Blogging for and about Youth Work and Young People

LGBTU Youth Research

Last week was a week of meetings, conferences and research development and one of these was on Friday night when I went to the launch of the West Sussex Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Unsure (LGBTU) Youth Research Project.

For some time now we have been stuggling as a County Allsorts poster(and in that I’m including our partnerships with the PCT and Terrence Higgins Trust  ) to ensure appropriate provision for young people within the area who identify as LGBTU. Some time ago a lot of research into such provision had been undertaken and a group set up in Crawley along similar lines to the Allsorts Youth Project based  in Brighton and Hove.

However due to changes in staff and young people the Crawley group never really took off and there is still no provision within West Sussex. So I went along to see where we were at in terms of the research, especially with a view to what young people have been telling us. 

It was a great turn out for a Friday late afternoon / evening. As well as several presentations there were 2 workshops, one for young people and one for professionals to look at needs, what LGBTU provision would look like and what needed to be done. There are still quite a few questions to answer and a need to gain a clearer understanding of what the young people feel will best suit their needs however the over-riding factor that came out was that we need to be much more strategic in developing the provision in order that it is sustainable and has a chance to develop to its’ full potential.

As usual there are a lot of colleagues who know young people interested in setting up such a provision and are keen to get going. I’m keen however to ensure that this time we have something that won’t just disappear, and I’m not sure if having 8 centres with one in each district within the county is the best use of our resources.  I’m also keen not to stop the impetus that has been generated by the research and to get something up and running quicky.

So I’m therefore preparing a paper for the Senior Management Team to have a look at which will probably be based on running a number of events for young people and colleagues to explore and develop the provision whilst also developing a strategy to ensure that this time the work is embedded within the service.

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Comments on: "LGBTU Youth Research" (3)

  1. I under took research in a county about a year ago to look at how services should be delivered to support LGBTU young people, one question that came up was the issue of where to locate services.

    There was no question that services were needed but through consulting a group of over 200 LGBTU participants it became clear that the majority wanted a central provision that provided services including drop in groups, support and advice but all those consulted wanted generic services to be LGBTU friendly, aware and to ensure that other service users did not bully or intimidate LGBTU individuals using the facilities.

    A quality mark was discussed and seen as a good idea so that mystery shopping and reviews of provision were undertaken to ensure an inclusive service with trained and aware workers.

    It sounds like 8 points of provision across the county would be unmanagable and difficult to sustain. One concern raised time and again was the issue about locality needing to be safe- too close to home was seen as unsafe and unwanted.

    Hope this helps.

  2. billybean said:

    Thanks Rammie

    Your thoughts echo mine and I think that we’ll be looking at 3 or 4 points within the county. Just need to make time to get the group together.

    Like you, I’m really keen to ensure that all generic services are LGBTU friendly and I think that there is some key work to do here across the whole of Children and Young Peoples’ services (or are we Adult and Families today?!?!)

  3. IGLYO — the International Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organization — has conducted a research on the social exclusion of young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) in Europe.

    It may help putting some arguments for the senior management team in a wider perspective, if needed.

    You can download the report at their website.

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