An LGBTQ anti-hate crime project which has involved schools and communities across the East Riding was celebrated at an event in Beverley attended by a Home Office minister.
The Right to Be project is an initiative led by children’s charity Barnardo’s in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s youth and family support service, following a £48,000 award of funding from the Home Office Hate Crime Community Projects fund.
The project has brought together partners from the council, police, secondary schools, local LGBTQ providers and young people from the LGBTQ community, including the Lollipop group, which supports young people between the ages of 13 and 19.
The aim of the project is to raise awareness of LGBTQ lives and communities and increase understanding about sexual orientation and trans identity hate crimes.
Working with schools and communities in the East Riding, the project has included community engagement events, school workshops and assemblies, training workshops for school staff and community training workshops to raise awareness and increase understanding of the roles and responsibilities of professionals and community members.
A celebration event held at County Hall in Beverley was attended by Baroness Williams of Trafford, Minister of State for Countering Extremism and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Equalities), who spoke about the Government agenda for addressing hate crime.
Presentations of plaques and certificates were made to schools involved in the Right to Be project.
Minister for Countering Extremism and Minister for Equalities, Baroness Williams said:
“It is fantastic to see the positive impact that Right to Be is having to help people in East Riding increase their awareness of LGBTQ hate crime.
“To see school children coming together to promote unity and tackle hate crime is extremely heart-warming.
“I’m pleased that through the Hate Crime Community Projects communities are leading efforts to tackle hate crime.
“It is not acceptable for any person to be vilified or attacked because of their personal identity, which is why the Government will soon be unveiling our refreshed Hate Crime Action Plan to lay out further plans to tackle perpetrators and support victims.”
“I am delighted that so many East Riding schools and communities have engaged with this project. It is important that our young people feel able to be themselves and this can only lead to increased understanding.”
Stephen Oversby, Director of Barnardo’s East Region, said:
“Everyone has the right to be themselves, which has been the main focus of the Right to Be project from the start – for young people, adults and professionals.
“We at Barnardo’s are very proud of what has been achieved, by making a start at creating safe spaces for everyone and by reaching out to wider communities, highlighting the importance of inclusivity and safety for all LGBTQ people.
“Without our partners, the Right to Be project would not have had such an impact over such a short period of time. We hope we will continue to further the learning for all schools and communities in the East Riding, and that the partnership will continue to embed the work developed.”