Posted on: Wednesday 15 February 2023
A group that supports young people from the LGBTQ+ community in Torfaen has been given £10,000 in lottery funding.
The Kings, Queens and Everything In-Between group, run by Torfaen Council's Youth Service, provides a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teenagers and young people and their friends to meet and have fun.
The group was set up in Ashley House in Cwmbran in 2019 and now has more than 20 members.
The Community Lottery Fund money will go towards new activities and a trip to see West End Show Mamma Mia in London.
Members of the group also plan to take part in the Pride Cymru parade in Cardiff again this August.
To help mark LGBTQ+ History Month this month, Riley said: “I started attending club just before Covid, I was so happy they kept sessions going online for us.
"When we were allowed back to club face-to-face I felt so comfortable with everyone, we bonded over being a part of the LGBTQ+ community but we also bonded though experiencing the pandemic together.
"The group has helped me to accept myself for who I am and they have never judged me for the way I look or dress. I have made friends for life.”
Ozzy added: “Pride felt like a once in a lifetime experience, everyone should have to the chance to go and experience it.
“It has helped me so much with my social confidence and I’ve made so many friends, I can start to feel confident and comfortable with myself.”
Kings, Queens and Everything-in-between meet every Monday, between 4:30pm and 7:30pm, where members get the chance to take part activities such as arts and crafts, sports, cooking and issue based workshops.
It’s open to anyone between the ages of 11-25 from the LGBT+ community, as well as straight allays.
David Williams, head of the Torfaen Youth Service, said: “The young people who attend the group have the opportunities to explore their identify, culture and interests in a safe place alongside peers and supportive youth workers.
“Many of the opportunities the young people are instrumental in identifying, planning and organising give them the chance to participate in activities that could have otherwise been out of reach due to barriers such as finance and discrimination.
“As a service we celebrate the young people and consider ourselves privileged to stand alongside them as they develop into individuals who can be proud of themselves and confident in the people they are becoming.”
For more details about Kings, Queens and Everything-in-Between, visit Instagram @torfaenyouth, Facebook @IeuenctidTorfaen or email: Martin.firstname.lastname@example.org