YAY! Cornwall (Young and Yourself) The youth group for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Questioning young people up to the age of 25 who live, work or who are visiting, at school or college in Cornwall .
YAY was set up by LGBTQ Youth Cornwall in 2008 and in 2018 amalgamated with the Intercom Trust to continue and expand the provision of the LGBTQ+ Youth Group for Cornwall.
At Cornwall Pride in 2008 LGBT PACT asked people what were thier concerns as members of the gay community in Cornwall, the top priority was identified as there being a lack of provision for young LGBT people living, working or who are visiting, at school or college in Cornwall.
In 2009 members of LGBT PACT held a meeting to address this concern and out of that began LGBTQ Youth Cornwall. After a couple of months of fundraising and planning the first youth worker was employed and sessions for young people provided. At this time the meetings were held in coffee shops that kindly stayed open after hours to provide a venue for the sessions. It has been an intention from the outset that this was a youth group not a youth club, it is about creating a safe supportive envioronment for young LGBTQ people. This was reinforced at those early sessions by the young people themselves who created the name of the group as 'Young and Yourself!' YAY! They wanted something that they could relate to, something that didnt shout about being lesbian, gay, bi, trans or questioning but a place where you could be any of those things and 'Young and Yourself! A professional marketing consultant worked with the young people to design the logo for the group.
During 2010 the group continued to hold sessions in coffee shops and other venues in and around Truro. By the end of the year some open evenings were held at youth centres across the county in places like Saltash. Launceston, Hayle and Falmouth.
In 2011 LGBTQ Youth Cornwall opened the first dedicated LGBTQ youth centre for Cornwall in Truro, funded by Children in Need. Most of the sessions including members meetings, drop in's and film night as well as the management meetings are held in this youth centre. We have also welcomed its use by other organisations who have benefited by having access to a LGBTQ young person safe space. We are proud to be able to offer this as a resource not only to the LGBT community but also to other organisations with similar aims and objectives. Based on the expierience of the open evenings we have built on these with outreach sessions in other places across Cornwall improving access to the group to young people who cannot travel to Truro.
We have continued to increase the number and variety of sessions on offer, including a series of sessions in Camborne. We launched our new web site on the Rainbow Show live on air. We also contributed to the Cornwall Schools Transgender Guidance that has gone on the recieve national and international aclaim.
We contributed to the debates held by Sarah Newton MP on the subject of same sex marriage. and to cover the increased number of sessions took on our third youth worker.
With continued support from Children in Need as our major funding provider we have been able to secure additional funding form the Police and Crime Commissioner to extend our work in Cornwall schools offering drop down day sessions, we are also working with other youth organisations in Cornwall
We are now collaborating with 31 other organisations nationally on an awareness campaign on hate crime as well as offering all the regular favorate sessiosn in our youth centre film night, gender identity, over and under 18 sessions, themed sessions and outdoor activitiy sessions
We started running Gender Identity Family Days in Cornwall once a month in addition to the weekly sessions for young people at our own youth centre in Truro
We are involved in a project to support teachers funded by the Department for Education
LGBTQ Youth Cornwall is to amalgamate with the Intercom Trust following a succesful bid to Children in Need to a major grant to fund the youth group which will continue to be known as YAY Cornwall
We are now delivering around 25 sessions for young LGBTQ people in Cornwall every month, these include the sessions at our own youth centre, family days, school and college lunch time groups as well as LGBTQ awareness to over 5000 young people each year in schools.
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