New kite mark launched to recognise Sheffield's most LGBT+ friendly services for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence

A Sheffield charity has developed an LGBT+ quality assurance accreditation award for domestic abuse and sexual violence services in South Yorkshire, to reduce barriers for service users, staff and volunteers.

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 4:59 pm
Three organisations in the region have so far achieved the SAYiT LGBT+ Inclusion Kite Mark Bronze Award.

SAYiT, or Sheena Amos Youth Trust - a registered charity that works to transform the lives of LGBT+ young people - has developed the SAYiT LGBT+ Inclusion Kite Mark to reduce barriers for those seeking support, as well as to help staff and volunteers feel more comfortable.

Three organisations have so far achieved the quality assurance accreditation award, of which there are three different categories - bronze, silver and gold.

Heather Paterson, CEO of SAYiT Sheffield, said: “It’s great to be able to celebrate the work that organisations in South Yorkshire have done and the commitment they have shown to being more inclusive to LGBT+ survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence. Well done to all three organisations for achieving our LGBT+ Inclusion Kite Mark!”

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By achieving the SAYiT LGBT+ Inclusion Kite Mark, LGBT+ service users can be assured that organisations are committed to LGBT+ inclusion, with a gold award showing the highest level of commitment.

Hackenthorpe Lodge, NSPCC Sheffield – Letting the Future in, and YWCA Yorkshire – Peile House, have all achieved bronze status.

Hackenthorpe Lodge’s LGBT+ link nurse, Keeley Roe, said: “I wanted to take a proactive approach to ensuring our service was understanding of the potential barriers members of LGBT+ community may face when accessing services, and also to raise awareness of our specialised service within the same community.

“During the past year, I have been fortunate to meet the wonderful staff at SAYiT and form part of the South Yorkshire LGBT+ Networking Group (the group aims to address the barriers which prevent LGBT+ people from accessing mainstream sexual and domestic abusive services).

“As a member of this group, I have met many like-minded professionals who want to push forward with promoting diversity and inclusion within our dedicated services and address the barriers which prevent members of the community accessing services.

“In order to validate and celebrate the work we, at Hackenthorpe Lodge, have achieved, we decided to progress with SAYiT’s LGBT+ Inclusion Kite Mark certification. This provided us with a creditable structure in which to work towards. I am beyond thrilled and extremely proud to have achieved SAYiT’s LGBT+ Bronze Award – Kite Mark certification, on behalf of Hackenthorpe Lodge, and look forward to working towards achieving the Silver Award in the very near future.”

By achieving the SAYiT LGBT+ Inclusion Kite Mark, LGBT+ service users can be assured that organisations are committed to LGBT+ inclusion, with a gold award showing the highest level of commitment.

A spokesperson for NSPCC Sheffield - Letting The Future In added: “At Sheffield NSPCC Service Centre we want to ensure that we are an inclusive and welcoming service for all LGBTQ+ children and young people which is why we have committed ourselves to the SAYiT Kite Mark scheme.

“We have found this a really positive and helpful experience and some of the simple changes we have made have already been noticed and felt by a number of young people that access our services.”

Research shows that 89 percent of LGBTQ people said they would feel more confident accessing a service which displayed an LGBT kite mark.

For more information, see here.