Cork schools to receive LGBT awareness training; call for volunteers 

Cork schools to receive LGBT awareness training; call for volunteers 
Photo Credit: Silvio Severino.

SCHOOLS in Cork are to receive awareness training in a bid to improve awareness and understanding and so alleviate the mental health issues many LGBT young people experience when they realise their sexual orientation or gender.

“We know from research that the most common age that someone realises that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is 12 and the most common age someone tells someone else is 17,” Pádraig Rice, Coordinator of the Gay Project said. “These years between discovering your sexual orientation or gender identity and coming out can be challenging. We know that too many LGBT students are bullied simply for being LGBT and that some teachers are ill-equipped to respond. As a result, the mental health outcomes for young LGBT people are poorer.

“We are hoping that these talks and training sessions will start to change that with greater understanding and awareness. This will help to improve the school environment for everyone.”

The Cork Gay Project is working with ShoutOut to deliver the training. In 2018, ShoutOut delivered 462 workshops in 98 schools, all carried out by volunteers. The organisers are holding a volunteer evening in the city next month.

“This event is to train you to give the ShoutOut workshops in schools,” organisers explain. “Workshops are done in pairs and you will always be paired with an experienced volunteer.

“There’s no obligation to give a workshop once you’re trained, just come along and learn what it’s about.”

Cork Gay Project also host a weekly youth group in the city.

“This is a great support and social space for LGBT young people that is facilitated by a youth worker from Youth Work Ireland,” Mr Rice said. “We also have monthly information nights for parents of LGB children.”

Anyone interested in attending the volunteer training, taking place on Wednesday September 18, can contact for more details.

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