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Thursday 25th October, Lightpool

URP art group, LGBT group and BBO participants got together to take part in Blackpool’s annual Lightpool Festival.

Thousands of people lined the trams lines and gathered on the comedy carpet to take part in the free family event.

The art group made huge glow in the dark letters that read BLACKPOOL as they paraded down the tram lines from Central Pier to the Comedy Carpet.

The LGBT group followed behind them with their banner and decorated their faces in glow in the dark paint.

The BBO participants and manager supported Phil and Alex the directors of the Lightpool event. Wayne Harrison in particular shone on the night and continued to support the festival on Friday and Saturday.

World Mental Health Day 2018

What are we doing to support the community with mental health?


Here at URPotential we are supporting people on a daily basis who face struggles with their mental health, we believe that it is important to support people into positive activities that gain them skills, improve their confidence and self-esteem and give them a sense of belonging. We do this through are many projects

Youth volunteering, we support young people aged 10-25 years into volunteering or social action projects. Are aim is to support young people with additional needs and emotional health and wellbeing to allow them to access the same opportunities as other young people and grow as individuals. We believe all young people should have access to the same opportunities as each other.

Youth groups, inclusive social action groups, open to all young people. They create a safe space for young people to be themselves, make new friends, and engage in positive activities. The groups also campaign around issues they feel passionate about to instigate change and improve lives of other young people. Our LGBT workers also offer 1:1 support for young people. LGBT also have a Family support group to support family members of young people accessing URPotential.

Adult BBO projects, supporting people from 16-65+ who have multiple barriers that are preventing them from getting back into employment, training or volunteering. These projects support individuals to access valuable support that they require to improve their lives, mental health and opportunities.

Training, we support the community to access courses that can enhance their CV’s, improving job prospects for individuals. We also train young people and adults as peer mentors or befrienders so they can support other people into positive activities that will improve their mental health.

The team will try their best to support the community in any way they can, whether that is accessing support from ourselves or whether we sign post individuals to the appropriate service, we will always be willing to help.

Linda appointed Director of SELNET Board

Linda Markey Director of URPotential has been appointed as Director to the SELNET Board.  The Chair of the Board Graham Jones warmly welcomed Linda to the Board to work alongside existing Directors and two other new Directors appointed at the Annual General Meeting.

Linda stated that ‘she is looking forward to working with her partner VCFS organisations to develop the sector in a time of uncertainty with Brexit looming but with confidence in the ability of the Board and partners to influence and lobby for change’.

LGB&T Rainbow Playground Event – August 2018



In August URPotential took a group of 7 young LGBT people to Manchester to attend the Rainbow Playground Youth Pride event run by the Proud Trust.

The day consisted of workshops, live performances, demonstrations and sports activates along with an autism friendly area and a quite zone. Young people took part in the workshops around the idea of what would a superhero look like if it represented you, mindfulness sessions, yoga, a musical performance, and a live performance of ‘Sexxes’, faith in yourself and body euphoria workshops, along with competitions on the climbing wall.

Young people really enjoyed the climbing wall which enabled young people to support others to overcome fears and to help them climb the wall when they were struggling.  The day was full of activities and had a wonderful positive atmosphere it was all about the young people celebrating who they were. The day drew to a close in the theatre with young people performing poems, songs and showing off their talents, with a movie of the day to end on.


ReachIT Digital Inclusion Project

The ReachIT Digital Inclusion Project is helping residents of Lancashire through the Building Better Opportunities funding that supports projects in England to tackle poverty and promote social inclusion. It is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.  

URPotential has been marketing and promoting the vast benefits of the Reach IT Project since January 2018 and this has certainly paid off.

Weekly IT training sessions have taken place at URPotential enabling the future Digital Champions to complete the necessary modules on Learn My Way.

In May 2018 the first one of the URPotential participants went through the second phase of the Digital Champion training.  Another two attended the second phase of training in July and there are twenty who are now ready to attend the final part of the training in September.  URPotential has been the first partner to deliver the second phase of the Digital Champion training from their offices.

One of the Digital Champions is now using this rewarding volunteering opportunity and is running successful IT Drop-ins three times per week at other organisation locations and charities across Blackpool and the Fylde coast and another Digital Champion has just started running a drop in once a week at Revoelution in Blackpool.   

URPotential is delivering five IT drop-ins per week (one every day of the week) across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre. This is promoting Reach IT and also providing the volunteers with the opportunity to run their sessions and also to recruit future eligible volunteers for the Reach project. This is also providing the residents of Lancashire with IT support making them more confident about using digital technologies, helping to improve their IT and online skills and ultimately support them towards achieving their goals of volunteering and employment.

URPotential has attended the partnership meeting during this quarter and has made links with Disability First and Fylde CAB office providing each other with communication and support.

Going forward and judging by the first few participants’ commitment to their volunteering at the successful IT drop-ins they have been delivering, this project has the potential to be a very sustainable role for the future.

For further details on the ReachIT Project or the daily IT drop-ins please contact Jolene on 01253 344398 or email

Fitter Fylde Coast

Dancing on Ice star Daniel Whiston has urged people across the Fylde coast to join him to break a Guinness World Record and promote a ‘fitter Fylde coast’ this summer.

People across the area have been encouraged to bring their children and families to Lytham Festival’s main arena on Lytham Green on the morning of Saturday 21 July to help break the record for the most people exercising to a fitness video. The current record, set in China, stands at 4,814 people.


Blackpool Pride 2018

This year URPotential were delighted to accompany 20 young people from their LGBT+ support groups that run across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre in the Blackpool Pride Parade. The sun was shining and spirits were high, the atmosphere was electric and the young people were very excited. Each one had made their own banner to walk with and show their pride, for some young people this was their very first pride event.

In addition to the parade some young people volunteered on the URPotential stall at the main event, and encouraged others to join in the fun. On the stall they raised £30 pounds to go towards desperately needed resources. The young people invited Pride goers to write positive messages to the world or draw a picture on the ground with chalk, and encouraged people to dance.

The young people had this to say about the event;

It was a fun and accepting event and I felt safe there

There was no homophobic behaviour and every one was really accepting-I’ve made some good memories

I was really nervous at first as it was my first time at Pride, but URPotential helped me get over that and have a great time with my friends from the group

If you are 11-13, 14-17 or 18-25 living in Blackpool, Fylde or Wyre and identify as LGBT+ and would like to join a support group or seek 1 to 1 support  then please contact Louise Harrison or Nina Beavers on 01253 344398 for more information.

LGBT Young Peoples Successes May 2018

The Sheraton Trophy

This month has seen some incredible successes for the young people in our LGBT+ groups. First of all, we would like to congratulate Jade Mia Smith as the winner of the prestigious Sheraton Trophy, which celebrates achievements by young people in Wyre. It was awarded to her by the Mayor of Wyre at the Councils Annual General Meeting at the Civic Centre, Poulton-Le-Fylde.

Click here to read more

The LGBT Being Proud Awards Manchester

The Month of May also saw the young people from the LGBT groups travel to Manchester to attend the Being Proud Awards hosted by The Proud Trust. This event celebrates LGBT young people, their groups, their peers and supporters.  The atmosphere was electric and young people from all over the North of England showcased their talent and creativity with songs, artwork and stand-up comedy. In the category for Young Person of the Year URPotential had 3 nominees, Louise Dack who was runner up, Theo Dainty who took 3rd place and Jade Mia Smith who came 2nd. What really made the event even more special for the young people was URPotentials Trans group winning First Prize for Youth Group of the Year.

Princes Trust Radio Skills Course

The week ending 25th May saw the presentations to young people from the Princes Trust for developing their media skills.  They spent a full week learning studio skills and creating podcasts about themselves and things that mattered to them.  URPotentials LGBT group member Amber Cambridge and 2 friends attended this and produced an amazing podcast around LGBT Awareness and Young peoples’ issues, they even managed to pin down Nina Beavers-LGBT Coordinator at URPotential for an interview as part of their project.  Amber said, ‘I am really grateful to all that URPotential do to support me, including encouraging me to come on this course with The Princes Trust, it’s been really good for my confidence and I have made new friends’.

Call the office on 01253 344398 and ask for Nina2 or Louise or email or


URPotential awarded £92,620 by BBC Children in Need



URPotential based in Blackpool are delighted to announce that BBC Children in Need has awarded them a grant of £92,620 over 3 years. This grant will fund LGBT Provision and help make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people right here in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.

The funding from Children in Need will enable URPotential to provide services for LGBT+ young people 10 to 18 years of age. URPotential will offer LGBT young people a safe and friendly environment to meet other young people and access advice, information, guidance and learning opportunities.  We will offer weekly group support sessions age appropriate coupled with 1 to 1 support. We will support families of LGBT young people through

1 to 1 support, group support and training. We will raise awareness about the project and LGBT issues in primary schools and high schools and across our network of partners and local organisations. 

Nina Beavers the Project Co-ordinator had this to say about the funding, ‘I am delighted that these young people will have a safe place to meet with their peers, where they can help each other to thrive and truly feel part of a community that accepts them without prejudice.  It’s a privilege working with them and supporting them to develop the skills and knowledge that will help them to deal with life’s challenges, particularly those related to their gender or sexuality’

BBC Children in Need funding relies on the energy and commitment of thousands of fundraisers and supporters across the UK who donate their time and money to support the Appeal.  Whether it’s cake sales, wearing pyjamas to school or having a song and dance, every penny of the money raised goes towards supporting projects across the UK.

All grants go to projects working with children and young people living in the UK who may be affected by homelessness, neglect, abuse or poverty, or those who have faced challenges in their lives such as serious illness, disabilities and psychological disorders.

BBC Children in Need is a charity registered in England and Wales (802052) and Scotland (SC039557) whose aim is to make a positive change to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

BBC Children in Need’s vision is that every child in the UK has a safe, happy and secure childhood and the chance to reach their potential. 

BBC Children in Need are currently supporting c.2,600 projects that are working with children and young people facing a range of disadvantages or challenges in their lives such as, poverty and deprivation; abuse or neglect or any kind of disability.

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