June is officially recognised as Pride Month by the LGBTQ+ community. Throughout the month, many commemorations will be shared to shine a light on trailblazers and champions who strive to make a just society for us all.

YMCA aims to give voice to and meet the needs of young people in the communities we serve. We are committed to creating an equitable environment where young people can belong, contribute and thrive, enabling them to reach their potential. Discover how we do this below.

Reece’s Story – YMCA Nottinghamshire Outburst Project

Reece experienced bullying at school, depression and social anxiety, which stopped him from singing. The Outburst project for LGBTQ+ young people in Nottingham helped him express his personality, make new friends, and consider a career in music.

Prashanta’s Story – YMCA Thames Gateway

When Prashanta came out as gay, his parents did not come to terms with his sexuality, and he was subjected to seven devastating months of abuse and violence. After reaching out for help, he was signposted to YMCA Thames Gateway, and within two weeks, he was offered a safe place to stay.

YMCA Swansea – GoodVibes

GoodVibes is a safe and friendly place for LGBTQ+ young people to hang out and make new friends in a confidential environment. This dedicated youth forum supports young people between the ages of 11 and 25. During COVID, they provided virtual youth group sessions and 1-2-1 sessions with support from LGBT+ Cymru.

GoodVibes is an award-winning project, having won the Diversity Award at the Youth Matters Awards. 

“Before I started coming to the group, my confidence was rock bottom, and I barely interacted with other people. But now, my confidence has soared. GoodVibes has given the other young LGBTQ+ people in the community and me a safe place to access support and share our experiences.” – GoodVibes member.

YMCA Lincolnshire – LGBT Youth Service

YMCA Lincolnshire supports Lincolnshire’s LGBTQ+ youth by running a weekly group. The project engages with young people aged 11 – 18 years old and aims to provide support, fun and a safe place for those who need it. It also offers support and guidance to parents and guardians.

At YMCA, we believe everyone should have a safe place to stay. Our philosophy of supporting young people means we provide not only a bed but also help a young person gain the training, skills and confidence to go on to lead independent lives.

YMCA Downslink Group – YMCA YAC – Youth Advice Centre

The YMCA Youth Advice Centre (YAC) offers advice, support and guidance to young people in Brighton and Hove. The service won The Allsorts Safer Spaces Award, recognising its work to create a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQ+ young people.

YMCA is proud to support diversity and inclusion, from the colleagues we work alongside to the young people we support in the communities we serve.

Happy Pride Month from all of us at YMCA.