LGBTQ+ Under 18s Youth Support

by Kerry Cameron in Darwen, Blackburn with Darwen, United Kingdom

LGBTQ+ Under 18s Youth Support

Total raised £20

raised so far



The Rainbow Youth Centre was founded with a mission to enhance and sustain the health and well-being of under 18s who identify as LGBTQ+.

by Kerry Cameron in Darwen, Blackburn with Darwen, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 21st March 2022 we'd raised £10 with 1 supporters in 28 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

About The Rainbow Youth Centre 

The Rainbow Youth Centre was founded in 2020 after spending over 2 years researching youth groups and activities that support young people who identify as LGBTQ+. We found that whilst there were a few weekly drop-in sessions in local areas, these were very limited, not easily accessible and did not cater to younger members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Our directors and trustees are parents of young people who identify as LGBTQ+ or are part of the community themselves and as such have lived experience of the struggles, both physically and mentally, that LGBTQ+ young people face and the difficulty in accessing support and services that cater for under 18s in the community. In addition to lived experience, our board have over 50 years of combined knowledge and experience of teaching, psychology, and working with vulnerable young people. From this experience in their personal and working lives, they have seen first-hand the hardships faced by young people from an area of high deprivation and even more so when a young person identifies as LGBTQ+ and want to help young people become more resilient, raise their self-esteem, better their mental health and increase their aspirations.  


Why we need your help

LGBTQ+ young people have faced greater inequalities during the pandemic due to extended isolation, fewer face-to-face social interactions, being cut off from support networks, and for some, this has meant living with homophobic or transphobic families with increased verbal or physical domestic violence toward them. This has led to pre-existing mental health issues being exacerbated. By supporting the health and wellbeing of attendees, we see increased confidence and self-esteem, creating more resilient young people with greater coping mechanisms. Encouraging young people to create bonds beyond the project creates a large community of diverse, empowered young people who are supported to reach their potential, celebrate their community values and be proud to be part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Meeting peers can be an invaluable source of support, confidence, and self-esteem, and for many, an LGBTQ+ youth group will be the first place that they can truly be themselves.

During 2020 and throughout the pandemic we spent time talking with parents and young people in the local community who agreed that the facilities or lack thereof, is a huge problem within the district for the LGBTQ+ youth.

In addition, we conducted an online survey of 152 under 18s who identify as LGBTQ+ and live in Blackburn with Darwen and surrounding areas to gauge the need for an exclusive project, with 130 of young people surveyed stating they cannot access activities and support aimed at LGBTQ+ youth, yet 86% of those surveyed said they would attend LGBTQ+ sessions if they were made accessible. The response was clear, there was a gap in services and young people are suffering with 90% of young people surveyed stating they suffer from anxiety and depression, 48% feel lonely and isolated and 42% have had suicidal thoughts. 87% said they would benefit from more support. In the survey young people also identified that they need the following key things from an LGBTQ+ youth services:

  • 92% want a safe space to be themselves and explore their identity
  • 76% want to find a sense of belonging
  • 70% want a fun space to make new friends

They also expressed the need for:

  • Information and education
  • Trained and knowledgeable staff of varied identities
  • Having their own voice heard and seeing things change as a result
  • Confidentiality and anonymity

Whilst we set out to support young people from the local community and surrounding areas, we have been inundated with requests for help and support from across Lancashire and the Northwest.


What we do

We work to build an integrated, supportive, and understanding local community, work with local services such as schools, the NHS, Mental Health Teams and Social Workers to provide wrap around support the LGBTQ+ youth community.  

Young people build bonds beyond the project to create a large community of diverse, empowered young people who are supported to reach their potential, celebrate their community values and be proud to be part of the LGBTQ+ community. 

We run a wide range of core activities, programs, and services to fulfil our mission, this includes: 

•             Under 18s LGBTQ+ youth clubs 

•             Personalised mentoring & support 

•             LGBTQ+ Inclusive education in schools

•             LGBTQ+ exclusive events for young people 

•             Signposting to other services 

•             Sexual health clinics and HIV testing 

•             Creative photography sessions 

•             Life skill workshops 

•             Drama clubs 

•             Music lessons 


Our activities and services help to improve confidence, reduce isolation, improve mental health, increases skills and knowledge within the LGBTQ+ youth community. By supporting the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ young people we manage risks and with early crisis intervention we help to ease the pressure on local services, acting as a buffer between services which are already stretched beyond capacity. We work with a network of referral partners including the NHS, CAMHs, schools, youth services and social workers who refer young people to our services.

Our Goals

The project although a new and unique one, works to build an integrated, supportive, and understanding community. Our long-term goal is to become a long standing, lifesaving and life enhancing organisation that supports LGBTQ+ young people to empower themselves and make a positive change for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Youth groups are a vital part of our community and while the experiences of LGBTQ+ young people have improved significantly in recent years; youth groups continue to provide a lifeline for those who cannot access the support, understanding or information that they need at home or at school.

By increasing the confidence and self-esteem of attendees, we aim to build more resilient teens and pre-teens and equip them with coping mechanisms as well as building a strong support network of peers with lived experience.

Although our primary objective is to support LGBTQ+ youth, we also want to educate and encourage the wider community and district in the acceptance and understanding of the LGBTQ+ community.


How Can You Help?

Your donations will ensure we can continue to grow our services to cope with increased demand and support more young people in the future. We’re looking to raise £5000 to expand our youth groups, recruit more Youth Workers and provide in depth training for staff.  We really need your help.

With your support we will be able to:

  • Support 

Expand our activities and sessions. Your donations will help us to offer more 1-to-1 support and crisis interventions for young people who are struggling. We will use this time to connect people with the right support and services they need, make referrals, and keep young people safe.

  • Connection 

Your donation will allow us to provide training to our youth workers to become trusted adults who will offer support, friendship, and a listening ear. 

  • Community 

Your donation would go towards our outreach work in the local area and across Lancashire, making sure young people feel protected, seen and celebrated wherever they live. It will also enable us to offer support and advice to their parents and family members.  

  • Information 

Lastly, your donations will help us share important information about the LGBTQ+ community by distributing posters, flyers, and other resources. You will also be helping us advocate for LGBTQ communities around issues like housing, health, and hate crime in and around Lancashire.


This project offered rewards

£5 or more

£5 Reward

- RYC wrist band

£10 or more

£10 Reward

- RYC wrist band and pen

£15 or more

£15 Reward

- RYC wrist band, pen and stress ball

£25 or more

£25 Reward

- An RYC gift box of branded LGBTQ+ goods

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