, the Strand, the church St Mary Trafalgar Square and through Admiralty Arch. It’s a stunning route and completely free of traffic. You can see a link to it here.
Runners are asked to raise a minimum of £1,000, including Gift Aid. ODL will support your all the way and help you fundraise with regular posts across our social media.

For more details contact Suzy Barber on suzy.barber@openingdoorslondon.org.uk