Social enterprise, Proud2Be, is today celebrating after being awarded £160,000 in National Lottery funding to support its work with LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or questioning+) young people and their families in Devon. The organisation, based in Totnes, will use the money to run even more group and 121 support activities for local LGBTQ+ young people and to provide support sessions for their family members.
The news comes exactly 9 years since identical twins Max and Maya Price founded the organisation in their Mum’s spare bedroom, by recording a video, explaining how they are both proud to be part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Since then, Proud2Be has established itself as a well-respected social enterprise, facilitating well attended and inclusive peer support groups, the popular Totnes Pride and a fortnightly youth group and a young people’s 121 support service. Proud2Be also delivers interactive workshops to students and awareness training to organisations and schools across the county.
This funding will allow Proud2Be to build on the work they currently do, working with over 200 people a year at their regular groups and a further 3500 through their awareness raising work in local schools and youth groups.
The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK, will see the expansion of the current Totnes-based youth group and 121 support service and the launch of an additional 2 weekly LGBTQ+ youth groups in Devon.
At the same time, the group will be able to press on with plans to launch a monthly peer support group for the families of LGBTQ+ children and young people, who will be able to come together for mutual support.
Max and Maya Price, founders of Proud2Be, say: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to press on with our plans to broaden the range of opportunities available to local LGBTQ+ young people and their family members. This is important because it helps both the young people and their family members to build relationships with others facing similar challenges and to create their own supportive circles of friends and peers.”
Charlie, volunteer at Proud2Be, says: “Before attending the Proud2Be youth group, I felt like I had to apologise for being trans. Since joining the group, I have met so many amazing people. It’s given me a fantastic support system. For me it was really important to have this support at a time when I couldn’t find it elsewhere. I have also become involved in other things- like volunteering at Pride and giving young LGBTQ+ people a voice and a visible presence.”
To find out more please visit: www.proud2be.org.uk