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Discrete CollectionsHall-Carpenter Archives
TitleFriend (Fellowship for the Relief of the Isolated and Emotionally in Need and Distress)
Ref NoHCA/Friend
Extent11 boxes
Admin Biographical HistoryFriend was set up in 1971 as a Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) taskforce intended to become CHE's counselling arm. By the end of the year Friend had been relaunched, becoming a separate national counselling and befriending organisation. As the London-based organisation (often known as London Friend) began to spread to the provinces, and local groups grew up, the whole network began to be known as National Friend. It was incorporated as a limited company in 1987, under the name of National Friend Ltd.
National Friend became a network of groups whose volunteer members provided information, support and befriending to lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Local groups were affiliated to National Friend, though they remained autonomous within agreed guidelines, which included a constitution, code of ethics, code of practice, an equal opportunities programme and a complaints procedure. In 1995 there were 31 local groups using either the name Friend or Gay Switchboard.
National Friend worked through a National Committee/Council of Management, whose aim was to support the local groups, provide guidance, advertise the work of Friend to outside agencies and hold conferences on subjects of mutual interest. In 1998, a grant from the National Lottery Charities Board enabled the development of a Birmingham office base and the employment of two members of staff to deal with administration, publicity and fundraising.
DescriptionPapers of Friend, 1970-1995, including an incomplete set of Annual Reports, 1974-1995; minutes of the London Friend Collective, January-September 1983; incomplete set of the Annual Reports of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE), 1982-1990; material relating to the constitution of Friend, 1982-1986; papers relating to the formation of National Friend Ltd in 1987, including the memorandum and articles of association; National Friend newsletters, 1981-1982; reports on liaison visits by members of National Friend to local Friend groups in Coventry, Cardiff, West Kent, London, Bradford, Newcastle and Belfast, 1982-1985; Friend administrative correspondence mainly concerning counselling, 1971-1982; general correspondence between local groups and National Friend, particularly concerning the organisation of conferences and the production of Annual Reports, 1978-1991; comprehensive material relating to the activities of the affiliated local groups which make up Friend, usually working under the title of Friend or Gay Switchboard, including correspondence, Annual Reports, and newsletters, 1973-1977, and 1982-1994; papers relating to specific campaigns and projects undertaken by Friend and National Friend, 1970-1988.
Access StatusMainly open; some items closed
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