I’ve been talking so much about YouthAction I wanted to blog about The Rainbow Project, another volunteer agency I’ve been working with (and love!) The Rainbow Project is Northern Ireland’s largest LGBT organization. With offices in Belfast and L’Derry they provide a range of services and opportunities for LGBT people and their families. Services include:
- Daily Drop in Center: The Rainbow Project runs a daily drop in service from 10am-4:30pm Monday-Friday at the Foyle Office. People are welcomes to come learn more about services, talk to the staff and volunteers or make some new friends.
- Youth Groups: Rainbow Project is funded by the BIG lottery, runs youth projects for young men and women including personal development groups, job skills and employment coursers, work experience and much more.
- Trasderry Support Group: The Transderry Support Group aims to create a visible Trans Community in L’Derry and surrounding areas, providing support to Trans women and men who are on a journey of transition, to affirm their gender and offer support to their families. This group meets at the Rainbow Foyle Center.
- Older Men’s Support Group: The Older Men’s Support group is for men 40+ who want to explore their sexual orientation, get support for issues such as gay fatherhood or meet other men of similar age outside of the pub and club scene.
- Counseling Service: The Rainbow Project runs Northern Ireland’s only gay specific counseling service for men.
- Sexual Health Services: The Rainbow Project provides free condoms and lube, free rapid HIV and Syphillis testing, outreach GUM clinics as well as information, support and advice on all aspects of sexual health, sexual orientation and sexuality.
- LGBT Advocacy Service:
- The LGBT Advocacy Service provides support and advice to LGBT people who have been the victim of crime or are expecting issues in relation to housing and homelessness.
- In addition the services listen above, the Rainbow Project also provides an extensive list of services, information, support and advice for LGBT people and their families.
12 A Queen Street
028 7128 3030
What I love most about this place is the atmosphere. Every single person I’ve met has been so welcoming and just fun to be around! I found it quite a culture shock when I discovered that this was one of the only LGBT drop in centers in Derry (In NYC centers dedicated strictly towards LGBT youth are very popular). I think their goals and services are absolutely amazing. Back in the states their was a heartbreaking story a few years ago about an ELEVEN year old boy who hung himself because his peers were making fun of him for acting gay. It not only broke my heart but as a counselor in a school, made me realize just how much harder we all have to try to not only be role models, but let every single student know that ARE people out there that they can talk with and trust. It breaks my heart every time I think of a child that young feeling completely alone. I love that Rainbow has made their center so open and welcoming. I wish there was a center like them not only in every city in the world, but every school!