Doncaster Pride announces a new project in the town to tackle youth homophobia

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Directors of local lesbian/Gay/Bi-sexual (LGB) Charity Doncaster Pride have released details relating to a new project, funded by “The Big Lottery Fund”

The Doncaster Pride ‘LGB Inclusive Schools’ project is designed to work towards educating out homophobia in Doncaster’s secondary schools and provide support to the wider LGB community.

Chair of Doncaster Pride Cath Fox said “The project’s aims are twofold, firstly we aim to work across the borough with the council, agencies and schools to help formulate and deliver support into schools to educate Doncaster’s teens to better understand the effects of homophobia and adopt anti-discriminatory behaviour. Secondly, we aim to establish, through this project, a point of support and information to young LGB people and their families in Doncaster.”

“We will provide training for teachers to help them deal with LGB issues within school, and workshops for students to educate out prejudice towards LGB people. We will also work with schools to adapt policies and curriculum to be more inclusive.”

The project has been funded for 3 years and will work closely with Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, assisting them in their work as Stonewall Education Champions.

A spokesperson for Doncaster Council said “Doncaster for the first time in 26 years will join the Stonewall Education Equality Index. It is a comprehensive annual benchmarking exercise for local authorities to showcase how well they are tackling homophobia and homophobic bullying in schools. Evidence will be collected over the next couple of months and new opportunities planned for schools in partnership with Doncaster Pride. We welcome

schools to come forward as best practice lead schools to support this development.”

Project Worker Andrew Roe added: “My first task is to get into schools and get them involved in celebrating LGBT History month in February. This will be a landmark first step in the project and will show how prevalent LGBT culture is in the world and how it’s relevant to us all in all walks of life. I’m very excited to have been recruited into this role which I believe is a real step forward in terms of tackling some of the underlying issues around youth

homophobia. I want to get involved and understand why thoughts and behaviours develop, and do what I can to break through and educate the perpetrators as well as work with the victims and give them the support they and their families often need.”

The project was developed over a period of 2 years by Doncaster Pride and funding was sought to deliver from The Big Lottery.

Project co-ordinator Andy Carter said: “Doncaster Pride has become the focal point for the LGB community in Doncaster and started to get drawn into issues far greater than the original remit of the Pride.

When the group first formed some 7 years ago it was with the aim of celebrating the LGB community with a Pride event. But, over time all sorts of community concerns, issues and projects were involving us more and more in the wider LGB issues. We could have ignored these but we decided as a group we must do what we can to help.”

Without doubt the greatest concern to us is homophobia experienced by our young people and we decided we must take action. Our research and that of others has led us to bidding to the National Lottery for funds and we’re delighted to say they approved the funding for the 3 year project.”