Monty Moncrieff is chief executive of London Friend, an organisation that’s been supporting the capital’s LGBTQ+ community for the past fifty years. In this latest episode of the Club Soda podcast to celebrate the organisation’s 50th anniversary, Monty chats to Dru Jaeger about his work, the organisation’s history and what the future holds for queer people in London and beyond. They dive deep into the subject of LGBTQ+ identity formation, coming out and the sometimes damaging role that alcohol can play in queer lives.
Who is Monty Moncrieff?
Monty Moncrieff began his career working in a pub but became disillusioned with life and work that revolved around alcohol. He wanted to make a difference to the LGBTQ+ community, and eventually established Antidote, the UK’s only fully LGBT run specialist drug and alcohol service, which is now managed by London Friend. Antidote was the first service in the UK to report chemsex and Monty has been leading the response, developing treatment services and training healthcare professionals. He has written guidance for drug and alcohol services to improve their work with LGBT clients and a briefing on alcohol support for LGBT people for Public Health England.
Monty has been working and volunteering with LGBT organisations for over 20 years, campaigning for equality and delivering direct support services to improve the health and wellbeing of the communities. He has been awarded an MBE for services to equality.
What is London Friend?
Established in 1972, London Friend is the UK’s oldest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans charity. They support the health and mental wellbeing of the LGBT community in and around London, offering counselling and support around issues such as same-sex relationships, sexual and gender identity and promoting personal growth and self-confidence. They are also home to Antidote – the UK’s oldest LGBT drug and alcohol service.
London Friend’s social groups provide a safe space to meet and socialise as an alternative to the bar and club scene.
The organisation’s services are delivered by trained LGBTQ+ volunteers, including: