Befriending scheme for older lesbians is launched

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A befriending scheme for isolated and lonely older lesbians living in Calderdale and Bradford has been launched by The Labrys Trust.

The Labrys Trust is a registered charity (No. 1100363) run by older lesbians, and works to improve the wellbeing and quality of life of older lesbians living in the Calderdale and Bradford areas.

A spokeswoman said: “As older lesbians ourselves, we recognise that growing older may bring social isolation and this may be particularly felt by older lesbians in a heterosexual world.

“The Labrys Trust Befriending scheme enables lesbians and bisexual women to be open about their sexuality and talk to a befriender who is also lesbian.

“Any older lesbian, bisexual or any woman questioning their sexuality can be introduced to one of our befrienders who will then visit you for an hour or so each week, usually in your own home.

“This companionship could help to reduce feelings of isolation and enhance confidence and wellbeing.”

She said the trust also provides support and services to address the needs of older lesbians.

“We have a confidential telephone line to answer questions and provide information, and host a social group that meets in Todmorden.

“We network with other lesbian organisations so that we can direct you to related services and we carry out research to enable us to influence change.

“You can find out more about the Trust and its work on our website, www.thelabrystrust.com

She said if anyone thought they, or somebody they knew would benefit from befriending then you could contact the trust.

“All our befrienders are older lesbians who have been trained, interviewed and DBS (formerly Criminal Records Bureau) checked,” she said.

“The Befriending Co-Ordinator will stay in touch with you to make sure that you are happy with your befriender’s visits.”

There is a contact form which is available on the website www.thelabrystrust.com or alternatively you could email labrys.trust@ymail.com or telephone 07907 469 927.

“You can speak to someone on our phone line any Wednesday evening between 7pm and 9pm.

“Outside those hours you can leave a message and someone will get back to you,” she said.