Joining any new group can often be scary so below are the answers to some of the questions young people often ask us us. If you have any other questions then do not hesitate to contact us.
Is it anonymous and confidential?
Yes, it is confidential and no form of ID is required to attend the group.
If I’m under 16 will my parents be informed?
No, Outreach youth is a confidential service. However, if a youth worker believes you to be at risk of abuse or exploitation or you are a risk to another person – they have a legal obligation to inform other people for your own protection, they will try and speak to you about any referral made to Social Care of the Police.
Is everyone ‘out’?
No. Not all young people are out to everyone they know, some are out to only their best friends, others are out to almost everyone they know and some are not out at all to anyone.
How many people will be there?
The number of people there depends on lots of things but can be between 8 to 20 people.
What if someone I know is there?
Don’t worry, although it may be a bit embarrassing at first all our young people are friendly and welcoming and won’t tell anybody about your visit due to our Group Agreement.
Is it intimidating?
You may find your first visit to the group a bit intimidating, however all our young people remember the first time they came along, and you’re bound to get on with someone!
What do we do at the session?
The first half hour is an informal chat session where people are arriving – you can grab a drink and catch up with people.
We then have a group update where we introduce ourselves and our preferred pro-nouns – we always make sure that new people are with a Youth Worker and are supported to introduce themselves – if you don’t feel ready to do that then we will introduce you. After the introductions we have an update about Outreach youth.
After this we sometimes have people come in and meet us to run workshops (e.g. sexual health, hate crime etc) for us all.
Then the rest of the evening is devoted to you being able to relax and hang out with other LGBT*Q+ young people.
Do I have to pay?
No, all our sessions are free – although trips and visits will need a contribution – we do have a donations pot for any one who has spare change etc
Do I always have to attend?
No, attend which ever session you like – although it is nice having people come along on a regular basis.
Can I bring a friend along?
If they are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer or Questioning – YES if not NO – we want to ensure that the project is a safe space for the other young people who come along.
I’m not Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer or Questioning can I attend?
The group is for young people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer or Questioning. If you are in any way unsure of your sexuality and/or gender identity, then you are welcome to attend.
What happens if I see a group member in another social situation?
As not all our young people are out to everyone they know it is often best to wait for the other person to acknowledge you first. If you are happy to talk to members outside the group if you bump into them then let people know in the group
What if I am too old?
Feel free to contact us we may know of other services or visit the links section which lists other services you may be able to access. There may also be opportunities to volunteer at the Project if you are under 21.
What’s it like coming along for the first time?
On a first visit a youth worker will chat with you to let you know about the drop-in and Outreach youth. Then they will introduce you to the young people who have come along for that session. A youth worker will usually stay with you and introduce you to more young people, they will look out for you all the time to ensure that you are not left sitting on your own or feeling awkward. The first half hour is an informal chat session where you can come and catch up over a drink (non-alcoholic). The rest of the evening will be devoted to range of activities usually chosen by the group. The activities are easy to participate in and fun and relaxed – it’s a good way of feeling safe and getting to know people, particularly if you’re a bit shy or nervous. At the end of the night people everyone helps clear away, helps fill in the session record sheet and then head off home.
We like to offer new young people the chance to meet a youth worker and current user of the project before their first visit. That way you know two people when you come along.
Will I find a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner?
Some of the young people who attend Outreach youth are doing so because they want to meet other people and sometimes that includes looking for a relationship, but the main purpose of the project is to be supportive and welcoming to everyone there, so any relationships that form tend to do so outside of the actual project times.
Will I be having to fight off people hitting on me?
Most people realise that when you are meeting a group of people for the first time, it’s best to get to know them slowly. If anyone gives you unwanted hassle speak to an Outreach youth worker or volunteer.
Are there any other ground rules?
Everyone has to keep to the rules of the building and the Outreach youth LGBT*Q+ Youth Group – Group Agreement , which has been written by young people. These include:
Every One Belongs
All Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer or Questioning young people are welcome at Outreach youth. We will take a stand against all forms of discrimination and oppression. In order to create a safe and welcoming space, no slurs against any member of any group will be tolerated.
Its Kept In The Group
Personal, private information should stay within the group. For some Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer or Questioning young people, Outreach youth maybe a hidden part of their lives – therefore everyone involved agrees not to acknowledge others outside the session without prior agreement and to remember that careless talk outside sessions can put other young people in difficult situations.
Its Alcohol, Drug and Sex Free
Because we value the health and safety of young people, Outreach youth is an alcohol, drug and sex free space.
We ask that you do not bring or use alcohol or other drugs in, around or before Outreach youth.
We also expect that young people will not make excessive displays of public affection while at Outreach youth.
Everyone have the right to be physically and emotionally safe here, and we support young people in resolving conflicts in positive ways. Threatening violence, physically harming, intimidating or bullying anyone is not allowed.
We also ask that you do not just bring a new young person along but ask them to contact us so we can support their involvement.
So everyone is expected to treat each other with respect and keep the Youth Group a safe place for all who attend.
I am interested in coming along, what do I do?
I don't want to come right now, any advice?
That’s fine – please feel free to come back to the website or contact us if we can be of any help or you want to check things out in the future.
I am trans can I come along?
Yes – we have other trans young people using the project, who feel they can be themselves.
Outreach Youth respects your right to privacy and we won’t inform anyone that you’ve been in touch with the project.