Barnardo’s has been working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people in Calderdale since 2011. As well as helping young people directly, we offer support to families and communities.Reaching out across Calderdale
In October 2014, we secured funding for our work in Calderdale from the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Safer Communities Fund. The grant enabled us to promote a DVD highlighting homophobic, biphobic and transphobic issues, and exploring the impact of these on young people who ‘come out’. It formed part of a pilot training package for four local schools in Calderdale.
In December 2014, we secured an additional three years of funding through Calderdale Council’s Communities and Business Change VCS Commissioning Fund. This money will help us widen our work across the Calderdale district, focusing four key activities.
- Delivering Barnardo’s ‘Identity’ training to secondary school students and professionals from a range of agencies.
- Helping schools to develop peer mentors and diversity champions (known as Barnardo’s Equality Ambassadors, or BEAMS). This will enable students and staff to receive training to support LGBTQ classmates and colleagues within their school communities.
- Providing support, advice and information to the families of LGBTQ young people in Calderdale. We offer one-to-one support sessions for parents, carers and siblings, and a monthly drop-in group for parents and carers.
- Offering support to young people who would like to attend the Calderdale IDENTITY youth group.
In 2011, Calderdale Council funded Barnardo’s to set up an LGBTQ support network for young people aged between 13 and 21 in Calderdale. IDENTITY is a weekly youth group where young LGBTQ people can meet and connect with each other. It provides a safe place where young people can feel comfortable with who they are and build confidence, resilience and self-esteem.
Those attending IDENTITY can access confidential support, advice and information around gender identity, sexual orientation, home and school concerns, and any other worries they have. We also help connect young people to relevant resources and advice sessions offered by other organisations and professionals in Calderdale.
IDENTITY is run by Barnardo’s staff members Kate, Kellie & Kim and supported by dedicated staff and volunteers. At the sessions, young people can take part in activities such as pool, snooker, video games, karaoke, arts and crafts, cooking, board games and sports. And we offer life skills sessions and planned residentials.I joined group at the earliest opportunity I could back in March 2015. I can remember the date as I had to wait until I was 13 to be able to attend. I am a pansexual Trans Man and I have found group helpful for me as I have been able to meet other people who are Trans and have been through or are going through similar experiences to me. I think that group is fun. I have met lots of new friends through group and enjoy chatting and catching up with them each week. I like the fact that I can come to group and be myself. I have been on some trips with group, we have been bowling and on a residential jointly with another LGBTQ youth group which was fun. I feel supported at group by the staff and volunteers and also the other young people who always look out for you. I feel that I have grown in confidence since I started going and I join in and speak out more than I used to. The coffee and biscuit supply isn’t bad either." - Anonymous
We understand that sometimes meeting new people can be worrying and not everybody will want to attend the group right away. So, we offer young people the chance to meet with a youth worker one-to-one before joining the group sessions. When they do start attending, we have other group members who can support them if they need it.
Download the IDENTITY LGBTQ Youth Group Calderdale leaflet
If you or a young person you know would like to join IDENTITY, you can contact the email team.