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Club News


20 February 2023

Club News


20 February 2023

Huddersfield Town LGBTQ+ Supporters’ Group working with local charity

- Proud Terriers working with local LGBTQ+ charity
- The Brunswick Centre operate across Kirklees and Calderdale
- All supporters welcome to join Proud Terriers as group expands

As we continue to grow and expand our Proud Terriers supporters’ group during LGBTQ+ History Month, we have partnered with local LGBTQ+ charity The Brunswick Centre to give further support and guidance to our members.

The Brunswick Centre was the name given to Calderdale HIV/AIDS Link (CHAL) in 2002 when it extended it's HIV services into Kirklees. Today, The Brunswick Centre offers a suite of services and projects to various communities in Calderdale and Kirklees. Find out all you need to know about the service by CLICKING HERE to visit their website!

Speaking to Kate Ribchester and Anne Glew of the service, they told us about their work and why they’ve chosen to partner with the Club and Proud Terriers. Beginning by giving us some background on The Brunswick Centre itself, they told us:

“The Brunswick Centre is commissioned through Calderdale authorities and we’re funded through public health from Kirklees Council and Calderdale Council. We offer counselling, we offer training, we’re a hate incident reporting centre, we do lots of different things – but our mission is to enable people from communities that we serve to be able to make informed choices and build healthier relationships and to live their lives free of stigma.

“We are LQBTQ+ youth workers and we run three youth clubs a week across Kirklees for young people from Year 7 up to the age of 25. We run one in Dewsbury and two in Huddersfield, one of which is a seniors group for sixth form ages onwards. We do a wide range of activities, so we follow the youth work curriculum and we do lots of things about life skills, safety, art and creativity.

“We look at things that are going on in the world, for example at the minute it is LGBTQ+ History Month, so we have been looking at the history of our community, as well as this we watched the film Pride and learnt about the mining community and how we supported each other. We go to the Pride events and do lots of trips to get young people to see new things in the world and see the wider community. We also just offer a safe space, where people can come meet other people like them so they don’t feel isolated. A lot of it is about social connection and improving wellbeing.

“We’re really lucky that we have access to in-house counselling as well, so we provide counselling for our young people and we can get that turned around withing a week or two, which is great because we are beating other waiting lists and getting the support for our young people immediately. We also have a family support worker, who does one-to-ones with people in school around their identity and their gender – that can be in school or somewhere like a coffee shop. Our family support worker works with parents as well to give them support and understanding, which is a really important part of what we do because some of the young people have issues at home with their families not understanding, so we do some family sessions to build that understanding.

“Every quarter, we run a Trans group workshop for parents and carers, so if their child comes out as Trans they can come to the workshops and meet other parent and learn all they need to know, like how to change names, how to deal with school and their child’s mental wellbeing. So that is really popular and really positive because parents need support too.

“It’s a really busy service and we’re really proud of what we do. It’s all about meeting the needs of our young people because we know statistically, they are the most vulnerable and more likely to suffer with mental health issues, more likely to suffer with substance abuse, more likely to end up homeless – so our job is to keep young people safe.

“We are definitely getting more and more popular as time goes on, we started as only one group and now we have three because the demand is so high. We’re finding that more young people are out or more young people are confused, but it tends to be more focussed on gender then orientation with a lot of our young people. I think that is kind of at the forefront at the moment, people questioning their gender and coming out as Trans because they feel more comfortable and able to and they live in society where in some parts it is much easier to, not everywhere.

“Young people are more willing to talk to us, I think parents especially are finding us very helpful, we’re definitely doing a lot more family work than we originally did.

“We are a confidential service as well, so if a young person isn’t out at home we won’t be telling parents, we work with that young person. We don’t give anything away until the young person gives us permission to.”

As well as working with vulnerable people in the LGBTQ+ community, they run a full HIV service across Kirklees and Calderdale too.

“We also have our HIV service, which is a service that is split in two, there is the support side and that supports people who are living with HIV and then the prevention side who go around different community venues doing point of care testing, which is the rapid finger-prick test. We send condoms by post and provide protection to people too.

“We provide formula milk to mothers living with HIV to encourage them not to breastfeed their children as you can pass it on through breast milk. We do one-to-one work with service users, so if people are a bit confused around their sexual orientation and they want more advise on being safe and looking after their sexual health, we have one-to-ones with people and it’s great.”

Finally, the pair commented on what working alongside the Club and Proud Terriers means, saying that all work done to raise awareness and reduce stigma is a good thing.

“We think it is really important especially in sport, because young people do face a lot of barriers in sport, even in high school around where they can get changed, what class they’re made to go in and it can make people feel like sport isn’t a place for them. I think it is really important that we show young people that football and any sport is for them, and that there is a community within that that is going to love and support them and they are welcome at the matches. It’s important to show that there are a whole group of people like them that are interested in the sport.

“It’s important to make people feel included and have that safe space. To know that they can meet other people there as well will reduce isolation, anything social is really important. Club’s having groups like ‘Proud Terriers’ is a huge step, knowing that they’re welcome and if they were to experience anything negative it wouldn’t be tolerated. I hope that at some point we can bring some of our young people to a match and show them how fun it can be going to watch sport.

“It’s just fantastic that a football team, a local football team, supports equality and diversity. Huddersfield Town have a Proud Terriers group, which we follow on Twitter and Facebook. I think it also helps to raise awareness around HIV and reduces stigma, what people don’t realise is 1 in 40 people living with HIV don’t actually know that they have it. What I think the Club is doing around equality and diversity is fantastic.

“Huddersfield Town are normalising and embracing equality and diversity, there is the Proud Terriers group and I know you support women groups and different ethnic groups.”

To find out more about the Proud Terriers and how you can join, please CLICK HERE!

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