Figures released from ShoutOut’s 2019 Annual Report.
ShoutOut is a community of volunteers and activists committed to improving the lives of LGBT+ people across the country through education. The organisation has been delivering workshops in secondary schools that tackle LGBT+ bullying across Ireland since 2012. They have completed more than 400 workshops in LGBT+ awareness and inclusion to 12,000 young people in schools and youth groups in the past year.
Both members of the LGBT+ community and allies alike volunteer with ShoutOut to facilitate these workshops which address the issue of homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools.
Volunteers strive to spread a message of acceptance and empathy by challenging students to consider the difficulties their LGBT+ peers face in the classroom.
The workshops consist of a series of exercises designed to educate students on the full spectrum of LGBT+ identity as well as equipping them with tools to support their classmates who may be struggling. With 77% of LGBT+ youth citing coming out at school as their primary source of anxiety in 2018, workshops like this are an invaluable resource to young LGBT+ people.
ShoutOut’s annual report, released yesterday, Monday, September 2, announced that between July 2018 to July 2019 over 400 workshops focused on LGBT+ awareness and inclusion were delivered to 12,000 young people in schools and youth groups around Ireland.
Though ShoutOut is a Dublin-based charity, it has had a national impact, with 70% of workshops delivered outside the capital, including 126 workshops delivered in the North of Ireland by their partner Cara-Friend.
In addition to working with students in schools, ShoutOut also provides in-depth training to teachers, social workers, youth workers, parents, and guardians.
This ensures that as key figures in a young person’s life, they are able to adequately provide the support needed by LGBT+ youth in their care.
It is not only those who attend the workshops who gain the work done at ShoutOut, but volunteering can also be a fun and rewarding experience.
Ross Hunter, a ShoutOut volunteer, explains his reasons for getting involved in the charity: “I have been a volunteer with ShoutOut for almost 4 years now and can confidently say I have thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. I know how scarce information regarding the lives of LGBTQ+ people in [Irish secondary schools] can be… Simply being there as a proud gay person can be a lifeline in itself.”
If you would like to get involved, the ShoutOut volunteer training session will be held in Dublin’s Central Hotel on September 16 at 6:30 PM and will be followed by a Cork training day in Cork Gay Project on September 18, again at 6:30 PM.
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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