Wellington Place is more than just bricks and mortar, it’s a thriving community powered by people. This series of interviews aims to highlight some of the people of Wellington Place, share their inspirational stories and find out why Wellington Place is much more than just a place to work…
Interview with Matthew Jameson, ambassador at Friends of Dorothy
Born and bred in Leeds, Matt Jameson works in the charity sector specialising in fundraising and operations, and is a proud ambassador of Leeds based charity Out Together – Friends of Dorothy, which champions social inclusion for older LGBTQ+ people. Matt, who recently starred on E4’s Married at First Sight UK, is part of the team hosting a range of events at Wellington Place to celebrate Pride Month this June.
Tell us a little bit about what you do…
I’ve worked in the charity sector for 10 years, starting at Macmillan Cancer Support where I was for seven years before becoming Head of Fundraising at Breast Cancer Haven in Leeds. I’ve been involved with Friends of Dorothy as a volunteer since 2020 and more recently became an ambassador, which was a real honour. The thought of anyone feeling lonely or isolated just doesn’t bare thinking about, so being able to help tackle this problem in the LGBTQ+ community through activities, support and events, is really rewarding.
Tell us something exciting that most people may not know about you?
I was on the TV programme Married at First Sight UK, and it was an incredible experience for me. Putting my trust in the experts was a massive gamble but it paid off! Not only did I enjoy every part of the filming, I met the most amazing guy, Daniel, who I’m now building a life with. Apart from MAFSUK, another exciting thing about me is that I love to sing, and I have played Jesus in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar.
Can you explain what Friends of Dorothy is?
Friends of Dorothy was established as a charity in March 2020 and, at its heart, champions social inclusion for older LGBTQ+ people, which we do through hosting regular activities and events. We are a welcoming and inclusive group that supports our ‘friends’ to keep well, have fun and stay connected. We’ve even just launched a telefriending service, which is very exciting, as it means we can offer telephone support for people who would otherwise have no one to spend time with or talk to.
How is Friends of Dorothy working with Wellington Place?
Friends of Dorothy worked with Wellington Place over June to celebrate Pride Month. They sponsored our Sunday Lunch Club at Mad Frans, where all our members got together and enjoyed good food and great conversations.
We also held an awareness session where our members chatted with those who work at Wellington Place, so they could learn more about what we do and the difference this makes to the older LGBTQ+ community here in Leeds. There was also the fundraising run, Pride Stride, which raised £70 for the charity!
What three words sum up Wellington Place to you?
Inclusive – what stood out when we first visited Wellington Place was how it felt a super inclusive and safe space, which is very important for our members.
Warm – not only is Wellington Place inclusive, it’s also warm and friendly. You really get a sense of community, and that’s what we’re all about.
Fun – and to top it all off, Wellington Place is fun! We want our members to have a good time when we meet, and Wellington Place helps us embrace this. We’re very excited about using the space at Wellington Place during Pride Month, giving us the opportunity to raise the profile of the charity and meet new potential members. We know that this is the start of many more events to come.
Thanks to Matt for taking part in the interview.
Click here to find out more about Out Together – Friends of Dorothy.
If you would like to tell your story, or wish to nominate someone to take part in the People of Wellington Place series please email firstname.lastname@example.org.