Tonic is a community-led not for profit organisation. We are focused on creating vibrant and inclusive urban LGBT+ affirming retirement communities where people can share common experiences, find mutual support and enjoy their later life. Tonic was established in 2014 to address the issues of loneliness and isolation of older LGBT+ people and the need for specific housing and support provision as there was none in the UK before 2021.
Tonic Housing is the UK’s first provider of LGBT+ affirmative retirement housing. [email protected] is a retirement community comprising of 84 affordable apartments over 14 floors, located on Albert Embankment in the iconic area of Vauxhall, Lambeth. Tonic owns 19 of these 1 and 2 bed apartments with One Housing managing all the rented apartments and providing the personal care and support services on-site. We are working closely with them to bring our unique LGBT+ affirming support and activities to life.
Tonic has created a unique offering of housing with care, that celebrates LGBT+ identities with the community at the very heart of their homes. We co-create events and activities with residents based on their interests, including collaborations with other LGBT+ organisations and support providers. We provide accommodation and safe social spaces where older LGBT+ people are supported, gain life affirming social connections and access culturally appropriate services. We are driven by the demand of older LGBT+ people for better choices in housing, support and care recognising that ‘a one size fits all approach’ does not meet the needs of diverse communities, we co-produce to create truly community led projects.
Rather than just being “LGBT+ friendly” our services are actively affirming of the lives, histories, needs and desires of LGBT+ people. This does not imply exclusion of those who do not identify as LGBT+ but actively values those who respect and celebrate LGBT+ people.
Tonic has focused on London for the first project as the capital has the largest older LGBT+ population in the UK, estimated to be 145,000 people. We are also working in other areas, such as Manchester with the LGBT Foundation.