Last night was the celebration event for the Duke of Edinburgh Award LGBT+ youth mentoring programme. It was held in the heart of Soho and the young people show cased their talents with poems, music and moving public speaking. They spoke of their individual struggles and victories in a way that was hopeful, humorous and life affirming.
Out To Swim was presented with a certificate in recognition of its exceptional contribution to the mentoring programme (we provided the most mentors).
The Director of the charity noted in his closing address that "all people have the right to belong". I deeply believe that OTS is uniquely placed in our community to provide that sense of belonging, to each other, and now to our teenage family who are in the process of coming of age.
I was extremely proud to be a member of OTS last night. We made a tangible difference to the lives of young people which will hopefully be strength they can draw on later in life.
In reflection of the calibre of Mentee's they devised a project to support other LGBT teenagers who don't have the support of a group like theirs. You can view their work and contribute your own story here.
The programme will no doubt be looking for future mentors. If you want to be part of it, watch this space 😊. Big thanks and congratulations to all who flew the OTS flag 🌈 and mentored in 2016.