This project seeks to gain a youth perspective on the challenges young LGBTQ people face in accessing Higher Education in the UK.  Working in collaboration three organisations will deliver a project that foregrounds the young peoples voice and empowers young LGBTQ individuals via:

1) a set of advocacy films produced by young people aimed at peer audiences to be published online and,

2) a research report based on the workshop materials which explore young people’s experiences and perceptions, interviews with current HE students, and interviews with stakeholders that influence young people’s career choices and education.

To date, a series of community engagement events have been run including a set of capacity building workshops with LGBTQ youth at Allsorts culminating in two media production days on campus including:

  • TV studio recording day at the University of Brighton where the group of young people together with Allsorts staff and volunteers, academics and TV production specialists scripted and recorded a talk show style short film on ‘what makes an LGBTQ friendly campus?’
  • Post-production day at the University of Sussex, where the group worked to turn the recorded content into a beautiful media piece for online publication. This work is still in progress and a young person from Allsorts has volunteered to take the lead on the continued editing work, supported by a volunteer from Allsorts and media producer.

During the sessions peer support and peer knowledge exchange took place, empowering young people who felt listened to. Participation in the capacity building workshops enabled reflection on career choices and identities as well as developing content for the advocacy film. Being on campus facilitated an induction to and engagement with university campuses, resources and staff. The young people were very engaged participants, and cherished the opportunity to articulate and collectively formulate their views, based on lived experience, in a supportive environment.

The project enabled collaboration which would not have otherwise been possible. This was because key members of the community organisation and members of the university came together in new ways, with structure, resources and recognition.

The film was launched at an Allsorts event in Autumn celebrating the achievements of the young people which you can WATCH HERE

It is anticipated that the project will feed into widening participation, recruitment and Equalities at the University of Sussex and University of Brighton through participant networks. The video will be embedded in the Allsorts site and shared with universities in the region – including WP and recruitment teams – and student union events at Sussex and Brighton. The findings will also be disseminated through publication and conferences in HE research and the SLN.

Programme Partners: University of Brighton, University of Sussex, Allsorts Youth Project

For further information please email our Innovation Fund Project Manager, Debra Vice-Holt