Westminster LGBT Forum

About Us


Westminster LGBT Forum is the community group for LGBT people living, working or visiting our great city.

We are a voluntary group, supported by Westminster City Council, and working with Westminster Police and a range of Westminster based organisations to support our community, and improve services and provision for LGBT people across Westminster.

We work in accordance with a Constitution agreed by our members.

Meet the Team


David Van de Velde
Co-Chair

In addition to being co-Chair of the Westminster LGBT+ User Forum, he also sits on the MET Police Independent Advisory Group as an LGBT+ Advisor and chair Central and North West London NHS Trust + Staff Network.

David Van de Velder

After training as a Mental Health Nurse in the NHS at the start of his career, David has a long history of activism on LGBT+ inclusion and accepting.

Being of mixed heritage and gay, David has also been involved with several high-profile campaigns using his own living experience and personal journey into acceptance.


Trudy Howson
Co-Chair

Trudy loves having Soho on her doorstep and she is thrilled to be appointed Co-Chair of Westminster LGBT Forum. Her main role is to develop its arts and culture.

Trudy Howson

She is looking forward to utilising the skills, and experience she’s gained during a lifetime of working in the entertainment industry. Initially she trained in musical theatre, acquiring many credits in mainstream and alternative TV, radio, film, and theatre, including: Coronation Street, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Gay Sweatshop. 

In 2012 she wrote the poem for the London Olympics and decided to focus that momentum on developing the LGBT+ poetry scene in London.

In 2016 she was appointed LGBT Poet Laureate and still hold that post. She writes poetry that reflects and celebrates the style, culture, and experience of our very diverse community. 

Poetry is not just entertaining; it can also be employed as a catalyst for social and political change. She works with Amnesty, Stonewall, the Peter Tatchell Foundation and Hate Crime UK.

She is a regular performer and producer on the London Club scene and has held residencies at The Phoenix Artists and The Library Club as well as hosting a myriad of fundraising and cabaret events. She has written the theme poem for many London and UK Prides. She has been a guest on BBC, Sky TV and performed at many festivals, museums, and conferences UK wide.

She has written the theme poem for many London and UK Prides, has been a guest on BBC, Sky TV and performed at many festivals, museums, and conferences UK wide.

Within the post of Co-Chair of the Westminster LGBT Forum she intends to reach out to the wealth of artistic and creative talent within our community and encourage lasting and fruitful relationships with venues, businesses, and patrons within the borough. This blossoming of artistic expression will in turn enhance the enjoyment and quality of the life of our community.

Through working closely with local councillors, schools, business and community services and faith establishments, she will showcase art as an effective tool to educate ignorance and challenge prejudice, inequality and hate within our wider society.

She looks forward to welcoming you to our Forum.


Chris Barlow and Michael Chan
Co-Administrators

Chris and Michael became Joint Administrators in July 2020, taking over from Mark Platt who did so much to support the Forum and thank him for providing a smooth handover.

Chris & Michael

They are also the co-founders in 2012 of Outings in Art which aims to bring members and allies of our community together through shared cultural activities.

As well as supporting the administration and growth of the Forum, Outings in Art has become an important partner delivering a varied programme.


Alan Martin
Treasurer

Since retiring as an employment law consultant, Alan has volunteered for numerous charities including Stonewall, The Albert Kennedy Trust, the Peter Tatchell Foundation, Age UK Camden, Opening Doors London and the Terrence Higgins Trust.

He’s always had an interest in financial control and IT, which he has used throughout his career as well as for his own company. He has been donor administrator for several charities and designs/manages websites for community organisations, including the Westminster LGBT Forum.