Nonprofits

Google helps Switchboard support UK LGBT+ communities

Every February people across the UK celebrate LGBT+ History Month, raising awareness about  LGBT+ communities. Based in London, Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline has supported LGBT+ people since the 1970s, just a few years after the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in the UK. Since then, they’ve witnessed and shaped many more milestones of UK LGBT+ history, helping millions of people. 

As an entirely volunteer-led organization, Switchboard keeps its phone lines open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (yes, even during the holidays!), and offers additional support on email and text. Volunteers are there to listen and assist callers, offering a safe space for anyone to discuss what’s on their mind, including sexuality, gender identity, sexual health, and emotional wellbeing. No matter where you are, no matter how you identify, you can call Switchboard and speak openly, in confidence, without any judgment. 

Running an always-on program with more than 200 volunteers on a small budget requires the right tools. Volunteers need to be trained and prepared—calls can be emotionally challenging, and many topics require detailed, in-depth knowledge. For this reason, Switchboard consolidates all their training securely into Google Drive and gives every volunteer access via their own G Suite for Nonprofits account. “As an organization we try to move with the evolving nature of culture, education, and society, and G Suite for Nonprofits has really helped us to do that,'' says Tash Walker, Co-Chair. Watch the video to learn more about Switchboard’s impact and how they use G Suite and other Google for Nonprofits products to offer high quality, reliable services to the LGBT+ community.