Switchboard, the national LGBTQ+ helpline, has announced a new free 0800 number, making their service available to anyone who needs it.

The organisation, which provides a listening service for the LGBTQ+ community, has been operating since 1974 and has had over four million conversations with callers.

Now, for the first time, they are moving to a free 0800 phone number, to improve the accessibility of their resources.

In a press release, Switchboard CEO Stephanie Fuller said, “With the current cost of living crisis, it has never been more vital that the LGBTQ+ community can access the Switchboard service at no charge to them.

“Moving the helpline to a free phone number ensures that no caller will have to consider the cost when deciding to make the decision to pick up the phone to call Switchboard.”

To celebrate the launch of the new 0800 number and highlight the work of Switchboard, the helpline has collaborated on a short film, titled ‘The Call’, written, directed and produced by Jordan Rossi.

The short film stars Waterloo Road actor Adam Ali, as well as David Ames (Holby City), Max Harwood (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie) and Oliver Wickham (Wednesday).

In a press release, writer and director Jordan Rossi said the short film is “about more than telling people there’s a free phone number”.

“I believe in the power of entertainment as a driving force behind changing people’s perceptions and tackling societal issues outside of standard advertising. This is about contextualizing issues that face the LGBTQ+ community in away that everyone can understand.”

You can watch the short film below and contact Switchboard 365 days a year, from 10am till 10pm via phone on 0800 0119 100 or on text message at switchboard.lgbt.