Pride in Care: The Health and Well-being of older LGBT people

National conference at University College London, 13 June 2018

We are pleased to announce a major national conference organised by Opening Doors London, Britain’s leading organisation of and for older LGBT people.

There have been substantial achievements in legislative and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older people and our visibility in health and social care has equally increased. In many cases, these changes have surpassed the ability of health and care providers to meet our needs  – and there is a body of evidence documenting concerns about the accessibility, inclusiveness and safety of services.

Achieving equality for LGBT patients and staff in health and social care will require the sector to think differently about how services are provided and managed. Fortunately, getting it right doesn’t need to have a huge impact on budgets.  This conference provides an opportunity to take stock of where we have got to in responding to the health and social care needs of older LGBT, and the new directions we need to explore.

Key Conference Themes

  • How  we personalise services to better address the health and social care needs of older LGBT people including the particular needs of older trans, bi and BAME people.
  • How we build consensus for organisational change within the NHS, Housing, Social Services etc. and across all care and support providers for the older LGBT population

Who is this conference for?

  • Organisations providing health & social care services to older people
  • Academic institutions interested in this population
  • LGBT organisations wanting to better understand the needs of older people within their communities

For more information please contact  or to book your tickets click this link – hurry, places are going fast!


Safe to Be Me: The Issues Around LGBT Ageing – An Interviw in Elder Magazine Sally Knocker

Sally Knocker is a consultant trainer with Dementia Care Matters and author of the Age UK resource Safe to Be Me, looking at the issues around LGBT ageing and offering practical advice to provide inclusive services in which people can feel safe to be themselves. She also works with Opening Doors London, running the Rainbow Memory Café, a monthly group for LGBT people affected by dementia.

Read more here:


Fundraising Quiz Night Extravaganza!

After the success of our last quiz night fundraiser in 2015, we are hosting another amazing evening. Come and join us for a great night of fun with our special guest quizmaster, the fantastic Leonard Pink, International Homosexual and Historian, toast of the club circuit. Money raised will go to supporting our wonderful Befriending Service which offers much needed support to the most isolated and lonely older members of our LGBTQ+ communities.

Tickets are only £5 and all money raised from this fun-filled quiz and raffle will go to support this invaluable service. Tickets are limited so book early to avoid disappointment or call 020 7239 0400 if you have any questions Bring your own team, join in and win prizes! Snacks, beers and wine will be available to buy on the night

Book your tickets here:


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 for more information.


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


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


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!



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