Membership Spotlight – LGBT Youth Scotland

Every fortnight we showcase the work of one of our member organisations and outline how individuals and other NGOs can support them. This week we’re delighted to share with you the work of LGBT Youth Scotland, Scotland’s national charity for LGBTI young people.

Tell us about the work of LGBT Youth Scotland?

Our goal is to make Scotland the best place to grow up for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex young people. We are a youth work organisation, supporting LGBT young people across Scotland through weekly youth groups and 1-2-1 support. We also have a policy and research function to influence decision makers.

What projects are you currently working on?

Today, on Monday 18 October, we are launching our survey on Life in Scotland for LGBT Young People! The survey aims to provide a snapshot of life across a whole range of areas, including education, the NHS, mental health, coming out, safety, work, home life, representation and the media. We will use the research to influence the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, the NHS and other decision-makers to make life in Scotland better for LGBT young people. 

Life in Scotland is the biggest piece of research on LGBT Young People and takes place every five years. Read more about the 2021 project below.

How do you support children and families to learn about their rights?

Through our sessions with young people we work to ensure that they are aware of and understand their rights as both young people, LGBT people and other intersections.

How can children and young people make their views heard to influence your work?

Our 2021-2026 Manifesto was developed through engagement with over 200 young people through our youth groups across Scotland through an online survey. This manifesto sets our policy priorities for the next five years. We also have a youth reference group with engages with and influences the decisions of our board.

How does LGBT Youth Scotland influence policy development on issues affecting children and young people?

Guided by the input from young people, reflected in our manifesto, we have been campaigning for an end to so-called conversion therapy in Scotland. We supported a petition in the Scottish Parliament and recently gave evidence to the Committee of the impacts of this abhorrent (and rights-violating) practice on children and young people.

What do you enjoy most about being a member of Together?

Membership enables us to work with colleagues in different organisations across Scotland’s Not for Profit sector to find solutions that work for all. Intersectional and cross cutting approaches enable us to do the best for the young people we support.

How can other organisations or individuals get involved or support your work?

For our Life in Scotland for LGBT Young People research we are hoping to reach the largest possible number of LGBT young people in Scotland. If you work with young people aged 13-25 who might be eligible and interested, please share the link to the survey with them and share our calls to participate through social media, newsletters and other comms channels that you use.

Download LGBT Youth Scotland’s images and suggested copy to promote the survey across your social media platforms, website and newsletter.  

And something a bit silly to end – if LGBT Youth Scotland was an animal what would it be and why?

No doubt we would be a frog. When we moved from face-to-face to online through our Discord server, young people created an emoji of ‘Moss the queer frog’ who has since made it on to t-shirts, hoodies and pin badges.

Pinbadge with the LGBT flag and Moss the frog on the side
Moss pinbadges!

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