We've been celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month at Network by teaching some of the young people about the different sexualities and gender identities that a lot of young people are beginning to talk about and identify as. We think that the more knowledge the young people have, the less likely they'll be to fall into harmful stereotypes and use language that they might not fully understand the impact of. It also means that if they or their friends ever identified as LGBTQ+ they'd be able to use terms and language to talk about it confidently and know that Network is a safe and accepting space for all.
We've also discussed how different cultures and countries have had LGBTQ+ identities within them for centuries and how their terms and explanations differ from the Western ones we're used to, as well as discussed LGBTQ+ treatment over the years and how terms and definitions have shifted throughout time. The older young people we have in our sessions were quite engaged with this work as it isn't something that is commonly covered in schools or previous sessions and gave them a new perspective to think about.
We've also recently added an extra session to our DA Awareness training at Venn and HYA around LGBTQ+ awareness and relationships.
We have been celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight and speaking to the young people about why Fairtrade is important! We've done activities like Fairtrade Bingo, quizzes, how our actions can affect the lives of famers through matching card scenarios and 'Is it Fairtrade?' sort cards.
We also included a fun and easy activity in the Play Rangers Children's Homes boxes that we do. The young people would have to decide whether they thought the item on the card was Fairtrade or not and once they were done they could flip them over to see if they were correct. There were a surprisingly large amount of foods and other goods that could be found from Fairtrade sources.
We've been so grateful to our community and young people for all of the time, effort, and donations they have put in to help us raise £161 through a bake sale and tombola, collect a range of hygiene products, and put together 'kindness packs' filled with tea, coffee, sugar and milk sachets! We are happily donating all of it to Doorstep in order to help as much as we can.
We brought a couple of young people with us that had helped with the baking and caroling when we gave them the cheque as they were excited to see the organisation that they had helped raise money for. We can't wait to hear back from them to see how they're going to use the community's donations in the near future.
Our campaign group have begun their fantastic work over the last few weeks. So far they've completed our LGBTQ+ Awareness Training to help boost their confidence in talking about the subject as well as help them understand anything they were a little fuzzy on; they've figured out who their campaign is aimed at, how they're going to reach their audience, and when they can do any fundraising for their chosen LGBTQ+ charity; they've designed and completed their awareness board in our youth room; and have now moved onto the next task of coming up with their own activities that can be used in sessions to help educate other young people and community members! It's safe to say that they've been busy bees.
Some of the young people wrote letters to their future selves, asking them questions about their studies, pets, and family members. The letters have been put in an envelope for staff to look after and give out in a year's time.
The young people also wrote what their goals were for the year; including improving their dance skills, working harder at school, and playing more basketball in their free time.
Hessle Road Network is a company limited by guarantee (No 04360117) registered in England and Wales and a registered charity (No 1097519). Registered Office : Network Young People’s Centre, 1 Massey Street, Hull HU3 3LA.