Fear of rises in young LGBT people’s homelessness after Queen’s Speech

There is growing concern about the ‘Full Employment and Welfare Benefits Bill’ amongst the charity sector reports the NCVO this week.

This bill was the centrepiece of the Queen’s speech (the speech the Queen gives to announce the intentions of the new government). The bill includes a commitment to creating three million apprenticeships, but also significant reforms to welfare provision. In particular:

Plans to ban 18 to 21 year-olds from claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) or Housing Benefit. JSA will be replaced with a Youth Allowance, time-limited to six months. Young adults will also no longer be automatically entitled to receive Housing Benefit, and will instead be expected to remain within the family home.

Tracy from LGBT Youth North West said: ‘We are meant to be supporting the next generation, not making things harder for them.’

There are growing fears that those being persecuted in their homes by homophobic or transphobic parents will have less options to break free, and may end up in a more risky situation as a result.

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Well done to all the regional LGBT youth groups

Thanks for a lovely day today at the Pink Box, Being Proud Awards. Some highlights include… Salford volunteer Leia receiving a being proud award, Oldham group’s winning pink box entry, lovely singing by the duo from Pyro Lancaster, and respect to Blackburn, Blackpool, Wigan and Warrington for making the journey! And thanks to Miki and Charlie for being great comperes! Click on the Flickr (blue and pink circles) button to the right of this post to see all the photos of today!

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New BAME LGBT Youth Work

We are really proud to announce news of a new aspect to our work, working with BAME (Black, Asian and Minoritised Ethnic) LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans*) young people.

The lead worker for this exciting development is Chloe Cousins:

Head and shoulders of person smiling

Chloe says the role will seek to support BAME LGBT young people in the following ways:

  • 1-2-1 support for young people
  • Developing self-esteem, confidence and positive self image
  • Development of an online space for BAME LGBT young people
  • Development of a physical group and meeting space for BAME LGBT young people
  • Project and issue based work
  • Raising the awareness of peers about LGBT issues and experiences
  • Encouraging peers to create safe and inclusive spaces where LGBT people can feel safe to be themselves
  • Advocacy in BAME and faith based communities on behalf of BAME LGBT young people and raising awareness to issues and experiences of BAME LGBT people
Support is available for young people in Manchester and Greater Manchester.

Please contact Chloe to discuss how this role can support young people within your organisations, projects, schools and colleges.

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Rochdale Let’s Talk!

Last night we celebrated a year of the Let’s Talk partnership, and it brought me back to eighteen months ago, when we were lobbying Rochdale Council to bring back its LGBT youth group. We went to an event run by the CCG (the local NHS) about the Social Innovation fund. This fund is unique in that it offers a large amount of funding to the voluntary sector from the main NHS funding pot.

For them it makes sense: sometimes the voluntary sector can reach people the NHS can’t and can run programmes that prevent or reduce health problems in a non-medical way.

We joined with five other grassroots organisations under the leadership of the Gaddum Centre, to be able to offer a joined up counselling, support, peer support and listening service, and we called it ‘Let’s Talk‘.

This has enabled us to establish the LGBT peer support group in Rochdale and satellite support out to Heywood.

LGBT young people in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale are similar to many young LGBT people in our northern towns. They are frequently faced with social isolation, bullying, fear of family rejection and worries about their future. This leads to higher stress levels and can lead to depression, anxiety or self-harm.

But all of this is avoidable!

Because the issue is not the young person, it is wider society that has the problem, and the problem is ‘heterosexism’ (the assumption that everyone does or should identify as heterosexual).

What the youth group does is provide a safe space where people have their identity affirmed and celebrated, and where young people can support others. This moves young people from feeling low and stressed to feeling more positive, capable and supported. The group have also began to change the culture in their towns through events, awareness raising campaigns and workshops in schools – this is the long road to dismantling heterosexism.

We are very proud of the group and the workers who support them. Congratulations on your first successful year!

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Love is an open door…

Or so they say!

In the early hours of this morning (9/04/15) someone broke into the Joyce Layland LGBT Centre. No one was hurt and while we are fairly sure nothing valuable was taken, both our outside and inner doors to the Centre were kicked in. We have reported it to the police as a Hate Crime.

Later this morning we set up a localgiving page to raise £1000, enough for three new doors and new sets of keys for user groups. As a result of all your help, support, donating and tweeting we have reached our target in just 3 hours! We are now above and beyond our target and all the funds we have raised today will go straight back into the centre to help us continue our vital work and also help us to cover some of the additional staffing cost.

From everyone at LGBT Youth North West we would like to extend our thanks for your continued love and support during this incident

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Save the Date! Pink Box Competition 2015

Click on the poster to access the links within:

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Stockport making waves for equality!

Check out our new film from the young LGBT people of Stockport! Stockport Wednesdays LGBT group

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You are invited to our book launch this Saturday!

Invite flier for details email cliodhna@lgbtynw.org.uk or call 07813981338

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Outings – the world’s first show based on true-life coming-out stories!

The Lowry, Tuesday 24 Feb, 8pm

With special guest stars former Corrie star Julie Hesmondhalgh & Banana and Cucumber’s Andrew Hayden-Smith!

Following its Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 premiere, the world’s first show based on coming-out stories tours the UK this spring ahead of international dates.

Andrew Hayden-Smith, current star of Russell T. Davies’ Channel 4 and E4 series Banana and Cucumber,joins previously announced Julie Hesmondhalgh for Salford show on 24 February at The Lowry.

Few comings-out attract millions of YouTube views like Tom Daley’s did. But for whoever’s saying ‘I’m gay’, it’s a life-changing moment. This new show, which premiered at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe explores true-life stories with a cast of star actors and comedians. Inspired by recent high-profile ‘comings out’, from Tom Daley and Ellen Page to Ricky Martin and NBA star Jason Collins, the show is based on stories from gay men and women from around the world, exploring how they came out and what effect it has had on their lives.

Seabright Productions Ltd are proud to be supporting LGBT Youth North West as a local community partner when the show comes to The Lowry on Tuesday 24 February.

Outings will be in Salford for one night only so please join us for this “life-affirming” show. For exclusive £15.00 tickets, please visit www.thelowry.com and use discount code LGBT15!


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LGBT School? Setting the record ‘straight’

Thank you to all those who have engaged with a lively debate over the past few days.

If you would like to know more about the picture for young LGBT people in the North today, click on the research tab above or watch some films from our young people via the YouTube button.

If you would like some free resources for your school please visit our resource page or see the online schools resources from School Out UK.

You may have read some things in the papers or online this week about LGBT Youth North West’s plans for an LGBT school.

Let’s separate the facts from the fiction here:


1. We have received £63,000 Feasibility funding to take on a lease from Manchester City Council to run the LGBT Centre in Manchester on behalf of the LGBT community.

2. This funding includes training, a building refurb consultation, website support and funding for us to ask the LGBT Community what they want from the building.

3. If young LGBT people tell us they want an LGBT Inclusive school we will explore this.


1. No public money or grant income has been spent on a trip to New York.

2. No school plans have been developed currently. We are at very early consultation stages.

3. If we explore setting up an alternative education provision, this provision will be open to all pupils, and we would expect many pupils to not be LGBT.

It will also be in addition to what we currently do now, which is train over 10,000 pupils and teachers in mainstream schools each year, so we can make all mainstream schools safer for all pupils.

We work with some super schools that are really helping remove homophobia, biphobia and transphobia from education and we are proud of all their hard work.

For our press release please go here

For more information please email info [at] lgbtynw.org.uk

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