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Sheffield recognised for LGBT+ services: City receives gold status from Stonewall

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Members of SAYiT at Sheffield Pride.

Stonewall have recognised Sheffield's public sector for its work in supporting LGBT+ young people.

Organisations across the city including Sheffield City Council, Learn Sheffield and SAYiT, the LGBT+ young people's charity, were awarded gold status at the Children and Young People's Champion Awards.

"We are absolutely delighted that Stonewall has recognised the excellent work being undertaken in Sheffield to support LGBT+ young people with this prestigious award," said Steve Slack, CEO of SAYiT.

"At a time when we have seen an increase in LGBT+ hate crime nationally it makes us proud that innovative work is being done locally to challenge such bigotry and to confront LGBT+ related bullying."

The award recognises projects such as LGBT+ training for foster carers, school staff and youth service managers, as well as trans awareness training for over 400 Sheffield City Council employees.

Sheffield City Council has worked hard to put LGBT inclusion at the heart of all that they do

Learn Sheffield, the city's school improvement partnership, have offered one-to-one LGBT+ mental health support in schools.

"We know that LGBT+ young people are more likely to experience bullying as well as mental health problems, and can often find it hard to get the support they need," said Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families.

"This award recognises the wonderful work that all our staff and partners do to work with young people to deliver improved services where and when they are needed."

Other initiatives include an emotional wellbeing resource for schools and colleges and the involvement of LGBT+ young people in all Council services, often working with cabinet members.

We know how crucial it can be for LGBT young people to have services they can turn to when they are in need

Stonewall was founded in 1989 to lobby against Section 28, which outlawed the "promotion" of homosexuality in schools.

The rule was scrapped in 2003 and Stonewall have since worked to reduce homophobia in education. A 2019 survey found that three quarters of teachers had witnessed homophobic bullying in school.

"Sheffield City Council has worked hard to put LGBT inclusion at the heart of all that they do", said Sarah Rose, Senior Children and Young People Programmes Manager at Stonewall.

"We know how crucial it can be for LGBT young people to have services they can turn to when they are in need."

Sheffield City Council has been a Stonewall Education Champion since 2009 and has been consistently recognised for its LGBT+ services.

Sam Gregory

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