Who is Opening Doors?

Opening Doors is the only national charity specialising in supporting LGBTQ+ people over 50 in the UK. We are here to let LGBTQ+ people over 50 know they are not alone.

Mission: Opening Doors is here to support LGBTQ+ people over 50 to live full, vibrant and respected lives free from isolation, loneliness discrimination and prejudice.

Threat: We need to raise £120,000 by spring 2024, or we face the possibility of closing down entirely.

The critical services we provide: An overview of the breadth and depth of the things Opening Doors offers the 50+ LGBTQIA+ community

We seek to change the lives the LGBTQ+ people over 50 on a personal, institutional and national level.  

  • Direct service delivery to 2,500 members  

  • Community Engagement activities where we deliver over 35 activities each month ranging from lunch clubs, to choirs, film clubs and trips all to bring LGBTQ+ people together, building connections and community as we age 

  • Befriending service where the most vulnerable and isolated LGBTQ+ people over 50 are matched with a befriender who calls or visits on a regular basis, ensuring they are supported and advocated for when they are unable to do this themselves 

  • Training, education and our Pride in Care quality standard to improve the services LGBTQ+ people over 50 access 

  • We deliver training to over 1,000 health and social care professionals each year to improve their understanding of LGBTQ+ people and how they support us 

  • Pride in Care is our quality standard that organisations can undertake to demonstrate their commitment to LGBTQ+ people over 50, following a comprehensive assessment  

  • National research and policy influencing  

  • There is a massive gap in knowledge and data around LGBTQ+ people over 50, so we work with over 15 universities to improve this knowledgebase 

  • We use our considerable experience and expertise to influence local and national policy makers to improve the world for LGBTQ+ people over 50, now and in the future 



  • Our research shows that 92 percent of our befriendees have a disability, 80 percent have experienced mental health problems and 85 percent live alone
  • We have over 95 volunteers contacting their befriendee each week
  • More than 3,105 calls and visits with volunteer befrienders over the year
  • 128+ befriending members supported and 243 referrals to external organisations and charities

From Only Connect, a report by Opening Doors on the impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on our members:

  • 50% of respondents reported a negative impact on their psychological wellbeing
  • 18% felt much more depressed than usual
  • 23% experienced worsened physical health during lockdown 
  • 37% felt more lonely than usual
  • 27% hardly ever or never had someone to talk to