LGBT Youth Scotland has presented the City of Edinburgh Council’s Community and Families Service with a Foundation LGBT Charter Award today (Tuesday 24 May).
The Council received the prestigious award for its work in supporting students and training staff to tackle homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. The service carried out awareness raising activities and ensured that appropriate training and policies are in place across the city’s schools, education and support settings.
Research(external link) shows that 70% of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people experience homophobic, or biphobic, bullying in schools in Scotland. Transgender young people face an even harder time with 77% experiencing homophobic, biphobic or transphobic bullying in Scottish schools.
This award recognises the inclusive policy, practice and support offered by the Community and Families Service to its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, and promotes best practice in terms of equality. It is an important step in recognising and addressing the inequalities many young people still face in Scotland today.
John Nicholls, Director of Youth Work with LGBT Youth Scotland, presented the award to Cllr Paul Godzik in the City Chambers today (Tuesday 24 May).
Fergus McMillan, Chief Executive of LGBT Youth Scotland said: “We are delighted to present City of Edinburgh Council Communities and Families Service with their Foundation LGBT Charter Mark. This is the first local authority education service in Scotland to receive this award.
"A key highlight which ran across their submission was the development of guidance for LGBT young people in schools. This guidance was developed in partnership with LGBT Youth Scotland, and its roll out across Edinburgh schools will improve the lives of hundreds of young people, and increased the confidence of staff in knowing how to support a young person in line with GIRFEC and the UNCRC.
“We would like to commend all staff and young people involved in this work. It’s a real achievement and a mark of excellence for a local authority department who meaningfully commit to the inclusion lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pupils and their families.”
Councillor Paul Godzik, Education Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to receive this award on behalf of the city from LGBT Youth Scotland. It is testament to all the positive work that goes on across our services for children and young people, including schools, to promote equality and tackle discrimination. It’s great that LGBT Youth Scotland have recognised the efforts of our Communities and Families Service and are the first in Scotland to receive this accolade.
"At the same time, we are delighted that Family Group Decision Making is the first smaller service to achieve the Bronze Award. All our schools have an equalities and anti-bullying policy which places equality for transgender, gay, lesbian and bisexual people and tackling homophobia and transphobia at the same level of commitment as issues about race, gender, faith and disability equality. It’s important we continue this positive work to ensure our young people and staff are equipped to address these issues.”
1) LGBT Youth Scotland is the largest youth and community-based organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Scotland: www.lgbtyouth.org.uk(external link)
2) LGBT Youth Scotland is a company limited by guarantee (No 244805) with charitable status (SC024047). Registered at 40 Commercial Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6J