Spotlight On | BWitC’s LGBTQ+ Youth Club

LGBT History Month

February marks LGBT+ History Month and earlier this week, Bolton Wanderers supported the EFL’s launch of the very first Rainbow football.

Continuing our focus on LGBT+ History Month, we spoke to Beth Warriner, Bolton Wanderers in the Community’s Equality, Diversity and Social Inclusion Programme Lead about the charity’s inspirational and award-winning LGBTQ+ Youth Club:

LGBT History Month

Beth, tell us about your role at Bolton Wanderers in the Community?

My role includes overseeing all of Bolton Wanderers in the Community’s community youth work provision. This includes projects covering areas such as youth violence-reduction, community cohesion, disability sport and supporting underrepresented groups like those who attend our LGBTQ+ Youth Club.

What’s the best part of your job?

My role is incredibly varied, and every day is different - but I will tell anyone who’ll listen about my absolute passion for working with LGBTQ+ young people.

We currently deliver one - soon to be two - LGBTQ+ Youth Clubs in Bolton for young people and it’s my favourite part of the week!

"Being able to create a safe space for young people to thrive in is incredibly rewarding and the young people we engage with are nothing short of inspirational."
Beth Warriner, BWitC

How did you know there was a need in Bolton for the LGBTQ+ Youth Club and how long has the project been running for?

Our current LGBTQ+ Youth Club, which is delivered in partnership with Bolton Council’s Youth Service, has been running since 2017 when a survey of participants at Farnworth Young People’s Centre found that over 50% were identifying as LGBTQ+.

This group were keen to start a new standalone LGBTQ+ Youth Club, and so began a six-week pilot.  Seven years later we are still running that weekly session in the same venue, on the same day, at the same time!  

Who is able to attend the sessions and what age are the participants?

Any young person aged 13-18 who is LGBTQ+ or questioning can attend our sessions, and we have welcomed young people from all over Bolton and beyond. From March 2024, we will start a second weekly LGBTQ+ Youth Club over at Infinity at Bolton Lads and Girls Club (BLGC) in partnership with their amazing staff team and young people.

LGBT History Month

What does a typical session look like?

Every session is different but we make sure they’re always youth-led. Generally, sessions include tea, hot chocolate, Pot Noodles, Uno, ping-pong and some kind of new music that I’ve never heard of! Sherry (Bolton Council) and I are always on the lookout for exciting projects and opportunities for the group, so we often also do workshops, educational visits from local organisations, Youth Pride parties, and more.

This August we’ll be heading to Pride Youth Games in Lancaster for a residential weekend alongside hundreds of other LGBTQ+ young people from across Britain.

What impact have you seen from the project?

The impact of this project isn’t measured in high numbers but more the improvement of mental health, the increase of friendships and positive connections and the number of young people who return to us every single week.

An example of this is that several participants from our very first pilot session in 2017 (then aged 13) stayed with us every single week until they went off to university at 18 years old!

We also are incredibly proud to have two paid staff members who are ex-participants of our LGBTQ+ Youth Club, one of whom is helping to shape and create our newest session at BLGC.

How can young people get involved if they would like to attend?

There are plenty of ways to learn more or get involved, and we would encourage young people who are interested to do this in a way that is comfortable and accessible for them. They could turn up on the night (details below), or they could email me at, or call/text/WhatsApp me on 07840049789 for more information. Equally, if they want to go old-school and write a letter, we’re all for it!

Please, please just get in touch and see what we’re all about. For reference, we also take referrals from professionals, guardians and schools.  

Bolton Wanderers in the Community’s LGBTQ+ Youth Club sessions are delivered at the following dates and times:

  • Tuesday, 6-8pm at Farnworth Young People’s Centre, BL4 7AP
  • Monday, 6-8pm at Bolton Lads and Girls Club at Infinity, BL1 4AG (starts March 2024)

BWitC’s LGBTQ+ Youth Club has now been recognised both regionally and nationally for its outstanding work supporting LGBTQ+ young people living in Bolton and the surrounding areas.

LGBT History Month

The project has, to date, received the following awards:

  • Best Youth-Led Activity, Street Games Inspiration Awards in 2023
  • Charity of the Year for Promoting Diversity and Inclusion, Bolton Diversity Awards
  • Hate Crime Awareness Champion, Bolton Diversity Awards
  • Youth Diversity Champion, Bolton Diversity Awards
  • Adult Diversity Champion, Bolton Diversity Awards

To find out more about Bolton Wanderers in the Community, please visit their website here.



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