23-31 Waring Street, Belfast
(028) 9089 0202
Supporting LGBTQI+ People in Northern Ireland

Cara-Friend Supporting and empowering the LGBTQI+ community
in Northern Ireland.


Cara-Friend has been serving and empowering the LGBTQI+ community in Northern Ireland since 1974. We provide: 

  • LGBTQI+ Inclusive Business Charter
  • LGBTQI+ Youth Services
  • Trans Specific Youth Services
  • Advocacy, Campaigning, Policy and Volunteering
  • Family Support Project
  • LGBTQI+ Awareness Training
  • LGBTQI+ Inclusive Schools’ Charter & Education Services
  • LGBTQI+ Switchboard / Helpline
  • LGBTQI+ Domestic Abuse Support
  • LGBTQI+ Community Development Services & Events
  • LGBTQI+ Mental Health & Mindfulness Project
  • LGBTQI+ Inclusive Business Charter

    The LGBTQI+ Inclusive Business Charter is an invaluable training package which enables businesses to address inclusivity, equality and respect within their workplace. The Charter also highlights the need for greater awareness and understanding of LGBTQI+ issues. 

    LGBTQI+ Youth Services

    We operate LGBTQI+ youth groups for those aged 12-25 in several locations across Northern Ireland. They are fun, safe spaces for LGBTQI+ young people where they can be themselves.

    Advocacy, Campaigning, Policy and Volunteering

    We advocate for our community, campaign for change, advise on policy, and offer volunteering opportunities for those who wish to get involved. 

    Family Support Project

    The aim of the Family Support group is to try to prepare parents, children, relatives, friends – and just about anyone – on how to support an LGBTQI+ person in your family or within your group of friends. 

    LGBTQI+ Awareness Training

    This training is for all schools, community groups, businesses and public bodies who wish to increase their awareness of the LGBTQI+ community and the issues this community faces. This is a great opportunity to discuss language, best practice, and offers a space to ask questions in a safe and constructive environment. 

    LGBTQI+ Inclusive Schools’ Charter

    The LGBTQI+ Inclusive Schools’ Charter is an invaluable programme of events, activities and targets which enable schools to address inclusivity, equality and respect within an educational environment. Through proactive measures your school will improve the experience of LGBTQI+ students, while promoting inclusivity for all. 

    LGBTQI+ Switchboard / Helpline

    Have you ever had something you need to talk about, perhaps something you need to get off your chest? Maybe you need information relating to your sexual orientation or gender identity? Perhaps you feel isolated, or maybe just want to know that there are other lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans people in the world. Our trained volunteers will provide a listening ear & can help you to explore your options. 

    LGBTQI+ Domestic Abuse Project

    The Domestic Abuse Project addresses violence against women and girls and is aimed at women and girls age 12 years + from the LBTI community (Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Trans or Intersex) community who have experienced or are at risk of domestic or sexual violence and abuse. 

    LGBTQI+ Community Development & Events

    Cara-Friend is generously funded by Belfast City Council to run our Community Development Project for Belfast. This involves organising community events each year, advocating on behalf of the LGBTQI+ community for the promotion of inclusivity, communications, training, and exploring the history of the LGBTQI+ community.  

    LGBTQI+ Mental Health & Mindfulness Project

    Taking care of our mental health is important. With one on one and group support our new Mental Health & Mindfulness Project can help to give you the tools to take charge of your own mental, emotional and physical well-being.


    We offer support through our different services including LGBTQI+ Switchboard NI, Cara-Friend LGBTQI+ Youth, Family Ties Project and through our free counselling services.

    All of the services we provide are completely confidential.

    If you are distressed or require help and support out-of-hours, please contact Lifeline on 0808 808 8000. Lines open 24/7

    Latest Blog Posts


    1 hour ago

    15th - 26th February 2022:'Callings', a poignant new political play that follows the lives of five people who sought sanctuary and community through Cara-Friend's phoneline and befriending service set up in the 1970’s to support a hidden LGBTQI+ community. Charged with the music of the day, and set amidst a storm of anti-gay headlines, Callings delves deep into the struggle for survival which queer people faced on a daily basis and how even simple acts of connection can change the course of a life. Callings explores how these bright and resilient individuals found themselves and each other during oppressive times. In an era when the government attempted to quash their right to love, this group’s sheer existence was an act of resistance and joy. From rallying against the Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign to celebrating the right to exist won through the Dudgeon vs UK trial, Callings looks at the historical challenges faced by LGBTQI+ communities, and celebrates just how far we’ve come. In association with Outcomers and the Kabosh Theatre Company, written by Dominic Montague and directed by Paula McFetridge.Funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council and the Garfield Weston Foundation. Booking Information:15th – 17th February Lyric Theatre Belfast 18th February Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, Derry~Londonderry19th February The Market Place Theatre, Armagh22nd February The Ardhowen, Enniskillen23rd February Strule Arts Centre, Omagh25th February An Táin Arts Centre, Dundalk26th February The Riverside, ColeraineBook now at kabosh.net/production/callings/ ... See MoreSee Less
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    Set in the 1970s, #Callings follows the lives of gay/lesbian ppl who sought community through @CaraFriendNI phoneline service. Presented by @KaboshTheatre. Friday 25th February at 8pm.

    🎫€16 / €14 (plus €1.50 booking fee per ticket)

    @ArtsCouncilNI @WestonFdn @OutcomersLGBT