Bolton Wanderers Community Trust’s LGBT+ Youth Club has been running since May 2018, in conjunction with Bolton Council’s Youth Service, with the initiative proving a great success so far.
The group meets every Tuesday evening in Farnworth to offer young LGBT+ people (aged 14-17) a safe space to socialise with friends, meet others they identify with and discuss important topics and issues they may face.
This year, BWCT has teamed up with Bolton Pride to lead a youth-focussed project (funded through the Bolton Be Safe Partnership’s Hate Crime Awareness Grant).
Representatives from the LGBT+ Youth Club and Bolton’s Rainbow Community will design ideas for a Hate Crime Awareness Flag; the winning design will then be launched at the Pride Diversity Awards and gifted to other North West Pride Festivals across England.
This group will also work together to create a Hate Crime Awareness training programme which will be delivered to young people across Bolton in order to increase knowledge of what Hate Crime is and how to report it.
This will be trialled in June 2019 and delivered across Bolton July-September, ending in celebration at Bolton Pride Festival (20th-22nd September).
Beth Warriner from BWCT said: “LGBT+ inclusion is something we are passionate about as an organisation and it is an honour to be working with Bolton Pride on this Hate Crime Awareness project.
"We can’t wait to see how the thoughts and ideas the young people of Bolton will help shape the programme.”
James Edgington, Festival Director of Bolton Pride said: “I’m so thrilled that we are working with BWCT on this incredible project.
“Having a symbol or logo for any organisation is immensely important and with Hate Crime being so common in our communities I think having a symbol that defines hate crime awareness is not only important but necessary.
“Being able to create this in Bolton and offer it to the Greater Manchester family will be something that we can be proud of.”
Carl Austin-Behan, LGBT advisor to the Mayor of Greater Manchester said: “No Hate Crime is acceptable, we all have a right to live without fear, hostility and intimidation from others just because of who we are.
“I am really pleased to see this collaboration between Bolton Wanderers Community Trust and Bolton Pride who will be engaging with young people right across the borough.
“It’s exciting, knowing that the creativity of all the groups involved will be able to look at rolling this out not just in Bolton, but across the whole of Greater Manchester and I fully support this initiative.”
Superintendent Rick Jackson from Greater Manchester Police said: “One of the real strengths in Bolton is the depth and breadth of volunteering and partnership work taking place to tackle issues such as Hate Crime.
“Policing such a large and richly diverse borough demands that confidence and satisfaction is prioritised.
“At the heart of this is ensuring we have a robust response to Hate Crime. Bolton BWCT and the Bolton Pride team work extensively to tackle Hate Crime.
“With a project involving them teaming up to deliver Hate Crime Awareness training, Bolton will again be benefitting from its strong base of voluntary partnerships to raise awareness and improve peoples’ understanding, to support communities and encourage the reporting of hate-related issues.”
Bolton Wanderers Community Trust and its staff are delighted to have been nominated for the following five Awards at Bolton Pride Diversity Awards:
- Bolton Wanderers Community Trust for Organisation of the Year (Promoting Diversity and Inclusion within the workplace)
- LGBT+ Youth Club for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion
- LGBT+ Youth Club for Greater Manchester LGBT+ Project Award
- Beth Warriner for Adult Diversity Champion (Over 21)
- Phil Mason for Hate Crime Awareness Champion
For more information on other work BWCT delivers, including sport engagement programmes, please visit www.bwct.org.uk.
For more information on Bolton Pride and the Pride Diversity Awards, please visit www.facebook.com/BoltonPride.
For more information on the Bolton Rainbow Community, please visit www.twitter.com/BoltonRainbow.
To report a Hate Crime, please visit a Police Station, call 101 (or 999 in an emergency), or visit www.met.police.uk/true-vision-report-hate-crime.