What is the project all about?
The Empower LGBT+ project is funded by the Premier League Professional Footballers Association Fund and Yorkshire Sport Foundation until August 2023. The project aims to increase the number of LGBT+ individuals participating in physical activity and sport regularly and is currently focused on supporting young people aged 11-25 yeays. Over the next three years the project will provide more sport sessions, training and awareness workshops and also events and festivals. The sessions will be in a safe and inclusive environment both exclusively for LGBT+ people and also for Allies who actively support the community and want to help promote inclusion for all.
Amy Hood the Empower LGBT+ Coordinator will lead and implement the project working with key partners SAYiT, Rainbow Blades and Yorkshire Sport Foundation as well as schools, colleges, Universities and other local organisations to help achieve the project goals and objectives.
Who are Rainbow Blades?
Rainbow Blades is the official LGBT+ supports group of Sheffield United FC and welcomes all LGBT+ Blades and Allies. They work for & with members to ensure they are welcomed and involved. Just like the Empower LGBT+ project they empower new members to join us and make a difference. They work in partnership with Sheffield United Football Club and Sheffield United Community Foundation on campaigns and work to ensure Bramall Lane and football is a welcome and inclusive space for all LGBT+ fans, staff, coaches & players. They also work with local LGBT+ charity, SAYiT and are sponsored by Urbana Town Planning, Bond Bryan & Whittam Cox to ensure we are reaching all parts of the city.
“The existence of Rainbow Blades shows me that I don’t have to hide any part of me – I am proud to be a Blade, I am proud to be Bisexual” – Rainbow Blades Member
“Because of Rainbow Blades I have been able to reconnect with the club I love. For that, I am forever grateful” – Rainbow Blades Member.
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SAYiT are an independent registered LGBT+ young people and sexual health charity based in Sheffield. They aim to transform the lives of LGBT+ young people and young people affected by HIV, up to the age of 25 through supportive group work, youth action, education and influence.
They aim to create an environment that supports the sexual and emotional wellbeing of LGBT+ young people and empowers those affected by HIV to transform their own lives. The charity aims to address issues of awareness, developing knowledge and addressing organisational discrimination and inequality throughout LGBT+ allies/peers.
Support groups, workshops, education sessions, assemblies and informative sessions are all ways in which the charity works.
SAYiT is both a strategic and a delivery partner for the project and will help deliver workshops, training and awareness sessions and provide staff training to everyone at Sheffield United Community Foundation. Some of the work SAYiT does is incredibly inspirational and provides much needed support and networks for LGBT+ young people, helping them to feel safer, more included and supported in everyday life. The sessions that are provided are both engaging and informative and done so in an all-inclusive and welcoming way.