During LGBT+ History Month, all of our homes engaged in various activities as part of our ‘Staying Connected’ programme.

The programme has played a vital part in keeping young people engaged and connected during the pandemic, with different remote-friendly events planned throughout the year. During February 2021, the homes all engaged in a month of activities and education sessions to celebrate LGBT+ History Month.

Why is this an important month to recognise within the homes?

Within our homes, there are many young people that are proud to identify as LGBTQIA+, so this is naturally something that they feel passionately about and are motivated to get involved in. Additionally, as an organisation, we feel it’s important that all of our young people feel supported and comfortable in their identity. Part of this is celebrating alongside them when it comes to special events in the year, such as LGBT+ History Month. Furthermore, our residential teams often take the opportunity of awareness events to not only celebrate, but also educate.

How did the homes get involved?

One of our Yorkshire homes, Woodside, played a particularly important role in organising activities during one special week to promote LGBT+ History Month. The young people of Woodside each took turns in hosting ‘Staying Connected’ activities for all of the homes to enjoy, varying from an ‘LGBT song lyrics quiz’ to a ‘Pride Pizza competition’. Willowhurst even held a paint bomb competition, where everyone had lots of fun getting ‘paint bombed’ in the garden!

To finish off the week, Woodside hosted a special Pride party, including dressing up in drag, over Zoom for all young people to enjoy. The young people all played a huge part in making the celebrations as successful as they were; baking rainbow cakes, creating party playlists, and getting dressed up.

To ensure all the homes could get involved, Woodside sent out packs to all the homes with invitations, ideas of how to decorate their home and tips for throwing the best Pride party. An itinerary of the week’s activities and posters for the competitions were also sent around in advance, and the homes engaged in group education discussions about homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying.

Whilst much of the celebrations were made possible by the young people, it was also a Support Worker at Woodside, Claire Wilde, who played a significant part in organising the week’s events. Talking about why she felt it was important for the homes to celebrate together, she said “I think it’s important that the YP’s stay in touch doing fun things like this and it proved you don’t have to come to Woodside to enjoy a party with us!”

Thank you to all the young people and staff who got involved in celebrating this important month.