Youth Connexions nominated for award by national youth work publication
18 September 2015
Children & Young People Now, the respected national news magazine for professionals working with children, young people and families, has recognised the work of Youth Connexions with the Herts1125 WhoNotWhat (WnW) group, a young person led group for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and questioning (LGBT+) young people.
Youth Work Development Worker Alex Ferguson (far left) and Youth Worker Jasmin Payne (far right) with members of the WhoNotWhat group
The group was formed when Youth Connexions were looking to engage more with the young LGBT+ population, aware of the need for support and resources to be more widely available. Through the use of social media, the first ever LGBT+ strategic group, WhoNotWhat, was created. The group all live, work or are educated in Hertfordshire, are aged 13 – 24, and have been established for almost a year. Membership has grown at such a pace that plans are now in hand to support both a younger and an older WnW group in order to identify and meet the needs of young LGBT+ as they approach different stages in their lives.
WhoNotWhat (WnW) was founded in October 2014 and is the first group of young LGBT+ in Hertfordshire to take a strategic role, looking first at the needs of young people and then at how those needs are best met. To date, the group has undertaken surveys to explore the wishes and needs of young people in the county. They have created an identity and logo, and youth workers have supported them with guidance and support. The results of the consultations are to be published in the Hertfordshire Young People’s Manifesto in October when Hertfordshire County Council and external organisations within the county will be held to account for the suggestions put forward by WnW volunteers based on the evidence collated.
Alex Ferguson, the youth work development worker said “Historically, it has been difficult to connect with the young LGBT+ community; nearly 12 months down the line, WnW has a consistent and growing membership that remains open and welcoming to new members who are fully engaged in volunteering, attending local and national events representing their peers, and looking forward to making a difference in the county.”
Youth Connexions is one of nine finalists in the Youth Volunteering Award category of the prestigious Children & Young People Now Annual Awards. The winner will be announced on Thursday 26th November 2015 at the Hurlingham Club, London.