Roscommon CYPSC recently launched an initiative to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender young people in the County. It includes a specially designed LGBT-friendly symbol for services, businesses, offices and centres to display as a sign of support.
The launch event took place on Tuesday 21st March as part of a large programme of work of a CYPSC subgroup set up to address gaps in support services for LGBT Young People in Roscommon. This subgroup consisted of stakeholders from the Health Service Executive Suicide Prevention Office, Secondary Schools, Foróige Youth Service, Roscommon County Council and Roscommon Leader Partnership. Two young people were also members of the subgroup.
Pictured at the launch of ‘LGBT Friendly Roscommon 2017’ at Hannon’s Hotel on Tuesday last were Cllr Orla Leyden, Nikki Mullen, Smily LGBT Group Sligo, Angela Toolis, Chairperson of the Children and Young People's Services Committee, Will Keane, Guest Speaker, Úna Mullally, Chair of Ireland’s LGBT National Youth Strategy, Lydia Dwyer, Chairperson of Roscommon Comhairle na nÓg (Youth Council) and Cllr Kathleen Shanagher
MC for the event was Lydia Dwyer, a youth member of the CYPSC subgroup. Angela Toolis, Chairperson of Roscommon CYPSC welcomed all in attendance.
Having made a big impact on national television, on RTÉ’s "Only Gay in the Village" programme, Roscommon farmer Will Keane shared his experiences of growing up as a gay man in Roscommon. Speaking about the power that a symbol can have he urged every business, every shop and every GAA club to get on board with this initiative.
“Display this symbol. Think about what it is saying. Ask yourself, what are the small steps that I can take to make life easier for the next generation? The actions in the Code of Practice are so simple. They don’t cost anything but their implementation could be invaluable to a young person that you know: maybe your son, your niece or your friend”.
Nikki Mullen talked about her work in Sligo, where she provides group support for LGBT young people.
Úna Mullally launched the range of materials developed for ‘LGBT Friendly Roscommon 2017’ which consist of a LGBT poster, a postcard and a sticker for services to display to show their support for the LGBT community; and a Code of Practice to guide services, community groups and sports clubs engaging with young people. Recently appointed by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, TD to oversee the development of the Government’s official strategy for young LGBT people in Ireland, Úna congratulated local services, statutory and community, for being proactive about supporting young LGBT people.
Special mention must be made to the vital role played by Luke McEvoy, a youth member of the CYPSC Sub-group, and his teacher Brian Higgins from Elphin Community College. Luke designed the vibrant Roscommon LGBT Friendly 2017 symbol; a great example of young people telling us what they want.
A large gathering of stakeholders from across a range of services were present for the launch, which is the first step in a series of information sharing events across Roscommon. The aim is to achieve a co-ordinated approach among statutory, community and voluntary service providers to issues regarding LGBT Supports for young people in Roscommon.
To read the Press Release Click here
To read the Roscommon People news article Click here
To download the ‘LGBT Friendly Roscommon 2017’ materials Click here
To read more about Roscommon CYPSC Click here