LGBTI young people to benefit from Breaking Down Barriers project, funded by Big Lottery Fund awarded to LGBT Youth Scotland


LGBTI young people in Tayside, Forth Valley, Dumfries & Galloway, and across Scotland (through digital engagement), are to benefit from Breaking Down Barriers – an LGBTI inclusion project launched by LGBT Youth Scotland, funded from a successful award made by the Big Lottery Fund. 

Announced today [Tuesday 28th June], the funding award of £380,200 will enable LGBT Youth Scotland to work with over 400 LGBTI young people over the next three years, to create positive personal identities and improve their lives.

The work will see skilled youth workers supporting young people individually and working in groups to develop their skills and confidence so that they can successfully progress to further training and employment. A major innovation of the programme will see the development of online groupwork and personal support for LGBTI young people who are unable to access services because they are not able to travel because they live in remote areas.

Despite important changes in legislation to protect and advance the rights of LGBT people, it is still the case in Scotland that 70% of LGB young people and 77% of transgender young people experience bullying in school and 10% of LGBT young people leave education as a result (Life in Scotland for LGBT Young People: Education Report, LGBT Youth Scotland).

One young person who has previously accessed youth work and group support from LGBT Youth Scotland shared their thoughts on the difference the support made to their life:

“The support of the workers and people attending the group assured me that I was valid, meaning I was at last able to come out to my friends and parents. Honestly, if I hadn't taken that step there might not have been a life to make a difference to, and the support I was given has helped me no end.”

John Nicholls, Youth Work Director, LGBT Youth Scotland said:

“In recent years Scotland has seen changes in our legislation and national leadership which seek to make life much better for the LGBTI community. Nevertheless, the day to day reality for many LGBTI young people is that they still face considerable barriers to enjoying life to the full and achieving their aspirations.

“This is why LGBT Youth Scotland is proud to announce the launch of the Breaking Down Barriers project. Through our award winning youth work approaches we will stand alongside young people to develop their skills and confidence and support them to break down the barriers to their success. We are thrilled that the Big Lottery Fund recognises the vital importance of this work and will be supporting our work to improve LGBTI young people's lives in the coming years.”

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said:

“I am delighted that LGBT Youth Scotland is one of 60 groups sharing in our latest grants totalling over £17 million. This is life changing money which will support people and families facing challenging circumstances and I wish LGBT Youth Scotland every success as it goes on to develop and expand this valuable project.”


Notes to Editors:

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
2/ LGBT Youth Scotland is a company limited by guarantee (No 244805) with charitable status (SC024047). Registered at 40 Commercial Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6JD
3/ The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. They are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
4/ Since June 2004 BLF have awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people. Every year we fund 13,000 small local projects tackling big social problems like poor mental health and homelessness.
5/ Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £34 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.
6/ Press Contact: John Nicholls 0131 555 3940
7/ Social Media:
LGBT Youth Scotland Twitter @LGBTYS
LGBT Youth Scotland Facebook: LGBTYS
Big Lottery Fund Scotland Twitter: @BIGScotland #biglottery
Big Lottery Fund Scotland Facebook: biglotteryfundscotland