HEALTH AND CARE: New service launched for young people

The service will be funded by West Sussex County Council and the NHS
The service will be funded by West Sussex County Council and the NHS

A new LGBTU (gay, bisexual, trans and unsure ) project has launched in West Sussex for young people.

Allsorts Youth Project will run the service – funded by West Sussex County Council and the NHS – at different locations across the county.

Young people will be able to access one-to-one support work and regular groups for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and unsure young people between the ages of 11 -19 years old.

Primarily the space will be a safe environment for young people to come together and get involved in fun and creative activities supported by a team of LGBT identified Youth Support Workers and trained volunteers.

Evidence suggests that young people identifying as LGBT can experience significant mental health and wellbeing issues in their lives.

After consulting with the community of LGBT young people and stakeholders in West Sussex, we know that they are unable to access the support they need locally, with Brighton being the only provision available in Sussex.

The West Sussex pilot project is set up in response to a need for more LGBTU support and awareness in the West Sussex area.

Allsorts Youth Project has been providing high quality services to LGBT and Unsure children and young people in Brighton and Hove since 1999.

2017 sees the expansion of its services to West Sussex.

Ben Dew, Allsorts’ operations director and education and training manager, said: “We are really delighted to have received some funding to enable us to expand our LGBTU Youth Support Service into West Sussex.

“This is something we have wanted to do for many years and now finally it is possible.

“We believe that during this one year pilot project we will be able to demonstrate the real need for specific support for LGBTU young people in the county, and that we have the experience and expertise to successfully deliver that support. We can’t wait to get the service up and running.”

Julie Tidbury, project manager, Children’s and Young People’s Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Commissioning Team, said: “Allsorts works to raise awareness, promote good practice and facilitate the creation of safer and more supportive environments for LGBTU young people in the wider community by supporting vulnerable, alienated or marginalised young people in Brighton, Hove, and West Sussex area who are LGBT or unsure of their sexuality and/or gender identity, delivering peer led homophobia, biphobia and transphobia awareness and anti-bullying workshops in schools, colleges and youth organisations and providing training for adults and agencies working with young people providing promotional and educational materials (booklets, toolkits, stickers, posters etc).”

If anyone is interested in more information about the West Sussex project, please visit: www.allsortsyouth.org.uk/westsussex or contact: 01273 721211/07771 895343 or email: {mailto: youth@allsortswest.org.uk|youth@allsortswest.org.uk|email}

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