LGBTQIA+ service wins award

Our Place drop in service - 2020 Make a Difference Awards.jpg

The City of Swan LGBTQIA+ drop-in service has been presented the Community Partner Award at the 2020 Youth Focus Make a Difference Awards.

The annual awards are presented to individuals and organisations who have displayed drive and compassion in their support of Youth Focus’ important work to prevent youth suicide and to encourage positive mental health.

The accolade was for the Our Place: A Safe Space collaboration, a fortnightly drop-in in program in Midland for young LGBTIQA+ people aged between 12 and 25.

Our Place is delivered in partnership with Swan City Youth Service, Headspace Midland and Youth Focus.

The premise behind the service is that every young person deserves to feel safe: that means we have a shared responsibility to make everyone feel welcomed, respected, accepted and valued, regardless of gender, racer sexuality, beliefs and ability.

Young people can relax, be themselves and connect with others, including seeking help and support from specialist staff.

Now in its second year, the program has had positive feedback from individuals and their families, including one young person who said they felt alone before they started coming along.

“I now feel confident and comfortable with myself, and I’ve had the confidence to meet more LGBTQIA+ people and share our life experiences to bond and get closer to people my age,” they wrote.

Other feedback includes:

“The Our Place drop-in has changed the way young LGBTQIA+ meet and share experiences in a safe and secure environment with the right guidance from friendly staff.”

“Personally the drop in has allowed me to be myself without the dear of being judged or belittled like past experiences.

“The drop-in creates a positive vibe for me and other young people…and has allowed me to be my true self without the feeling of insecurity and rejection. I couldn’t have asked for a better youth drop in.”

– Anonymous young person from Rivervale

“Basically before the Our Place drop-in I didn’t know anyone who was part of the LGBTQIA+ community at all.”

“Our Place has given me a chance to make friends with other LGBTQIA+ people, I can connect and relate to them and hear their problems and coming-out stories.

“We talk about how they were accepted, or not accepted, by their families – my family doesn’t accept me as a transgender female so having this place where I can feel safe is really important, I get really excited to come to the drop in.

“Our Place gives me something to look forward to – it helped me to come out because I was able to speak to other people who had been through the process.

“The staff are really important too because they are adults from the LGBTQIA+ community so it makes them relatable and it feels like a very accepting space.”

– 19 year old transgender female from Stratton

Sessions run from 5 to 7pm every second Monday, located at Swan City Youth Service, 12 Padbury Terrace, Midland. Dates for early 2021 are:

  • January 11 and 25
  • February 8 and 22
  • March 22 and 8

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