Tales of Covid – Metro


Metro is a charity which was established in 1984 in response to the development of the GLC’s Lesbian and Gay Charter, Changing The World.

Originally operating under the name of The Greenwich Lesbian and Gay Centre, the charity broadened its remit in time to work in partnership with statutory and voluntary organisation serving lesbians, gay men, bisexual and trans people and those questioning their sexuality.

Over the last twenty years, the charity has extended its services across the whole of south east London to become one of the most important organisations in the capital creating supportive environments for LGBT people. For the last eighteen years, Metro has run a face-to-face weekly health support group for those needing support.

Metro: overcoming obstacles

Now, with lockdown, the drop in centre manager Catriona was obliged to take the service online. Inevitably, not all users felt happy with an online service only and therefore the Metro team went out of their way to keep in touch by phone and by distanced meetings with them.

As Catriona says, many LGBT people in their 60s and 70s can experience social isolation at the best of times, but lockdown increased this sense hugely. On top of that, a steady influx of asylum seekers into several south London boroughs created new demands for Metro’s counselling services, particularly after the organisation was obliged to furlough over three quarters of its staff.

Metro’s 73 volunteers gave over 9,000 hours of their time, skill and experience during the first three months of lockdown to move services online and to set up telephone counselling. Metro took the lead in distributing funds for the LGBTQ+ Covid-19 Fund set up by Comic Relief. In addition, Director of Strategy Naomi Goldberg was successful in attracting £150,000 of funding from Greenwich Charitable Trust and the Royal Borough of Greenwich.


Thank you for reading. Check out the full Tales of Covid report for more stories.

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