The Bevy Responds to Local Need with LGBTQ Events

The Bevy — a community run pub in East Brighton — door-knocked their neighbourhood in 2019 to identify gaps in their outreach in the community. One of these gaps was the lack of specific provision for LGBTQ residents. Subsequently, a Switchboard report on the impact of Covid-19 on LGBTQ communities highlighted that residents all over the city suffered from increased isolation and lack of safe spaces to be with other community members.

With these findings in mind, a first get-together in the summer was held at the Bevy with local LGBTQ people to develop a programme of inclusive activities at the Bevy. The aim was to create a safe, welcoming and inclusive space and events where people can meet, develop peer-to-peer support, increase mental health and wellbeing and be signposted to LGBTQ affirmative services, such as Switchboard and MindOut.

“We used to go out more, see shows and meet others, but that wasn’t possible in the last years. To have something to do and a place to go to in Moulsecoomb would be great.”

LGBTQ resident attending planning group

In September, a community-run quiz night invited LGBTQ people into the Bevy to come together for the first time to socialise and have fun. Host Betty Swollocks, a well-known local drag queen, entertained the crowd of more than 60 people, amongst those regular Bevy customers, friends and allies from the area and – most importantly – new faces from the local and city-wide LGBTQ community.

The Bevy’s staff has seen an increase in younger LGBTQ people visiting the pub since displaying pride flags at the venue and advertising the quiz night. With support from the Bevy community’s team and TDC, LGBTQ residents successfully applied for funding to run further mental health and social events, bringing community members together to create cohesion and more understanding and awareness through Saturday brunch sessions and a Bingo night over the winter months.

“We are keen to be part of the activities and providing LGBTQ awareness training at the Bevy as part of our outreach and goal to create more safe spaces across the city. It is also lots of fun bringing people together after the pandemic who have struggled with isolation.”

Jane Woodhull, LGBT Switchboard.

If you are interested in upcoming LGBTQ events at the Bevy, please join the email list by contacting [email protected].

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