In Stonewall’s first ever Children and Young People’s Champion Awards, Sheffield City Council has been given gold status for its work supporting the inclusion of LGBT+ young people.

The award recognises activities from the council, SAYiT Sheffield’s LGBT+ young people’s charity, and Learn Sheffield, our school improvement partnership. Activities include:

  • LGTB+ training to foster carers, school staff and youth service managers
  • Trans awareness training for over 400 employees
  • One to one LGBT+ mental health support in schools
  • LGTB+ young people’s involvement in all council services, including at the highest level with cabinet members
  • Mental health training for 400 children and young people and staff
  • A student emotional wellbeing resource for schools and colleges

Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said:

“This award highlights the fantastic work the Council has done with our LGBT+ young people and our partners SAYiT and Learn Sheffield to improve our services.

“We know that LGTB+ 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.  This award recognises the wonderful work that all our staff and partner do to work with young people to deliver improved services where and when they are needed.”

Steve Slack, CEO of SAYiT – Sheffield’s LGBT+ young people’s charity, said:

“We are absolutely delighted that Stonewall has recognised the excellent work being undertaken in Sheffield to support LGBT+ young people with this prestigious award.

“We are very proud of our organisation’s working partnership and collaboration with Sheffield City Council and the positive differences we are able to make to young people’s lives.

“We applaud the Council for its support for us, for the work we do and for their continued commitment to improving the lives of LGBT+ young people.

“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.  This is a well-deserved and hard won award and demonstrates Sheffield’s commitment to making this wonderful city of ours an even more inclusive one for all of our young people. Many congratulations.’’

Stephen Betts at Learn Sheffield said: “The collaborative approach of our schools, local charities and key partners to tackle homophobic bullying and support our LGBT+ young people is essential if we are to be an inclusive city. It is fantastic that Sheffield has been recognised by Stonewall with the gold award.”

Sarah Rose, Senior Children and Young People Programmes Manager at Stonewall, said: “Sheffield City Council has worked hard to put LGBT inclusion at the heart of all that they do. We know how crucial it can be for LGBT young people to have services they can turn to when they are in need. This award recognises Sheffield’s City Council, SAYiT and Learn Sheffield’s efforts and commitment to making the world a better place for all LGBT people.’

Stonewall’s Children and Young Peoples Champion award replaces its Education Equality Index and takes a holistic overview of services working with young people up to the age of 18. Sheffield City Council has been a Stonewall Education Champion since 2009 and has been consistently recognised for its LGBT+ services.