Out ‘n’ About have been busy celebrating LGBT history month. February marks the month in which people all over the UK take time to acknowledge the history and landmarks of the LGBT community. The overall aim of the LGBT History month is to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public. During February groups, charities, and individuals make an effort to increase the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) people, their history, lives and their experiences in the curriculum and culture of education, other institutions, and the wider community.

In our weekly support group we have been making our own history timeline to display our own thoughts and feelings about the history of LGBT and including landmarks we feel are important and relevant to us. We have also created some ally stickers so that anyone that we know or comes into URPotential can choose to wear a rainbow sticker with different slogans on such as ‘I believe in equality’ meaning anyone can openly show their support for the LGBT community and their rights. These stickers have been very popular with other youth groups.

We have also had a personal safety session with PC Ian Ashton the equality and diversity officer for the Blackpool area, this was a really helpful session that gave us the opportunity to ask questions about what to do in difficult situations. We discussed the difficulties and safety precautions to help deal with and prevent cyber bullying as well as hate crime and where the law stands on this.

Another weekly session was dedicated to having a ‘Happy to talk’ training session led by Lancashire Mind, the mental health charity that serves the Lancashire area. We had asked to do this training as learning new skills for improving our levels of emotional wellbeing is really important to all members of the group. This training was not specific to mental health issues therefore making it accessible and helpful to everyone, it made us aware that looking after our mental wellbeing takes just as much as work and practise as looking after our physical health. This training helped to equip us with helpful knowledge and tools to look at happiness and how we can realistically achieve more happiness for ourselves and other people.