A new youth project, LGBT Renfrewshire, has been launched to support youth around the issues of sexuality and gender identity in Renfrewshire.
LGBT Renfrewshire was developed by young people attending the Glasgow services of LGBT Youth Scotland. The project was set up in response to a need for more LGBT awareness in the area. Young people came to the organisation to express the fact there is no LGBT awareness in schools, there are no LGBT services near to them out with Glasgow which resulted in a need to travel. The service was established after researching the views and opinions of residents within Renfrewshire to find out if there is a need for a service in the area and what that service should look like.
LGBT Renfrewshire began providing LGBT Awareness sessions in schools (Specifically Linwood and Glennifer High School) as well as support for anyone that identifies as LGBT/LGBT Friendly (14 – 25) through a fortnightly youth group in West Primary School in partnership with Renfrewshire Youth and Sport Services. Through this, young people stated that they knew more about how to support someone who is LGBT within their school. As a result of a positive feedback and demand the project was rolled out to more schools throughout Renfrewshire.
LGBT Renfrewshire has gained funding through Cashback4Communities to continue its work in the area; it now plans on working with Castlehead High School and continuing work with Linwood High School. Peer Education within the school will focus on looking at what is LGBT, the effects of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in schools and ways in which both students and teachers can challenge these phobic behaviours therefore promoting a positive ethos within the school.
Speaking with Kaleidoscot, Craig Cochrane, of LGBT Renfrewshire, said: “We also hope that LGBT young people would feel able to attend the youth group out with school hours and be more involved within the project
“The aim of this project is to continue working to make Renfrewshire a safe and supportive place for LGBT young people to be who they are. We feel it is important that they feel able to contribute, without fear of stigma to the schools, colleges, universities and workplaces.
“If anyone is interested in the work that we do or would like to attend the group then they can contact me on 0141 552 7425 or email me on email@example.com.”