The L Fest Foundation has grown organically through wanting to give something back to the community that supports this festival. Each year we support different charities by giving £1 from every L Fest ticket to charities and through donations, raffles and sponsored events.
2011 - £372.84 - Heart Foundation
2012 / 2013 - £2215 - The L Project, to help stop homophobic bullying in schools.
2013 - £3009 - An orphanage in Peru, ProjectPeru. Cindy and Laurie did a sponsored cycle, 200 miles to Paris!
2014 - £1006.51 to date - Stonewall housing.
2015 - £500 raised to help two girls from Ireland over to the festival as they were part of a homophobic attack
SEE BELOW The 2014 feedback from Stonewall housing on how WE have helped them. Firstly we gave every young girl in their hostel a ticket to L Fest - something they would never have been able to afford of enjoy. Two girls came to L Fest HQ for the week before the festival and volunteered creating and designing many things. We didn't just want to send money to a charity we wanted to get involved and see where the money goes and see how we can really help. We set up the L Fest boxes for £50 & £100. These boxes are given to women moving into the hostel with nothing or when they get allocated their very own flat - but with no money to buy things to fill it. These boxes are so valuable full of essential kitchen goods, appliances and bedding.
Stonewall Housing Update Email
I just wanted to drop you a line to confirm that the 4 boxes of goodies have been delivered and the young people are over the moon. I also wanted to let you know a bit more their personal stories. I’m going to change the names, locations to protect confidentiality but I think it’s important to hear this stuff and to know that this money hasn’t been spent of photocopying or office insurance. It’s gone directly to those in need.
Jan is 23, an ex-care leaver with mobility issues. She had her own flat that was fully adapted to suit her physical abilities. She lived there peacefully for a year, before she started receiving homophobic abuse and threats from a neighbour. The threats were made when there were no witnesses and she was out on her own. The police were unable to prevent the harassment and the local housing department were not willing to move her to new accommodation. At this time, she met a new girlfriend who convinced her to relocate and move in with her to Bradford. She decided to give up her flat and leave all of her belonging behind to move on with her new girlfriend to begin a new life. As soon as Jan moved in, her girlfriend started taking control of her money and making bogus housing benefit applications on her behalf. Jan confronted her and the relationship became violent. Jan soon left her girlfriend and returned to London but when she went to the housing department, she was told that she had made herself intentionally homeless, by giving up her previous flat. Jan was advised to return to her ex-girlfriend. Unable to deal with this option, and facing a night on the street, she was admitted to a hospital following a suicide attempt. On release, she worked with our housing advisors and has just been re-housed. Her flat was bare. But not anymore.
Jay was 15 when she became homeless. She had been sexually abused by a relative and when she told her parents, they did not believe her. She found herself sleeping on the streets and sex working. She was picked up by the police who referred her to social services. The social workers placed her in foster care but the placement was not good and at 16, left foster care and spent time in a squats and sofa surfing, rather than returning home. When she moved into Stonewall Housing at 18 and she was struggling with alcohol dependency and depression. Working with our housing team, she was able to rebuild her life. She is currently studying for her GCSE’s and has just been re-housed in her own flat. She says it’s the first safe place she has ever lived.
Each person comes to us with a unique background and set of circumstances, needs, wants, and ambitions, but sometimes there is a familiarity to the story. Many young queer women move into our accommodation each year. Most have been kicked of their family homes, or have left relationships which are not safe. Many have spent time sleeping on sofas, sleeping on night buses, or in cars, or sleeping in parks before funding us. Most have depression. All would be delighted to receive your kind donations.
Your help and support for Stonewall Housing has been just fantastic. When our young people returned home to the hostels after L FEST, they were wet, tired and muddy but still said that they had the time of their lives. From the residents who attended the festival, I want to pass on their best wishes and thanks to you both and all the team at L FEST. Thanks for making us feel so welcome.
Our next fundraising campaign will focus on the experience of LGBT rough sleepers and those who have to sell sex to survive. It’s such a dangerous time for young people, as the temperature drops, the nights grow longer we find that people get more desperate and offers of a “bed for the night”, seem more appealing.
Its not too late you can donate anything to Stonewall housing to help build our boxes