In an age of ‘lesbian chic’ the UK’s longest surviving lesbian organisation continues to adapt itself to provide all kinds of gay women with the special welcome they are looking for.
Kenric was established in 1965. Though it originated in London (its name is an amalgamation of the first parts of “Kensington” and “Richmond”) it soon spread throughout the country, providing a much-needed broad-based social organisation for lesbians of all ages, from all walks of life.
Fifty years later, now that television channels have offered us dramas such as Tipping the Velvet, If These Walls Could Talk, The L Word and Lip Service, and even documentaries such as The Truth about Lesbian Sex, it is hard to believe that there can possibly be any secrets left about women who prefer women – let alone any lesbians who still feel that they need to come out among like-minded friends. However, ‘coming out’ and finding like-minded friends can still be difficult, even in big cities such as London, Birmingham and Manchester with their bars and clubs and gay-friendly attitudes. And that is why Kenric still continues to do well at what it knows best – that is, bringing women together in a safe and comfortable way.
Kenric offers lesbians the opportunity to make friends with other women who share common interests, either through attending events or by using the free contact ads to connect with like-minded people. In its long history Kenric has been responsible for countless introductions. Many of those women now volunteer their services and endless energy to ensure that Kenric continues to be a friendly and welcoming organisation. Kenric need never explain or excuse its longevity – it will always be needed.
How does Kenric work?
Kenric is organised on behalf of its members by an annually-elected Management Committee. There is a network of local volunteers (Local Reps) who organise a variety of events to suit the members in their areas (see Local Groups). These could be discos, walks, meals out, cinema and theatre visits or travelling together to a centrally-organised event – and much more. These centrally-organised events include a Christmas party, Valentine’s Disco, and supper and lunch-time dining events. Mid-June sees us in Eastbourne during the tennis finals weekend when we have three days of events which include a Supper Club function with live music on the Friday, a disco on the Saturday and meet-up opportunities on the Sunday.
Members are kept informed and in touch via the newsletter they receive by mail or by email each month. Our website is another way of finding out more about what is going on and is expanding and developing to offer more facilities to our members. There is a private Facebook group which members can be invited to join, a public Facebook page and we are also on Twitter too. We offer a lifeline for numerous women, many of whom have felt at one time or another that they were the only lesbians on the planet!
Kenric also has a Meetup group: About Kenric Meetup