SAYiT young people launch Aviva Campaign for ‘SAYeaT’ a pop-up café providing a safe and inclusive space to all members of the LGBT+ community.

SAYiT supports and empowers young LGBT+ people in Sheffield through group work, one-to-one support and outreach. We are proud to be youth-centered and are supporting young people to raise donations for the SAYeaT café.

Young people often tell us that SAYiT is the only place they feel they can be their authentic selves in a safe and non-judgmental environment, as well as meeting other young people that have similar or shared experiences.

SAYiT young people have proposed a pop-up café that runs on a monthly basis. It will be welcoming, LGBT+ inclusive, neuro-diverse friendly and alcohol-free. Whilst the café will not have its own building we plan to utilise spaces around the city. We plan to serve a limited menu which will include hot drinks, snacks and baked goods at a subsidised price and prepared and made by our young people.

Young LGBT+ people often feel outcast in social settings. Therefore, it is important that SAYeaT is designed by, ran by and for young people.

Covid-19 has had a significant impact on our young people emotionally, exacerbating feelings of isolation, and a deterioration in their mental health and wellbeing. Whilst SAYiT have continued to offer support to young people throughout the pandemic by delivering online sessions, and offering limited ad hoc face-to-face support, we have been unable to offer our normal weekly in-person youth group sessions which has prevented young people from being able to socialise with and support their peers. This has further evidenced the need for more accessible, neuro-diverse spaces for LGBT+ for youngpeople.

Quotes from SAYiT Young People on SAYeaT

  • “It will mean there’s a safe space for LGBT people, and I have never had that outside of Pride or Fruitbowl [a SAYiT group]”
  • We need SAYeaT “To fill the gap of inclusive queer spaces for youth, and those who don’t enjoy alcohol/ can’t consume alcohol/ find alcohol/loud events distressful. Additionally it’s more inclusive and safe, removing the pressure of public places.”
  • “There is gay bars for adults, youth need a place too”.
  • SAYeaT will be “A safe space for anyone regardless of gender, sexuality, expression, or anything. It also means that there is a safe space for young LGBT people that isn’t a bar/overly sexual.”
  • “There is a lack of inclusive queer spaces for youth… It also allows people to come together from groups, make friends and be able to provide a home for change.”
  • “A place for LGBT+ youth mainly. For all ages, gender, sexuality, or ability to feel safe, a place to escape bad home life or school, a place for kids to hang out because socialisation is vital to mental health. Take your kids there to show you accept them.”

 

Statistics – SAYiT Lockdown Survey 2020

  • 67.7% of young people had problems with home life during lockdown
  • 64.6% of young people said that lockdown had a negative impact on their mental health
  • 42.1% of young people experienced a decrease in self-esteem and confidence during lockdown

 

SAYeaT will enable LGBT+ young people to gain work experience and vocational qualifications in areas such as customer service, food hygiene and Barista training. This will broaden their career opportunities and give them a sense of accomplishment and empowerment.

Statistics – LGBT+ employment

  • The number of people aged 18-24 claiming unemployment-related benefits has increased by 110% from February 2020 to March 2021 (Youth unemployment statistics 20 April 2021)
  • 35% of LGBT employees have hidden or disguised that they are LGBT at work in the last year because they were afraid of discrimination (Stonewall 2018 LGBT in Britain Work Report)
  • 18% of LGBT people who were looking for work said they were discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity while trying to get a job (Stonewall 2018 LGBT in Britain Work Report)

 

Please donate to SAYiT’s café campaign SAYeaT to help young people gain peer support, confidence, alleviate anxiety and poor mental health, to feel fully accepted in their gender and sexuality in a public setting and to help them gain skills for their future.

To find out more about this campaign please visit https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/say-eat or email info@sayit.org.uk

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