This month as part of our Year of Friendship campaign, we’ve been focusing on children and young people and the projects designed to benefit them. We’re also highlighting some of the amazing youth workers who are always on hand to give one-to-one and group support.
We caught up with one of Sefton Council’s youth workers Sue Logie. She is the lead worker for New Beginnings, Sefton’s LGBTQ+ youth group which provides a safe space for young people to socialise and learn life skills.
Sue put’s her heart and soul into working with young people especially those who are LGBTQ+. So much so that she has recently won an award for Best Campaigner at the prestigious LCR Pride Awards 2019.
We caught up with Sue to ask her about her journey as a youth worker and why she continues to support young people.
Sue: For me personally, New Beginnings is like my baby so to speak. When I was a young person struggling with my own identity I was unaware of any support for young people at that time, this was something I really struggled with. There was no support and there were no visible role models back then nor was LGBTQ+ in the media like it is today. So, when I first started working within the Youth Service back in 2014 being asked to work with the New Beginnings group was exciting and then when I was asked to lead on it, it was an honour. To see and be a part of the journeys the young people embark on with their identity and finding themselves is so rewarding, and seeing them grow as a young person and being comfortable and happy within themselves just takes your breath away at times. To be able to provide a safe space and for young people to get the support I lacked is amazing, we have evolved slightly and we have had parents/carers ask for our support also which is always a pleasure, sometimes for parents to have that space to talk is nice also. More recently we have had a number of schools ask for support also, so it’s nice to see our schools trying to support our young people more especially around LBGTQ+.
Q: What are some of the main highlights in your career working with young people?
Sue: Wow! This is a difficult one! There are lots of positive experiences and some almost life changing for the young people and for me. I think one that really sticks with me is a young person who I worked with who just didn’t really know where they fitted or who they were, we did some 1-1 sessions and the young person attending New Beginnings and over about 2 years I seen this young person just grow and we went from different sexualities to then actually the young person saying they thought it was their gender that was this issue – well not issue, but they felt they wanted to identify as the opposite gender – so we did some work around this and now that young person is attending the Gender Identity Clinic and is much happier within themselves. All I did was to be there to listen and allow the space for that young person to be them and spent a lot of time with his parents supporting them also.
Q: It’s great news that you’ve been nominated for Best Campaigner at the Prestigious LCR Pride Awards 2019. How does it feel to know you’re hard work has been recognised in this way?
Sue: Shocked and overwhelmed. There is a very good friend of mine in the same category, who has been working campaigning for the LGBTQ+ community a lot longer than me so to make the final 3 for me is an achievement itself especially being named with someone who has done so much for the community before me.
Q: Moving forward do you have any aspirations about how society on a whole can improve support for young people?
Sue: I would ideally like to see a shift in the way LGBTQ+ people are seen, there is still a lot of homophobia/transphobia/biphobia, but on top of this, I feel any sort of ‘phobia’ I would like to see minimalised or eradicated – but with this people are not born hateful they are taught it. So, stigmas/stereotypes etc I would love to see them broken. And I feel like also youth work being seen across the country and a valuable service to our young people. These young people are our future leaders, Armed/Public service representatives and more. The valuable work that we carry out with our young people can be life changing for some and can bring them away from paths they shouldn’t really go down.