Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model runner-up Sarah Kennedy will be the special guest at the Donegal Youth Council LGBT “Chalk It up” event this Saturday 8th March. The event runs from 2-4pm in the Diamond in Donegal town and is in support of LGBT Stand Up week, a national campaign which is co-ordinated by Belong To.
The Chalk It Up events were developed here locally by the BreakOUT Donegal LGBT support service, who have organised events over the last 2 years, and give people the opportunity to write positive chalk messages of support for young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in prominent locations. Breakout will also be holding a Chalk It Up event this year in Letterkenny at the Market Square this Saturday from 2-4pm.
The Stand Up campaign was launched nationally in 2012 and aims to raise awareness and tackle homophobia and homophobic bullying, transphobia and transphobic bullying and help to create positive understanding and support for LGBT people. Next week schools and youth services across the country will organise fun and educational activities to encourage young people to take part in the event.
Portnoo native Sarah Kennedy, says she is really happy to be able to support the Stand Up campaign. “I know only too well what bullying can do from my own personal experiences so if I can help out in anyway in this particular campaign to encourage others to take a stand and stop bullying then I am only delighted to be involved”.
Donegal Youth Councilors identified homophobic bullying as a major issue to work on this year and they are also working to involve their schools in LGBT awareness projects. Seven secondary schools in the county have already agreed to run a Chalk It Up event on the 14th of March.
Chairperson of the Donegal Regional group of the Donegal Youth Council Sharon McNern explains why the Youth Council wanted to show their support for the campaign this year. “As stand up week was approaching, we felt that this was a topic that we needed to raise awareness on as homophobic bullying is a continuing problem. We felt we needed to let LGBT young people in the county know that they have support and are not alone. Come on down on Saturday to see us and write your positive message of support.”
Donegal Youth Council is funded by Donegal County Council, HSE Health Promotion and the Dept of Children and Youth Affairs and is co-ordinated at local level by the Donegal Youth Service.
Stand Up LGBT Awareness runs all the week from 10th-14th March. For more information on events in your area see www.belongto.org or contact the Breakout LGBT project on 085-7411607 . You can contact Donegal Youth Council on 087-6806676 or email firstname.lastname@example.org