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Author Topic: UK -- Bristol's Lesbian & Gay Switchboard Relaunches  (Read 5657 times)

Feral

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UK -- Bristol's Lesbian & Gay Switchboard Relaunches
« on: October 05, 2007, 12:50:10 AM »

Bristol's Lesbian & Gay Switchboard Relaunches

Quote
The Bristol Lesbian and Gay Switchboard (BLAGS) has announced recently that, following a successful recruitment drive, this essential service is now available to callers four nights a week.

Set up over 30 years ago to offer confidential support to the LGBT community as well as others with concerns about sexuality, earlier this year BLAGS was on the brink of closure. Run entirely by volunteers, BLAGS had developed into a busy service providing a vital source of support. However, the number of volunteers had declined and, at that point, there were only three people left to take calls. Running a switchboard with such a small number of volunteers was simply not sustainable; BLAGS was only open two evenings a week and there was an urgent need for new people, new ideas and new enthusiasm to revive this important community service.

"You can always argue that things have moved on," switchboard volunteer Mike Sanidas admitted. "But we still get calls from people who are distressed and lonely and need to talk to someone. Obviously you have the internet, but here people have the added value of actually speaking to someone. People find it useful to have a confidential service where they can get things off their chest."

Now, BLAGS is back. Over a dozen new volunteers came forward after a call to arms through local what's on magazine Venue and an appeal on the main page of PrideWest, and the service is now available four nights a week.

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"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
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