The Royal Vauxhall Tavern in partnership with HERO – Health Equality and Rights Organisation – the home of GMFA – the gay men’s health project and OutLife – the health and advice site for LGBTQ+ people – is back on Bank Holiday Monday August 27th with its annual RVT Sports Day. And this year its focus is to raise money to support HERO, who are looking to prevent suicide in the LGBTQ+ community.

Ian Howley, Chief Executive of HERO said, “I’m delighted that HERO is working in partnership with the Royal Vauxhall Tavern to bring back the 12th Annual RVT Sports Day. This year we are asking teams to help us raise money to prevent suicide in the LGBTQ+ community.

“It’s no surprise to LGBTQ+ people that we are more likely to be affected by mental illness and experience suicidal thoughts. LGBTQ+ in general are five times more likely to experience suicide. Those numbers increase if you are from the black, Asian or minority ethnic communities, especially if you are a BAME woman. Nearly half of all trans people will contemplate taking their own life, which is a shocking statistic in itself.”

Ian adds, “We also see how HIV impacts on gay, bisexual and trans men’s mental health. It’s not uncommon that some newly diagnosed people end up experiencing mental health issues because of the struggles their diagnosis brings, with some taking their own lives. We’ve also seen how stigma towards those who are living with HIV can affect their health. We have lost too many people because of the stigma they receive.

“That why for this year’s RVT Sports Day we are focused on raising money to help LGBTQ+ people who are struggling. It’s time for action on suicide in our communities.”

Ian talks about the event itself, “We are calling out for teams to get involved with the RVT Sports day. All you need is five people, a team name and a pledge to raise £500 to support our suicide prevention work. Sports Day has always been a wonderful event in the LGBTQ+ calendar which brings the community together to have fun and raise vital funds. We encourage anyone taking part to come in fancy dress, be sporty or wear whatever you want. Just have fun.”

Some of the events at RVT Sports day include; the egg and spoon race, tug-of-war and the handbag toss. This year the RVT Sports Day will be hosted by Timberlina, with commentary by the BBC’s Bob Ballard and Nick Heath.

RVT Sports Day takes place on Bank Holiday Monday, 27 August 2018 from 1pm in the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, just behind the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. If you would like to take part in the RVT Sports day, visit www.lgbthero.org.uk/sportsday for more information.