Manchester

Manchester LGBT charity plan for bullied or excluded pupils

The Joyce Layland LGBT Centre Image copyright Google
Image caption LGBT Youth North West has been given £63,000 to investigate new uses for the centre

Plans to set up a centre for pupils who have been bullied or feel "socially awkward" are being explored by a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group in Manchester.

LGBT Youth North West is looking at new uses for the Joyce Layland LGBT Centre.

It follows the award of a £63,000 government grant to investigate options "for the whole of the LGBT community".

Director Amelia Lee said one possibility was using it to support pupils who feel excluded.

She said the aim would be to make them feel they are a "really valued and special person in the world".

"In mainstream education, there's a lot of people who feel they don't fit in, there are some who experience a lot of bullying and [there are those] who self-select, because they feel so socially awkward, to not go to school.

"Say a pupil is having a really hard time at school and they might need a half day a week with a youth worker to talk to about their gender identity or sexuality - we think that's something really important that we should support."

"We're carrying out consultations [and] one possibility is an alternative education provision - for all pupils, not just LGBT pupils."

'Alternative education'

The grant from the Department for Communities and Local Government is to fund a feasibility study.

LGBT Youth North West currently works with about 10,000 teachers and pupils every year "to make all schools truly inclusive".

Ms Lee said the idea would not be "to reinvent the wheel, but complement what exists already".

"It's about making sure our LGBT and other pupils get the support they need and have their identities validated so they don't feel weird [but instead] like they are a really valued and special person in the world and in our community."

A spokeswoman for the group said the process was at a "very early stage" and the form any future educational facility would take had yet to be decided upon.

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