For pride month this year, some of team at the NYA have asked to share with the sector what pride means to them…
amplifi Programme Manager
Bex is the Young People’s Opportunity and Development Platform Programme Manager for the National Youth Agency and is working to develop our brand-new platform- amplifi.
Bex is a JNC qualified youth and community worker and holds a Level 6 careers advice and guidance qualification. She is a passionate and experienced Youth Work professional and manager who has worked with young people since she was a young person herself and thrives from supporting and witnessing young people achieve their goals.
Being proud is not what I am, its who I am. In every part of my personal life and practice lives one very proud youth worker. One who is continually proud of the work that has been achieved by the youth work sector- especially in recent years, but in particular is proud of the offer that the sector makes to LGBTQI+ Young People.
My own youth work career started at an LGBTQI+ service for young people in London which unfortunately closed due to lack of funding. A small but mighty community group, unable to be advertised in order to safeguard young people and an often all hours service working with scores of young people living in fear as a result of being their true authentic selves.
Fast forward to 2022 and some of the most well recognised, attended, engaging and impactful youth projects in the country are targeted LGBTQI+ projects, whilst the fear unfortunately remains for some, the doors are now well and truly open to the LGBTQI+ community, the flags are out and pronouns are part of everyday practice. Our sector is at the forefront supporting change, recognition, equity and equality for LGBTQI+ young people.
Youth workers are often the very first people young members of the community confide in, through the safe, non-judgemental, warm and welcoming inclusive environments youth workers offer. Youth Workers are day to day part of the coming out journey for thousands of young people up and down the UK.
As a once young LGBTQ+ myself, playing football or even wearing a GAP jumper was an opportunity to be identified as ‘something different’. They used to say it stood for ‘Gay and Proud’ and well, 20 odd years later- give me a GAP jumper any day and a ticket to the England Women’s games. I am proud, of everything I am, everything I have done and everything WE do to support these amazing young people on their journeys to adulthood.
Giving young people a chance to share their voice, ideas and experiences is a big part of my role here at the NYA through our youth led platform- amplifi. Working with LGBTQI+ Young people and partners we are working to create engaging, relatable and exciting content to inspire young people on their journey to working life.