Dr Greg Ussher, METRO Chief Executive said:
'We welcome the publication of the Staying Alive report highlighting how the LGBT voluntary and community sector is being affected by public spending cuts. As a charity providing a range of services to LGBT people and the largest single provider of direct services to LGBT communities, we were very pleased to take part in the study and we are very concerned about it's findings.
Cuts to public services, coupled with welfare and health reforms have all taken their toll. Our biggest concern is the impact that we see on people everyday as austerity bites and our determination to ensure that our doors remain open to them grows. It is a real challenge. Demands on our hardship funds have grown from gay and bi men living with HIV and we are seeing more and more LGBT people affected by welfare reform.
We know that local authorities are in a difficult position and that difficult funding decisions are affecting many communities. The impact of discrimination means that LGBT specialist services remain essential, alongside work to ensure access and inclusion in mainstream services.
I also know that our sector is resilient and full of very committed people. We will be creative and determined to meet the challenges head on whilst continuing to make the case for LGBT people and communities.'
Notes to editors:
1. The full report Staying Alive: The Impact of Austerity Cuts on the LGBT Voluntary and Community Sector in England and Wales can be found at: http://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/StayingAlive.pdf
2. Read the TUC press release http://www.tuc.org.uk/equality-issues/lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender-rights/lgbt-services-suffering-result-austerity
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