Club F.O.D was initially formed to provide a regular and accessible dedicated safe space for the LGBT+ Community. Many towns and cities do not have dedicated bars or clubs for the LGBT+ community to meet and socialise and unlike geographical isolation, social isolation experienced by LGBT+ members of our society is less obvious and very often is more challenging to escape.
Club F.O.D is a Registered Charity in England & Wales (No. 1191158) and is led by a small team of dedicated volunteers that have developed three distinct areas that further our charitable purpose:
- Club F.O.D @
- Club F.O.D in the Community
- Club F.O.D at Home
- Club F.O.D Befriending Service
- Club F.O.D Youth Club
- Club F.O.D’s Fun of Diversity
Club F.O.D @
Club F.O.D began as a monthly club night taking place at The Blagrave Arms in Reading: a venue which already actively welcomes the LGBT+ community and Club F.O.D has worked with the venue to bring you dedicated LGBT+ Nights in Reading that also raise money for local LGBT+ Charities and mainstream charities.
Once upon a time, the late Sel Jones used to romanticise that when he retired he would open a bar called Dorothy’s – a bar reminiscent of the traditional gay bar where all people were welcome whether they were wearing Jeans, full drag, leather or a crop top, greeted at the door and every aspect of the gay scene would share a great night out. So Club F.O.D – which stands for Friends of Dorothy – not only aims to reclaim a sense of the LGBT+ community in Reading but is also a tribute to Sel in every possible way.
As well as our own events, you will also find other LGBT+ events that have been organised in the area. Reading does have a gay community: there really is no place like home!
You can find out more about our events at The Blagrave here.
Club F.O.D in the Community
Currently being developed, our intention is to organise a range of social activities and events away from the pub scene including events and activities for younger members of our community as well as services to support older LGBT+ people in our community as well. Our first initiative was a Camping Trip for LGBT+ people where we stayed in Wiltshire for a weekend. This event and the dedicated Facebook group established for it has proved popular. A Pink Picnic has also been organised for the end of August. Additional social groups such as Book Clubs and Gardening groups have also been established.
You can find out more about our events in the community here.
Club F.O.D at Home
When the first lockdown during the COVID pandemic was entered, we did not want a lockdown to leave people locked out. So, we looked for alternative ways to ensure that Club F.O.D could continue with what we set out to achieve. We started producing live streams from our Facebook page and other social media to ensure that when “…even at home, you’re never alone…”
As lockdown started to ease, our intention was to discontinue with virtual events but following feedback and messages received after our last virtual show, we realised that online events and broadcasts can literally be a lifeline to some members of our community and we wanted to ensure that our community reach goes beyond that of a physical venue and make sure that not one person is overlooked. That led us to developing F.O.D TV and Radio F.O.D. Club F.O.D at Home includes:
- Dedicated channels for all members of the LGBT+ community that provides live and pre-recorded interactive content
- An online Radio Station dedicated to the LGBT+ community
- Workshops and activities that support members of the LGBT+ community to create content
- Partnerships with other LGBT+ content providers
You can find out more about F.O.D TV here.
You can find out more about Radio F.O.D here.