Farewell GALYIC

Publish Date: 24/11/2011

Gay and Lesbian Youth in Calderdale (GALYIC) will close its doors on November 30th 2011, twelve years and three months after it was set up in August 1999. lgbt.foundation spoke to one of its founders Jan Bridget about the success of the group and the challenges still ahead.

After years of dedicated work, GALYIC are leaving a significant legacy.  Jan shares just some of  the highlights;

“Making training videos that were used across the country by the Department of Health, being involved in getting out a trans booklet by young trans people for young trans people, and really the biggest joy is to see young people change, blossom and grow.”

“I also see the needs assessment tool I developed as a lasting legacy – it was used to identify the individual needs of GALYIC members and to raise awareness of the key issues facing them.” http://lgbt.resurv.co.uk/

On the subject of the media and their lack of interest in GALYIC’s closure Jan says: “I don’t know what to say. I’ve been doing this work for over 25 years – people want to think we are ok now – that we have legislation and protections – but for young people it’s worse now than ever before."

Jan highlights the challenges still facing young LGB&T people: “Young people are coming out at younger ages and there are high levels of homophobic bullying in schools, which very few schools do anything about.”

Jan welcomes the Equality Act and the Public Sector Equality Duty, “which clearly states that all public services should meet the needs of LGB&T young people.  There are also government strategies which now identify gay young people as vulnerable and are saying that local authorities need to be providing services that meet their needs - in particular the new suicide prevention strategy.”

 “Furthermore, as from January 2012, all schools must take account of the needs of LGBT young people as Ofsted will include questions about this in their inspections.”

Calderdale Young People’s Service have agreed to take over the GALYIC youth group to ensure LGB&T young people in Calderdale have the support they need

Current and past members as well as agencies who have worked with GALYIC over the years, will come together for a farewell party in Halifax this evening.

Councillor Nader Fekri, Mayor of Calderdale, said, "I am enormously proud of the fantastic work that GALYIC have done over the past dozen years here in Calderdale. They have helped hundreds of youngsters and their families at often difficult times in their lives, challenged ignorance, prejudice, and oppression wherever they've encountered it, and by challenging homophobia, helped make our borough a more accepting, caring, and open place to live. I wish Jan a well-earned, long, and fulfilling retirement".

Jan concludes: “It’s been hard work, but it’s been magic.”



  • DavidHenry

    This is absolutley tragic, Why has Jan Bridget not been given any sort of recognition for her genuine lifetime\'s work? there are few more notable and tireless people working in the LGBT sector today who would be more worthy. Merging the services into the statutory led youth service will never be enough to compensate. We NEED independent, community-led grass roots community organisations to provide comprehensive and complimentary services if we are to meet the needs of ALL young people adequately. I remember from an article I did with her in Young People Now (CYP Magazine) back in 2003 Jan and her colleagues agree with me on this. I know it won\'t have been an easy choice, no choice no doubt. Similar to what happened to Manchester\'s LGB Youth Peer Support project a few years ago (the community pretty much let it die but we won\'t go there today, many of us are still bruised from that experience) In fact, I\'ve found the article: \"Under no circumstances should lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) youth work be subsumed within mainstream youth work. Voluntary groups that access funding from outside of local authorities are independent and have fewer controls on them, such as age limits. Being part of a youth service can limit groups to doing what is traditionally considered youth work. This often does not take on board the amount of one-to-one work that is necessary with many LGBT young people.\" ~~ Jan Bridget, project co-ordinator, Gay and Lesbian Youth in Calderdale. October 2003. Well done and so long GALYIC and all who sailed in her/him, you saved so many lives from a dark road that the difference you\'ve made is unspeakable I salute you! It was a pleasure working with you over the years. Be sure Jan Bridget gets nominated for a \'Homo Hero\' award thingy next year... please! :) Best Wishes, David Henry (Founder, Queer Youth Network)

  • DanBaker

    Long may the energy and support and care of GALYIC be remembered.