Britain to open first LGBT retirement home

Buzzfeed have reported on an “unashamedly ambitious” project, which could see the opening of the UK’s first LGBT retirement home in the next three years.

The reported “iconic architectural design” will follow the footsteps of Sweden, Germany and the US, which already have retirement homes dedicated to gay people.

The organisation behind the project, Tonic Housing, is currently searching to secure a site for the venue. Reports have claimed that the home will open in either London or Brighton.

Tonic Housing’s James Greenshields told Buzzfeed: “If you don’t have your own children, and if you have fractured family relationships, which is a possibility, then you would not have the support networks that many older people count on.”

He added: “I thought, ‘What would happen to me?’ And then, ‘Well, what is there in the UK?’ I was really taken aback that although there are organisations for older LGBT people, in terms of care homes there is nothing at all. It was a shock. The need and the demand is out there.”

“We want there to be a sense of it being an LGBT community hub, regardless of age, so it would be a space where people would come because there might be a film club, exhibitions or activities that would appeal to the LGBT community.”

The blueprints shows the venue hopes to include a rooftop bar, a cafe, stages and exhibition rooms.

James went on to say: “In the Berlin one, they had a restaurant and bar with a cabaret corner and a stage, so we’d hope to engage residents while also making it of interest to the wider LGBT community so people would come to see a good show.”

James explained how the venue will welcome heterosexual residents too, but will retain a 51% gay residency.

The idea come following a push for tolerance, safety and happiness for older gay men and women.

A recent study conducted by Stonewall and YouGov, found that a quarter of health and social care staff had heard their colleagues make homophobic remarks in the last five years.

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