Aviva have donated €50,000 to support BeLonG To Youth Services in providing essential support to LGBT+ youths as part of the insurance company’s latest Pride initiatives.
Recent findings from BeLonG To’s national LGBT+ Life in Lockdown survey illustrated the necessity for an increase in digital youth work amid the ongoing pandemic. As shown by the results, 93% of LGBT+ young people are dealing with heightened levels of anxiety, stress, and/or depression during COVID-19.
BeLonG To Youth Services CEO Moninne Griffith shared, “Our research highlighted some alarming stats and emphasises the importance of LGBTI+ young people having access to spaces and supports for their mental health and wellbeing.”
Our research showed the importance of safe spaces for LGBTI+ youth. We are extremely grateful to @AVIVAIRELAND for donating an incredible €50,000 to help us continue our life-changing work. Thank you ❤️????? #LightUp4Pride #SafeToDreamhttps://t.co/hLbHZsBCrP
— BeLonG To Youth Services (@BeLonG_To) June 18, 2020
Griffith further expressed, “We are extremely grateful for the additional funding Aviva has given us to sustain the increased levels of support until the end of the year. We can now continue to address the needs of those who are most vulnerable in society, creating safe spaces to allow LGBTI+ young people to be who they truly are. We are looking forward to all shining bright this Pride.”
Aviva’s donation will help BeLonG To strengthen their engagement with digital youth work and online groups, supporting LGBT+ young people during this time. The insurance company’s Pride Network’s latest initiatives uphold their unifying mantra, ‘Spend energy being yourself, not hiding it.’
To celebrate Pride month and uplift the LGBT+ community, Aviva Stadium will also be lighting up in rainbow colours throughout June, from Friday 26 up to Sunday 28. The insurance company are asking people to join them with #LightUp4Pride.
Irish football legends and couple Katie McCabe and Ruesha Littlejohn launched Aviva Pride alongside BeLonG To Youth Services and Aviva Stadium. In a heartwarming video, the pair share their story of coming out together and how this inspired people within the LGBT+ community.
With the #SafeToDream Pride message, Ireland International soccer player Ruesha Littlejohn said in the video, “Last year we came out to the whole of Ireland and we wanted to show support for the LGBTI+ community and that it’s okay to be who you are and you should always be comfortable in your own skin.”
Speaking about the inspiration for the #LightUpForPride video, Head of Communications, Brand and Sponsorship at Aviva Ireland, Brian O’Neil shared, “It’s been a very difficult year for everyone, but to see these alarming stats on how the lockdown has been affecting the LGBT+ youth is a huge eye opener and it’s more important than ever that we light up our homes for Pride and celebrate together.”
Last year @FAIreland players @Katie_McCabe11 @RueshaLJ helped us to light up @AVIVAStadium in the rainbow colours of Pride to share our message that it is #SafeToDream! This year we are asking you to #LightUp4Pride alongside @AVIVAStadium on June 26! ☘️?️?https://t.co/UGegN8ZpbB pic.twitter.com/W4Pfg8lCMB
— AVIVA (@AVIVAIRELAND) June 18, 2020
O’Neil further stated, “We’ve come a long way as a nation, this year marking five years since the marriage referendum, and we encourage everyone to wave their rainbow flags and be proud to be who you are. Katie and Ruesha have been an inspiration to so many people and we hope that by sharing their personal journey can help give support to the LGBTI+ community.”
© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.