This course will take place in person.
Switchboard is the oldest volunteer-led LGBTQ+ charity in the UK. The milestones of the LGBTQ+ communities can be traced in the calls made to the helpline through the decades. The course will focus on the Switchboard's log books – a functional written record of the calls taken by volunteers – and LGBTQ+ history, experiences, and attitudes from inside and outside of the communities throughout the years.
It's time to share the previously untold story of this seminal organisation.
Read our interview with tutor Tash Walker about Switchboard's archives.
Who is this course for?
Anyone interested in Britain’s LGBTQ+ history, Switchboard, and the charity sector.
Image: Gordon Rainsford Archive
How we’re keeping you safe
Because we would like to keep the staff and each other safe, we expect and recommend face coverings to be worn the public areas that can become crowded. These are the corridors, toilet areas and the queues at the bar. There will also be an event-specific QR code that guests will be asked to scan on arrival.
If you test positive for Covid-19 or are asked to isolate and are not able to attend your class or pre-booked event, please contact the Bishopsgate Box Office for further information (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please do not come to the Institute in person if you have symptoms or have tested positive.
In addition to these measures, Bishopsgate Institute has strict cleaning protocols in place and ventilation throughout the building. There are also numerous hand-sanitising stations available and touch-free drinking fountains. Find out more about how we’re keeping you safe.
You will learn
By the end of this course, you will have learnt:
- The history of Switchboard and the themes that have arisen throughout the years of the log books (1974 to 2003). We will consider the police raids and custody battles of the 70s and early 80s and the impact of the HIV/AIDS crisis.
- Key moments from LGBTQ+ history including the emergence and impact of Section 28, the changes in police behaviour with the LGBTQ+ communities around the Admiral Duncan Bombings of '99, and many recent events too.
- About the attitudes and experiences of LGBTQ+ communities and wider society, from why people contacted Switchboard, to how the volunteers dealt with those calls.
Meet the Tutor
Tash Walker (she/they) is Co-Chair of Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline.
Tash has brought the charity’s log books to light through archiving at Bishopsgate Institute, talks during LGBT History Month, media interviews and The Log Books podcast, for which she is co-host and producer.
She is also the Co-Founder of Get In Her Ears, an organisation set up to promote womxn and non-binary people in music.
Need to Know
- 11:00 - 15:00
- Bishopsgate Institute
- Tash Walker
- Max Students
- No. of Sessions
- Course Code