Undeterred by the inclement weather, around 80 delegates attended a conference in Sheffield Town Hall, 26 February 2018 on developing future LGBT+ young leaders. The conference was organised by local charity SAYiT which was established almost twenty years ago and works with LGBT+ young people in the city.  The aim of the conference was to examine ways in which schools, colleges, universities and other institutions could work together more effectively, skilling young LGBT to become more actively involved in their communities and influencing decision and policy makers. A key note speech was delivered by Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall the leading LGBT+ rights campaigning organisation in the UK.

Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive, Stonewall UK said: ‘It was a pleasure to attend and speak at SAYiT’s Developing Future LGBT+ Leaders Conference in Sheffield last week. Empowering young lesbian, gay, bi and trans people to take action in their communities and workplaces is crucial to building a more inclusive society. People perform better when they can be themselves, so it was great SAYiT was able to bring together teachers, youth workers, health care workers, parents, and students in support of future LGBT+ leaders.’

CEO of SAYiT, Steve Slack said; ‘We were delighted when Ruth Hunt accepted our invitation to speak at the conference. Ruth delivered a very personal and inspiring keynote speech outlining her own growth as a leader and of the importance of authenticity and openness – in spite of the struggles many of us face to be open and honest to ourselves and to others.

‘We know that many LGBT+ young people still face numerous challenges due to bullying, rejection and discrimination and as a result are more likely to experience mental health problems than the general population. As an organisation we feel it is important for young LGBT+ people do not see themselves as victims but begin to feel more empowered to highlight and challenge any inequalities they may  face and experience’.

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: ‘As a council we have always been very proud of our track record in supporting LGBT young people in the city. LGBT+ rights are not special rights but human rights. We have always been committed to improving the lives and attainment of all young people in this diverse city of ours, ensuring that all young people reach their full potential. We were delighted to support this conference organised by SAYiT.’

Below are some of the presentations and feedback from the workshops that you may find useful from the day:

Steve Slack Developing Future Leaders SAYiT Conference 2018

Mark Scott LGBT+ Leadership SAYiT Conference 2018

El Formby SAYiT Conference 2018

Heather Paterson SAYiT Conference 2018 Powerpoint

Creating A Thinking Environment Workshop 26-2-18

Art Activism Workshops 26-2-18

LGBT+ Young People with Additional Needs Workshop 26-2-18

The Trans Support Pack for Sheffield Schools was also launched at this conference. We hope you find all the resources attached useful in working to enable young LGBT+ leaders to lead their own lives successfully and then go on to be great leaders themselves.