Outreach youth wants a world where all young people can reach their full potential.
Outreach youth is committed to enabling Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer and Questioning (LGBT*Q+) young people and their peers, to realise their unique potential and to take a positive role in society, through their involvement and participation in social and informal education youth work opportunities.
Outreach youth was set up on certain principles which we should work towards as an organisation.
- Young people choose whether and how to become involved with Outreach youth.
- Our work starts from the needs and wishes of young people and all funding bids will reflect this.
- We involve young people in taking action to improve their own lives and the lives of their communities.
- We promote equality and actively challenge oppressive structures in society, institutions, groups and individuals, including in our own organisation.
- We promote cooperative decision making in our own work, in our youth groups and in the communities where we work.
- We aim to encourage, nurture and respect LGBT*Q+ young people’s individual and collective aspirations as well as their sense of responsibility.
- We commit to the UN Convention on the Rights of the child.
These core values summarise our approach and ethos as a youth work organisation
- Positive Relationships – we like young LGBTQ+ people and we work to build positive, respectful, appropriate and empowering relationships with young people, their families, colleagues and other professionals.
- Respect – we respect the young LGBTQ+ people, their families, colleagues and the professionals we work with.
- Innovation – we are proud that we provide innovative and high-quality youth work to young LGBTQ+ people, with a track record of providing creative solutions and looking for new ways to solve problems.
- Integrity – as a youth work charity we aim to be accountable and transparent to the young LGBTQ+ people we work with, our supporters and funders.
- Aspirational – we see youth work as being able to inspire young LGBTQ+ people and assist them to fulfil their potential – through positive and supportive youth work experiences – we aim to empower young LGBTQ+ people to build brighter futures.
Our Youth Work
We see Youth Work as a distinct educational practice founded on a voluntary relationship with young people and shaped by their agendas.
Our four pillars of youth work are
- EMPOWERMENT is enabling young people to take responsibility and helping them to make decisions about their whole life.
- EQUALITY is about a person’s free involvement in an activity or group based on the absence of discrimination of any kind.
- EDUCATION is the gradual process of acquiring knowledge: “education is a preparation for life.”
- PARTICIPATION means that “it is my right to be involved in making decisions, planning and reviewing an action that might affect me. Having a voice, having a choice.” – Young Person
In 2006 a small group of young gay men, supported by youth workers, established Outreach youth, as the young men identified that there was no Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer and Questioning (LGBT*Q+) specific support or Youth Group available to them in Suffolk.
Based in Ipswich, the project began to grow and be accessed by other LGBT*Q+ young people – the project became formally constituted and started to provide a fortnightly LGBT* youth group.
By 2009, Outreach youth had become recognised as the ‘go to’ organisation for young LGBT* people, parents, carers, schools and professionals for all matters regarding young LGBT* people in Suffolk. Other Outreach youth LGBT*Q+ Youth Groups developed in towns across Suffolk as the need was identified.
In 2010, Outreach youth developed the offer of One to One support for those LGBT*Q+ young people who do not feel able or could not attend a youth group meeting due to personal circumstances or lack of accessible transport.
Between 2010 and 2014, Outreach youth became involved with various initiatives across Suffolk, including with Suffolk County Council as part of their Stonewall Education Champion programme, the Suffolk LGBT Advisory Group, as a founder organisation of Suffolk Pride and as the lead organisation for Suffolk LGBT History month.
In 2014, Outreach youth became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation registered with the Charity Commission.
In 2016, Outreach youth was 10 years old, and young people attended the Suffolk County Council Rainbow Conference – making a keynote speech and facilitating a workshop on their lived life experiences in Suffolk
In 2017, Outreach youth established an innovative Trans* Families project – supporting parents of Trans* and Non-Binary children and also facilitated Suffolk’s first Trans* & Non-Binary Youth Summit supported by Suffolk County Council – Suffolk Public Health. We also began to see an increase in contacts and referrals from young people and families living in North Essex.
In 2018, during LGBT History Month we held our first Open Event for interested adults to find out more about us and our work with young LGBT*Q+ across Suffolk – co-produced with young people it was a fantastic event – with great feedback from all who came along.
We also held our first Fundraising Quiz which was an absolute success with lots of great feedback and money raised to support our work – Ronan, our Young Trustee also complete the Orwell 25 and raised money for the charity through this.
We were named “Youth Club of the Year” by Community Action Suffolk
In 2019, we were delighted to receive BBC Children in Need funding, to help us develop our services to LGBT*Q+ young people across Suffolk, over a three year period.
2019 also saw us move into our LGBT*Q+ youth Hub & Office at Tower House in Ipswich Town centre – possible due to financial the support we received from Ipswich Borough Council.
We attended the re-launched Suffolk Pride on Ipswich Waterfront – a fantastic day with young people from Outreach youth marching and representing the charity on our stall.
In 2020, we held an amazing LGBT*Q+ History Month event at the Ipswich Art Gallery – young people worked hard over a number of sessions to form a choir and perform at the event – we had some great coverage from BBC Look East
We were also able to open our Bury St Edmunds LGBT*Q+ youth group – we met some great young people as we began to talk with them about how best we could meet the needs of LGBT*Q+ in their community.
Like all services we had to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic – joining with other LGBT*Q+ youth groups across the UK – we developed our online support – moving all our youth groups and one to one support online. We also maintained contact with LGBT*Q+ young people via email, text messages and phone calls.
Black Lives Matter, to be better able to support Black LGBT*Q+ young people, we took time to reflect on our organisation and put in place a plan of action. One of our first steps was to commission training for all Trustees, staff and volunteers, over four weekends, by an external Black organisation with a background in youth and community work and development.
In 2021, we continued to support young LGBT*Q+ people across Suffolk via our digital services, plus targeted one to one support. Through our fabulous youth groups, we co-produced some amazing resources – LGBT*Q+ badges, LGBT*Q+ Flags posters and zines produced by our online Trans* youth group and Young Women’s group.
Our SOUL project continued to embed itself into our organisation and supported a number of young LGBT*Q+ people of colour.
Outreach youth has a Board of Trustees who oversee the running and work of the charity.
Each year Outreach youth prepares an Annual Report and Accounts these are available on the
Charity Commission website
Our constitution: Outreach Youth CIO Constitution
Pauline Henry – Chair of Trustees
Mark Sherman – Treasurer
Heidi Dix – Safeguarding Trustee
Ronan Palmer – Trustee
Andy Fell – LGBT*Q+ youth Development worker
Georgi Clarke – LGBT*Q+ Youth worker
Isiah Jordan – LGBT*Q+ Youth worker
Ronan Palmer – LGBT*Q+ youth group volunteer
Sarah Haskins – LGBT*Q+ Youth worker
Eric Jackaman – LGBT*Q+ Youth Worker
Kara Jarvis – LGBT*Q+ Youth Worker
Heather Egan – LGBT*Q+ Youth Worker
These are downloadable files that you are welcome to use and distribute to anyone who you feel may find them helpful
Our thanks to:
BBC Children in Need
Suffolk & North Essex Integrated Care Board
Magic Little Grants
Past Funders / Donors
Ipswich Borough Council
University of Suffolk – Community Fund
Ridgeons – Cambridgeshire Community Foundation
Emotional Health & Well-Being Fund – Suffolk Community Foundation
Small Grants – Suffolk Community Foundation
Suffolk ONE LGBTQ+ group
NCS Suffolk group (2107)
Joy Abbott Fund – Suffolk Community Foundation
#iwill Youth Social Action Fund, through the Suffolk Community Foundation
4YP, Suffolk Young Peoples Health Project
Kesgrave High School
Northgate High School
Suffolk New College
University of Suffolk
Easton and Otley College
King Edward VI School, B.S.E
Farlingaye High School
Suffolk LGBT Forum
Thurston Community College
Ipswich & East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group
West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group
Suffolk County Council – Public Health Suffolk