Pride Action North awarded nearly £170k by The National Lottery for LGBTQIA+ youth mental health support

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Pride Action North has secured funding from The National Lottery Community Fund to roll out a youth mental health support programme in Northumberland.

The charity was awarded £168,340 for a three-year project addressing the lack of specialist support currently available for LGBTQIA+ 16 to 25-year-olds in the North East.

It will roll out in Northumberland at first before expanding across Tyne and Wear.

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Pride Action North chair Darren Irvine-Duffy said: “When young people are referred to Pride Action North, sadly it is all too often that they are already at crisis point because there is a sorely missing link between community-based support and education.

Members of the Pride Action North team. (Photo by PAN)Members of the Pride Action North team. (Photo by PAN)
Members of the Pride Action North team. (Photo by PAN)

“This new project focuses on early intervention to help identify issues within young LGBTQIA+ people and make sure they have access to the best support and advocacy available to prevent their personal circumstances from worsening.

“The new project will improve mental health and wellbeing and reduce feelings of isolation and social insecurity by fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment for LGBTQIA+ children and young people.”

The charity will appoint an education coordinator to help schools, colleges, and universities across the North foster an inclusive environment and train education professionals to refer young people to the right community-based support organisations.

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The funding also allows the charity to hire a new link worker.

Pride Action North estimates over 900 people will benefit from the project over its three-year lifespan.

Charity manager Angela Brudenell said: “This project will have a far-reaching impact on people who do not know where to turn for help, or feel that there is nobody out there to call on.

“Improving the lives of LGBTQIA+ communities is fundamental to everything we do at Pride Action North, and we are delighted to have been supported by National Lottery funding to carry out such vital work for the young people in our area.”

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Duncan Nicholson, head of funding for the North East and Cumbria at The National Lottery Community Fund, added: “Thanks to National Lottery players and the hard work and dedication of Pride Action North, this project will play a pivotal role in improving the mental health and wellbeing of young people from LGBTQIA+ communities.”

Pride Action North was formerly known as Northumberland Pride before it rebranded earlier this year.