please note these pages are in the process of being updated
Mentoring and befriending
Both mentoring and befriending are one-to-one, non-judgemental activities meeting once a week or once a fortnight. Mentoring is largely task-focused and time limited. Befriending is more informal and offers the young person a friendly ear. All our volunteers for these roles are trained in both mentoring and befriending so as to be flexible your needs.
Mentoring might be able to help a young person, for example: Fill in the forms for college, apply for a job, budget, access LGBT social groups, help build support networks
Befriending might be able to help a young person, for example: with coming out, deal with bullying, with feelings of isolation.
As our mentors and befrienders identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans, they are often role models for young people coming out or coming to terms with their identity.
Support for Victims of Crime
We can provide confidential advice and advocacy for people who have experienced homophobic or trans phobic hate crime or violence in the greater London area. The young person may remain anonymous if they wish. We can advise on the law and your rights and give you advice on immediate and practical steps you can take to deal with LGBT hate crime you may be experiencing.
If you have already reported an incident to the police or another organization and are unhappy with their response or feel you need further assistance, we can liaise for you to try and resolve the situation.
If you have experienced or know of any anti-LGBT hate crime or incident but do not feel able to report this directly to the police, we can do this for you and act as an intermediary if you want the incident to be investigated further. You can remain anonymous if you wish, although if you want us to liaise with the police on your behalf we will need to be able to contact you.
If you have received injuries as a result of a violent homophobic or trans phobic hate crime, we can advise you and assist with the process of applying for and claiming financial compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation system.
Many London boroughs now have dedicated or part-time LGBT Liaison Officers who can be more sympathetic if you experienced a homophobic or transphobic incident. We can put you in touch with the appropriate officer in your area or liaise with them on your behalf. If you need further legal help we can also give you details of solicitors or other legal representatives who specialise or regularly take LGBT cases.
The Metropolitan Police now have a comprehensive policy to ensure that they provide a fair and unbiased service to anyone who experiences hate-crime in London. If you do not feel that you have received correct treatment from the police, we can tell you the minimum standards of service you can expect and help you to make a formal complaint if this is appropriate.
We can help you find the support that you need, whether that’s assistance with reporting a crime or helping you to feel safer where you live. We can work with you to contact the Havens (sexual assault referral centres), to find counsellors trained in sexual abuse issues, or to reach other groups that might be able to help you. We can help you communicate with the police and can answer your questions about the law, policing and LGBT rights.
Mental Health Advocacy Service
The Mental Health Advocacy Service provides practical support enabling individuals with mental health issues or in emotional distress to make informed choices, to represent themselves and to obtain services they may need
We can support clients with issues such as: Health needs, care & treatment issues, mental health act tribunals, making complaints, obtaining services, support on ward rounds We can assist to write letters, make phone calls, attend meetings and find appropriate support organisations. Appointments with our advocate are an opportunity to talk about the issues that concern you and get support in prioritising and making practical, informed decisions.
What is and advocate can do: spend time with you to get to know your views and wishes, Help you to get what you want from the system, provide information on
available resources, support you to represent yourself be on your side.
An advocate cannot: Offer you advice, or tell you what they think you should do, make decisions about what they think is in your best interest, talk to anyone about you without your permission, withhold information from you, speak for you unless you ask them to.