National LGBTQ+ charity announces closure due to insolvency 

20 Feb 2024 News

By wedninth, Adobe

A charity supporting the older LGBTQ+ community in the UK has announced it will close permanently due to “ongoing financial challenges, ultimately resulting in insolvency”. 

Opening Doors, which launched in 2016, said the current economic climate has hugely impacted its funding sources, “leaving us unable to continue”. 

According to the Charity Commission website, the London-based charity employed 14 members of staff and 350 volunteers.

Opening Doors recorded an operating deficit of £140,000 in the year to March 2022, according to its accounts most recently filed with the Commission, after its expenditure rose by £196,000 on the year.

Trustees were unable to secure ‘a sustainable future’

In a statement, the charity said: “It’s with a heavy heart that we are announcing the permanent closure of Opening Doors on 29 February 2024 due to ongoing financial challenges, ultimately resulting in insolvency.

“Since launching the charity in 2016, we have dedicated ourselves to supporting and advocating for LGBTQ+ individuals over 50, addressing their unique needs, isolation and invisibility.

“Despite the relentless efforts of our board of trustees and staff to secure a sustainable future for our work, the current economic environment has significantly impacted our funding sources, leaving us unable to continue.”

Opening Doors said it will cease operations on 1 March and is “actively seeking alternative support networks for our members”. 

“Detailed information about these arrangements will be directly communicated to those affected,” it said. 

Opening Doors’ income had more than doubled between 2017-18 and 2020-21, from £339,000 to £691,000 before declining to £617,000 in 2021-22.

The charity said in its latest accounts that its income “saw a significant decline due to a drop in the number of successful funding applications”. 

“At the same time, the charity continued an ambitious expansion of its activities which resulted in increased expenditure, we therefore ended the year with a significant deficit,” it wrote.

‘Our legacy is one of pride’

Opening Doors added: “Our legacy is one of pride, awareness and a foundational platform for future advocacy. Our work has not only highlighted the unique challenges older LGBTQ+ individuals face but also fostered a community of support and recognition.

“Closing during LGBTQ+ history month reminds us of the resilience and courage within our community. We urge everyone to carry on this spirit of support and advocacy, inspiring future efforts to combat isolation and uplift older generations.

“We would like to thank all our staff and volunteers, our funders and partner organisations for their dedication, hard work and endless support. Your contributions have been the backbone of our achievements and outreach. Special thanks to those who supported our Emergency Appeal, your efforts have helped us extend our services through the winter months.

“Your support has been incredible and we hope you can continue to support LGBTQ+ people.”

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