Support U throws open doors

Published: 20 Apr 2012 14:204 comments

A PIONEERING drop-in centre providing emotional and practical support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people is throwing open its doors.

Welcoming: (l to r) Support U staff Claire-Louise Bannister (office manager), Lorna McArdle (general manager), Karl Stacey (volunteer) and Lisa Lavelle (volunteer).

Welcoming: (l to r) Support U staff Claire-Louise Bannister (office manager), Lorna McArdle (general manager), Karl Stacey (volunteer) and Lisa Lavelle (volunteer).

Support U - the first LGBT centre of its kind in the south of England - is holding an open day from noon-3.30pm on Saturday, April 28, at its offices in South Street, Reading.

The organisation provides a central hub linking a network of LGBT groups to offer health, relationship, employment and legal advice, plus social activities and services ranging from a Hate Crime Reporting centre to homelessness and drugs and alcohol counselling.

General manager, Lorna McArdle, said staff have helped around 20 clients since it was officially opened by X-Factor 2010 finalist Danyl Johnson last month, and added: "We invite the public to join us to see the services we offer and what we have been able to do in a very short space of time.

"People can see our new premises and meet the organisations we work closely with." The event, which is open to all, includes displays from LGBT artists, plus family entertainment run by jugglers and circus skills teams.

People can also meet staff and volunteers and learn about its classes fitness, mental and sexual health advice and telephone service.

The centre also plans to set up regular arts, crafts, photography and theatre sessions, plus outreach support for LGBT elderly people and young people and adults with LGBT parents, siblings or children.

Contact 0118 375 5260, see, follow @supportu_rdg on Twitter, or search SupportU.rdg on Facebook for details.

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  • Kenneth Dope
    Unregistered User
    Apr 21, 09:53
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    Hopefully this isn't being funded by my taxes like the equally useless RCRE. Do RBC nor realise we're ALL suffering an economic crisis regardless of creed, religion or sexual leaning...

    Recommend?   Yes 4     No 3

  • Speak my mind
    Unregistered User
    Apr 24, 23:42
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    In regards to your comment 'Kenneth'.. I'm sorry, I forgot an economic crisis comes before the support things like this offer. It's here to help & assist and I for one think it's fabulous... I can think of a million and one worse things our taxes are being wasted on, so how about telling that to those living off your taxes rather than those who are putting it to good use!

    Recommend?   Yes 3     No 2

  • alfie
    Unregistered User
    Apr 26, 11:24
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    Support U has an open door policy and will help everyone LGBT or not however they do specialize in LGBT

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 1

  • Dancefloor Horatio
    Unregistered User
    Apr 29, 14:44
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    I might have to partake of their helpline as I've found life on the dole is fraught with an inability to pick up decent fluff. As many fellow dole-ites will no doubt procrastinate the job-centre is fluff-less as are the A4E offices. Alas wandering aimlessly in our middle-eastern flavoured town centre has much the same result. Especially if your only spoken language is English. So perhaps Support U above might be able to offer some sound advice in this regard although I would add I don't want to end up with some fella in a frock!

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 0