After the brutal murder of Jody Dobrowski on Clapham Common in 2005, Wandsworth LGBT Forum was one of many forums groups established across London in response to that appalling crime. The intention was to establish a dialogue between the Police, local authorities and the LGBT Community about the incidence and impact of hate crime; to raise awareness, build trust and develop joint strategies to tackle it.
Since then, Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum, now Queer Wandsworth, has moved on to establish a broad programme of advocacy, health and cultural activities for LGBTQ+ people of all ages. Queer Wandsworth has embraced provisions of sexual health, primary care, cancer and mental health services and promotion of cultural and inclusion projects in partnership with other organisations such as the Furzedown Project and Clapham Picturehouse.
In the process, we have built close working relationships with many organisations across the borough not least with our councillors. In addition to the campaigning, we run social activities as a key tool of community engagement.
Seventeen years since we were formed and there is still much much more to be done. We need your support to do it so please get in touch and see how you can make a difference in your community.
I have moved to London to pursue my undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Sociology followed by a Master of Arts in Human Rights, Culture and Social Justice.
I acutely identify with the work that I do, with Human Rights issues such as sexuality, race, gender, migration and nationality being the focus of my academic and personal projects.
A being is never one-dimensional, and as Kimberlé Crenshaw teaches, we live at the intersection of all our different identities (2017).
Being a migrant, non-binary and Queer allows me to experience the world in a specific way - that I see as a privilege as much as it is seen as a disadvantage by society. I use this to my advantage and to the benefit of anyone who does not see themselves represented, anyone whose protests against discrimination have been crushed to a whisper and forgotten by being an activist in my community and making sure to bring as many voices to the table when it comes to advocacy projects.
I am a facilitator for Good Night Out Campaign, on organisation which supports nightlife spaces and organisations to better understand, respond to, and prevent sexual harassment and assault, by providing specialist training, policy support and an accreditation programme.
I have achieved a level 3 Self Defence Training qualification from the British Martial Arts and Boxing Association, and a Level 2 award in Self Defence and Conflict Management (QNUK – RQF). Since 2020 I have been delivering self-defence classes to women, ethnic minorities, and gender non-confirming people.
I’m a member of the LGBT+ Independent Advisory Group for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) at New Scotland Yard. We advise on and monitor police issues that affect LGBT people who live in, work in, study in or are visiting London.
I live in Tooting and can be found tucked in a corner reading a book or smiling at your dog hoping you’ll allow me to say hello to them.
There is not much I hate, with the exception of a healthy disdain for coriander.
"The unexamined life is not worth living"
I am currently a student pursuing my undergraduate Law degree in the heart of London. My choice to do law was influenced by my passion and personal interest in social issues, equality, politics and the power legislation and policy have in shaping the society we live in - particularly for minority and disadvantaged groups. I also volunteer with asylum seekers and refugees in Wandsworth. Volunteering is not just providing emergency aid, it is spending my Thursday evening playing board games with children and young people from Iran, Iraq and Ukraine (to name a few) and first hand experience of the honest and raw humanity behind those labelled ‘asylum seekers’.
I became a member of QW in April 2023. My areas of interest derive from my personal experiences as a young person who has struggled with various mental health problems, loneliness and difficulty finding ‘my people’ within the queer community. Drawing from my experiences, I hope to support the cultivation of QW’s objectives in becoming a safe community hub that provides support, activities and a platform for queer individuals. I will utilise my role as Secretary by scoping out opportunities for collaboration and communications to expand and establish our wonderful, eclectic community in Wandsworth.
My passion for equal rights and justice accentuates my interest in campaigning and council policies - both fundamental in fostering an inclusive environment within Wandsworth; while we can nurture a safe space within our queer community, if we then step back into a wider society without effective policies and frameworks that provide equal opportunities, rights and protections, our progress is infringed upon.
My pockets of comfort include: going to my local Cafe Nero on Bellevue Road (it has become my second home!!) for a good cup of coffee, immersing myself in a good book or series, exploring galleries and the quirky back streets of London, visiting Brighton, getting creative, deep conversations and I really love good hugs :)
"We need to stop pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they're falling in."
I have lived and worked in Wandsworth since 1971 and joined the Forum about six years ago. Since then I have seen the Forum go from strength to strength under the previous team of which I was a member. We are now building a new team to carry on the work of advocating for the LGBTQ+ community in Wandsworth under our new banner and logo "Queer Wandsworth". There is much to be done !
My particular interest lies in the area of health care for LGBTQ+ people especially in relation to sexual health, cancer care, primary care and mental health support. We have made considerable progress but there is much to be done
"Transphobia is the feminism of fools"
I am an Italian artist and creative director working to empower communities through art and design.
Drawing and painting are my best ways of expression and I apply them to many different aspects of my professional and personal life.
My multidisciplinary background in marketing, visual arts and design helps me develop creative strategies to improve the wellbeing of minority and local groups in London. For this reason, I work as Chief Creative Officer at Katherine Low Settlement, a much loved charity in Battersea, Wandsworth where we help elders, children and families from refugee backgrounds to be stronger than ever.
The impact that my work does on people is rewarding and fulfilling and it is the reason why I recognise my work as valuable.
At the base of it, there is an idea of love, unity and kindness because at the end “Love is enough” to create something important and long-lasting. I joined Queer Wandsworth as committee member in 2022, sharing my skills to communicate better and bolder the messages and the causes the organisation stands for.
I have four main “hobbies”:
1. Music – I am a huge fan of Fleetwood Mac, definitely my favourite band. I collect vinyl
records too and enjoy going to concerts. A lot of the time you’ll find me either with
headphones on or AirPods in!
2. Food – I love learning to make new things, try new food, exploring restaurants. I am also a
keen baker and used to run a successful food blog. Pre-COVID I was a co-runner of a group
called Putney Bake Club - a monthly meet-up of those who loved to bake and wanted to
meet new people in Wandsworth/Merton.
3. Documentaries – I am guilty of watching random documentaries whether they’re True
Crime, science or history.
4. Running – I had a knee operation in 2022 due to a benign tumour which had plagued me for
2 years. Before this, I was a keen runner and walker; I’d completed 10 events in 2019/2020
(including a marathon), and joined the Wimbledon Windmilers (later becoming social
secretary). Sadly, I had to stop this but I am on a journey of physio and hoping to get back
out there once again!
What I don’t like: Olives, very spicy food, racists, transphobes, and homophobes.
I originally came from a sport science/sport psychology background but was awarded a fully funded
scholarship to do a PhD at Brunel University London in 2017 exploring the health and wellbeing of an
older veteran population (British Nuclear Test Veterans). This turned into a storytelling/life history
project, with ‘radio dramas’ created to make their stories accessible and easy to understand. If
you’re interested, you can listen to them here.
Currently, I’m working as a research fellow on a project exploring the social health of older
marginalised adults from three groups: LGBTQ+, those from ethnic minorities, and those ageing with
disabilities. We are at the very beginning of this 3-year project but I’m excited to start meeting
people within the community, especially because we will be conducting timeline interviews to get a
real in-depth understanding of adults belonging to these groups. You can read about the project
When did I join QW? April 2023.
Where do I live in Wandsworth? In Southfields.
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop”
Area of expertise / interest:
Visual arts courses - Painting, drawing, life drawing.
Guided walk & Talk tours of London based artists.
Art Markets (Art For All at Tooting Tram & Social)
Visits to art exhibitions at museums & galleries.
When did I start following Queer Wandsworth: 2019.
Background: Visual Arts & education (professional).
Interests: Cycling, walking, looking at older films, theatre, comedy (Rory Bremner, The Now Show).
Dislikes: Finance and money.
A Quote I love:
Leave the door open for the unknown. That’s where the most important things come from, where you yourself came from, and where you will go.
Painting for me is about searching for some sort of order and a response to the world which is chaotic. I usually paint single figures. My paintings are introspective, reflective and revealing. The figures often indicate a vulnerability that is or has been going on with the subject.
Aerial views are something that I’ve been focussing over the past 20 years. It’s still an untapped compositional device that I keep returning to. I paint figures because you get a tension, a poise and balance in the human body. Backgrounds tend to be more textured in contrast to the figures. I paint figures because I like revealing something about the figure, not just the tension and balance in the human body, but something of the mental and emotional undertow of the person. I reflect on how I feel about a piece of work. If it feels right for me, then it maybe right for someone else to interpret and enjoy it. I’m drawn to stillness and the quietness of interiors with carefully ordered compositions. I start with a rectangle of canvas onto which I construct a visual story. I’m drawn to stillness and the quietness of landscapes and interiors with carefully ordered compositions.
Where in Wandsworth do I live: SW11
Where in Wandsworth do I work: Studio 39, Delta House Studios, Rosemary Rd, SW17 OBA.