A campaign is under way to offer support to young people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) community in South Tyneside.
Members of the Young People’s Parliament started the campaign earlier this year with the aim of offering better information and support to the age group on issues about sexuality.
Training sessions have been held in South Tyneside for pupils and school staff who have pledged to support the initiative.
Young people have carried out surveys to find out the needs of the LGBT+ community. Shaped by the responses, a number of issues and potential solutions have been put forward.
Young People’s Parliament members have also produced a checklist for schools setting out key things that young people believe need to be in place for a school to be LGBT+ inclusive and supportive.
They will produce posters and other materials for schools to use and are considering setting up a local LGBT+ group.
Progress has also been made on developing training for teachers and other adults working with young people.
South Tyneside’s lead member for children, Young people and families, Coun Joan Atkinson, said: “It is important that all young people are listened to. Schools need to be able to offer support to our young people at a time when they are starting to understand their own emerging identity, their sexual orientation and their gender.
“Credit must go to the Young People’s Parliament for highlighting this important issue but I would also like to thank the significant number of staff and students who have been involved with this campaign.”
“The fact that their survey was completed by more than 500 young people and 50 adults demonstrates the level of interest in this topic.”
Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader with responsibility for democratic renewal, said: “The views of our young people are always incredibly valuable to us as a council in promoting the issues that are of real concern to them.
“This campaign is to be applauded for its commitment in helping to make South Tyneside an even more inclusive and supportive place for all our young people.”