‘We will make this an inclusive city for all’, say Sheffield LGBT+ charity
A Sheffield charity which has been supporting young LGBT+ people for 20 years says that its services are needed now more than ever.
The charity, called SAYiT, was established in 1999 to support young people’s sexual health and those young people affected by HIV.
The charity’s CEO Steve Slack said: “We are looking forward to commemorating the 20th anniversary
of the charity.
“Whilst the main emphasis will be on celebration, it is a sad fact that the charity is needed more than ever. In the past year the country has witnessed a surge in LGBT+ hate crime.”
Steve said that he recently saw the abuse that young members of the LGBT+ community can face.
“Young people tell us that it is still hard for them to be out as LGBT+ and many face abuse and discrimination in their schools, in their communities and where they socialise.
“Only recently I was walking through town with one of our volunteers who is transgender and witnessed the abuse which she has come to treat as the norm when she goes out.
“The abuse of transgender people seems to have become particularly acute – and sadly some of it has emanated from within our own LGBT+ communities.”
With that in mind, SAYiT has expanded its work programme in the last year and developed a service raising awareness of domestic abuse within LGBT+ communities in South Yorkshire.
The charity has provided training aimed at improving the response to incidents of LGBT+ domestic abuse. To date, 84 organisations have been trained.
The charity has also been looking at ways of improving its offer of services to young people with Special Educational Needs.
Steve added that the charity would continue to do all it can to help combat hate crime, both from inside and outside the LBGT+ community.
“We have seen increases in hate crime and bigotry in the past and we have been steadfast in confronting such prejudice and discrimination. Sheffield is a great city in which to grow up and the vast majority of people want what is best for all of its citizens – young and old. It is only a small proportion of people who voice hatred and we will continue to challenge them and make this an inclusive city for all.”