The Department of Children and Youth Affairs has recently allocated funding of €100,000 throughout Ireland for LGBTI+ Youth Service Schemes.
Cavan and Monaghan received an allocation of €5k to support LGBTI+ Youth Services in the two counties. The scheme which is administered by Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB) aims to increase youth services contact hours with LGBTI+ young people to ensure that all LGBTI+ youth in Cavan and Monaghan feel valued and included. The initiative is primarily intended to facilitate increased access to youth services for LGBTI+ young people in rural areas.
The funding allocation awarded to Cavan and Monaghan Rainbow Youth project will provide additional youth worker hours dedicated specifically to supporting young LGBTI+ people.
Maureen McIntyre, Youth Officer with CMETB said: “Cavan and Monaghan Rainbow Youth is a vital LGBTI+ youth service for Cavan and Monaghan offering essential LGBTI+ support, information and training. This funding announcement will further support the important work they carry out for the two counties”.
The Cavan and Monaghan Rainbow Youth project, which works out of the FOCUS Family Resource Centre in Killashandra, Cavan, are back up and running again under guidance for resumption of youth services following Covid-19. The service is now recommencing support in Cavan Institute in the new academic year and will now look to developing the service in Monaghan Institute with appointment of a new LGBTI+ Development worker. The part time hours will give the new development worker freedom to progress the expansion of the new services, including the partnership with Transgender Equality Network of Ireland (TENI) in delivering TransparenCI and Transformers supports in the region, while recommencing outreach to the youth services and schools across the two counties. TransparenCI is a peer support group for parents of Transgender and Gender Diverse young people, while Transformers is a professional led support group for the young person themselves.
The planned Trans specific supports include peer support which is guided and supported by a mental health professional. Should any young person require additional support, it means there is a professional in the room that will be available to provide that support and assist the young person into other supports where needed. There is not currently a service like this north of Dublin, so the service has the potential of supporting young people as far north as Donegal.
Barry McSkeane, LGBTI+ Youth Development Officer, Cavan & Monaghan said: “Receiving this funding allocation not only acknowledges the work we are currently doing, but now allows Cavan and Monaghan Rainbow Youth the opportunity to build on that work and develop new supports for the two counties. It allows us to take on a part-time worker that will support the service in progressing a partnership with the Transgender Equality Network of Ireland (TENI). The partnership will provide TransparenCI and Transformers youth and family supports in the region. This model has proven very beneficial for young Transgender and Gender Diverse people in other parts of the country with parents and young people in different rooms, under the same roof receiving much needed support around issues they face as individuals and as a family unit. It will also be the only service like it north of Dublin, with only five other groups nationally, in Kerry, Cork, Waterford and two in Dublin.
Thank you to Department of Children and Youth Affairs and CMETB for continuing to support and advocate for our LGBTI+ young people, and young people in general. This has the potential to change the lives of young people and their families for the better, ensuring they feel valued and respected in the family home and in their community and society at large.”