Pop up store opens for LGBT refugees and assylum seekers selling just one t-shirt

A new pop-up store is launching this month to raise funds for LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers during Pride in London 2018.

Run by charity Help Refugees, the Choose Love x Pride in London store at St Martin’s Courtyard and Mercer Walk, Covent Garden invites customers to celebrate diversity and provide vital support to LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers.

Open from 30th June – 7th July, the store sells just one T-shirt, an iconic rainbow coloured ‘Choose Love’ logo designed for Help Refugees by Katharine Hamnett. Priced at £20, all the profits from each sale will go towards supporting LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers around the world.

In the run up to Pride in London, a series of free events will be taking place inside the Choose Love x Pride in London store at St Martin’s Courtyard and Mercer Walk, just follow the rainbows. On Saturday 7th July, enjoy complimentary multi-colour makeovers with Smashbox before picking up a rainbow Choose Love t-shirt and heading off to join the Pride Parade.

Despite London being a city of diversity and tolerance, life for LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers can be a real struggle. The Choose Love x Pride in London store is an inspiring space, where people can learn about the experience of LGBTQI+ refugees, while doing something practical to help.

Josie Naughton CEO of Help Refugees says, “We all have a choice. To be motivated by fear and animosity, to build walls and turn our backs on the world – or to embrace hope and recognise our common future. To choose love.

Nobody should have to flee their home because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That’s why we’re so pleased we can do something to help those that have been unjustly persecuted.

One project the money raised will support is Say It Loud Club. Set up by Ugandan refugee Aloysius Sali, who worked full-time as a nurse for years to support the growing Say It Loud community, this project now helps 200-300 LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers every month.

Aloysius Sali, LGBT refugee rights campaigner for Say It Loud Club, said:

“I was captured and tortured in Uganda, just because of my sexuality. When I fled to the UK, it was incredibly difficult to claim asylum for being gay. It still is now. Seeing the overwhelming lack of services for LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers, I knew I had to do something to help people.

I’m so delighted to be working with Help Refugees to launch the new T-shirt, which will enable me to continue supporting hundreds LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers across the UK.”

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