Frequently Asked Questions

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Want to get to know Proud2Be? Let our FAQs answer some of your questions about us and our services 💭

What happens at your youth groups?

Our groups will look similar to most mainstream youth groups running up and down the country.

Young people play games, experiment with their style, eat food, interact with each other, form friendships and talk about their lives.

Sometimes, young people will talk about relationships, identities and politics in a space where they feel free to talk about their feelings with people like them who have some shared experiences.

What qualifies you to do this work?

Proud2Be was founded in 2011 and in that time has been led through: austerity, a global pandemic, a time of increased hostility towards LGBTQIA+ people by the media and the government, and now, through the cost of living crisis. Throughout the pandemic, we continued to provide online and socially distanced groups and had no gap in service.

Our team consist of qualified youth support workers, sexual health workers, carers, support workers, safeguarding leads, counsellors, counsellors in training & family support workers.

All team members are required to undergo an enhanced DBS check before they can work directly with service users and are offered regular training and extensive supervision to support them in their roles.

How do you keep the people you work with safe?

We are acutely aware of the responsibility that comes with supporting marginalised children, young people and adults.

We have robust safeguarding processes in place to support the growth of our organisation, which we review regularly to ensure our team and the people we work with are safe and feel supported.

In 2022 we implemented a safeguarding reporting tool; a system we developed in partnership with Space Youth Services in Devon. Using Google Sheets, the system ensures that all relevant information relating to any safeguarding incident/observation/concern/disclosure is captured and shared with the appropriate people (designated safeguarding lead and designated deputy safeguarding lead).

In early 2024, Proud2Be commissioned an external safeguarding audit of the whole organisation to ensure its practices and processes are up to date and are in line with best practices.

We have policies in place that are reviewed every year and approved by our board of directors. These include but are not limited to; Child Protection, Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults, Confidentiality, Data Protection, Lone Working, Online Safety, Whistleblowing, and Code of Conduct.

I am a wheelchair user, am I able to access your groups and events?

Ensuring our services are inclusive and accessible to all is extremely important to us. We recognise that the people we work with are not just LGBTQIA+ and we will experience discrimination differently depending on our overlapping identities. So, a key part of our work is to take a person-centred approach.

As an organisation, we hold all our events and groups in accessible venues, which we promote on our website. Where this is not possible, we have a portable ramp that we use to ensure that those who are wheelchair users can access our services. In 2022, we had an accessible toilet installed in our hub in Newton Abbot.

Why do you run groups where young children socialise with adults?

The majority of our groups are age-restricted and are split in the following ways:

  • 9-12 Years (weekly online Group)
  • 13-17 Years (3 weekly in-person groups)

The majority of our adult groups are 18+, including our:

  • Monthly In-Person group (age 18-30)
  • Weekly Drop-In
  • Monthly Low-Key Group
  • Monthly Social

Our monthly family-friendly Saturday social group and outreach events are 16+. Anyone under the age of 16 is welcome to attend these events/groups accompanied by a parent/carer.

We always have one youth worker present at the 16+ groups and all members of the adult support team who work/volunteer at these events are required to complete external group 2 Safeguarding Children and Young People training by VOYC Devon.

My Mum thinks you are encouraging people to be trans. Are you?

No, you can’t encourage someone to be trans when they are not.

Many of the people who access our services have spent time being encouraged to hide or suppress their identities by the people in their lives, and require spaces where there are no expectations and demands put on them by others.

We encourage people to come to Proud2Be as they are with no expectations, conditions or agendas.

Can you offer me advice about when I should come out/transition?

We do not offer advice or make decisions on what is best for other people. We facilitate supportive spaces for people to get to know themselves better and to find their own answers.

We know that when people are heard and given space, time and accurate and appropriate information, things become clearer for them and they are in a better position to know what they need in order to fulfil their potential and live their best lives.

Our work is based on tried and tested youth work and counselling practices and theories.

Why are you segregating LGBTQIA+ people from mainstream society?

One of the reasons that LGBTQIA+ people access our services is because they have been segregated by society or rejected by their parents/carers, friends and communities.

A key part of our work includes supporting people as they unpick and understand the trauma they have experienced through societal/family/community rejection/segregation and find a way forward.

Why are you talking about sexual orientation & gender with children?

People are taught about identity from a very early age via books, nursery rhymes, TV shows, films and conversations with family members, peers and professionals in their lives.

Many LGBTQIA+ people are not afforded the opportunity to explore their identity safely, and are often silenced or told they are ‘going through a phase’.

All of the conversations we have with the young people we work with are age-appropriate.

One of the reasons we run a well-used youth service is because the LGBTQIA+ young people we work with need spaces to talk about their identities in an environment that is open & non-judgmental.

All of the conversations we have with the young people we work with are age-appropriate.

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