Project is first of its kind in Leicester & will be visited by Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP

Today sees the official launch of the Young Transgender Centre of Excellence, a brand new project supporting young transgender people aged 18 and under in Leicester City, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The project is already doing some fantastic work including referring young people directly to the Tavistock and Portman Centre’s Gender Identity Development Service in London – shortening the waiting time to be seen by this service by up to 12 months.

Supporting schools and colleges to ensure they are trans-inclusive and a space where young transgender people can not only be themselves, but feel safe and secure is of the utmost importance. The project has already supported and is continuing to support several schools to become more trans-inclusive and in fact, the take-up of training and workshops has been incredibly encouraging.

Giving young people a safe space to access support and to allow their voices to be heard, the Young Transgender Centre of Excellence will build confidence and self-esteem, improve community cohesion and reduce isolation. This project is already supporting 14 young transgender people, a significant increase from just three young people at the beginning of the year.

This project will also increase their sense of acceptance and security and their positive sense of identity, whilst giving them a voice to speak up and challenge the attitudes and issues they face every day.

The Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, Minister for Women and Equalities and MP for Loughborough will be visiting the project on 6th April to celebrate its opening. The launch event is a celebration, to bring together a diverse group of people who all have one thing in common – their desire to better support the young transgender community of Leicester City, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Nicky Morgan, Minister for Women and Equalities said: ‘This Government is committed to achieving true equality and making sure everyone can fulfil their potential. That’s why I’m delighted to see this pioneering project being launched. The vital support and advice offered by the dedicated team at the LGB&T Centre in Leicester will give young trans people the hope and opportunity to be who they want to be. These projects will make a real difference to people’s lives and I wish the Centre and every trans person who uses it every success.’

Lisa Vine, Project Lead added: ‘Research continually shows that the young transgender community have higher rates of suicidal ideation, self-harm and are more likely to participate in risk-taking behaviours.

It is my hope that with the support of this pioneering project, the young transgender community in the East Midlands will be given a voice. Not only enabling them to be heard but also improving their confidence and self-esteem and empowering them to be the individuals they want and deserve to be.’

Supporting the young transgender community and also their families and professionals too, this project offers a variety of vital services. Based at the Leicester LGB&T Centre, these include: support groups, drop-ins, advice and guidance and also training, to name but a few. Importantly, these services were almost entirely lacking before this project began in November last year.  

The project receives funding from BBC Children in Need which will run until 2018. The Charity currently supports 46 projects across Leicestershire, with over £2.2 million hard at work to benefit young lives in the county.

If you are a young transgender person, a family member of a young transgender person or if you work with the young transgender community, the project is here to support you. To find out more this flagship project and the range of services available visit: http://leicesterlgbtcentre.org/project/young-transgender-centre-of-excellence/.

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