Switchboard is the recipient of the GAY TIMES Honour for British Community Trailblazer.
The lifeline service has provided vital support and signposting help to the LGBTQIA+ community since their inception in 1974.
Across their five decade history, Switchboard has offered a listening ear to facilitate more than four million conversations. Key to their on-going success is their unique ability to pivot and move with the times.
This was further proven in 2023 through the release of a free 0800 number: a helpline which is open 365 days a year, from 10am until 10pm, for individuals to call free of charge.
The announcement of the new helpline, on top of the current online chat and email services, comes against the backdrop of the cost of living crisis. Although people across the country have directly felt the impact of this, the acute effects have especially been felt by the LGBTQIA+ community, who account for 24 per cent youth homelessness in the UK.
Speaking on the decision to make the helpline free, Switchboard CEO Stephanie Fuller said: “With the current cost of living crisis, it has never been more vital that the LGBTQIA+ community can access the Switchboard service at no charge to them.
“Moving the helpline to a free phone number ensures that no caller will have to consider the cost when deciding to pick up the phone to call Switchboard.”
GAY TIMES Honours 2023 celebrates the individuals and organisations who have had a profound effect on the lives of LGBTQIA+ people over the past 12 months.
This year’s line-up of Honourees acknowledges people making huge impact in music, TV, film, community and drag.
The new digital edition of GAY TIMES Magazine spotlights this year’s winners and is available to read now on the GAY TIMES app, Apple News +, Readly and Flipster.
To follow all of the action from GAY TIMES Honours 2023, check out our Instagram @GAYTIMES.