A Halton LGBT+ youth group is ‘GLOW’ing with pride, after taking first prize at the Proud Trust’s Annual Art Activists competition.

GLOW, Young Addaction Halton’s LGBT+ youth group, won first prize at the Proud Trust’s Annual Art Activists competition on 18 May.

Art Activist is a creative project organised annually by The Proud Trust that promotes Artivism – using art and performance as a means of raising awareness of a particular issue, and as a way to bring about change.

The GLOW group runs twice weekly and provides information, advice and support for young people identifying as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Trans.

The group also provides a safe space for young people and access to activities such as art, cooking and sport, as well as regular workshops and activities on issues like identity, mental health and wellbeing and LGBT+ news.

GLOW put together a visual art project, Put Yourself In the Picture, which exposes the stereotypes and misconceptions facing many LGBT+ people, showing how through activism and engagement trailblazing LGBT+ people have broken through these barriers to help build a brighter, rainbow future.

June 2019 is also Pride Month, celebrating the LGBT+ community across the globe.

Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Children and Young People, Cllr Tom McInerney, said: “We are very proud of the young people from Glow for picking up these well deserved awards.

“Glow affords young people the safe space to understand, grow and develop their identities with support from staff and each other. Sadly too many young LGBT+ people still face many challenges in their day to day lives and through GLOW we are able to provide the support, informal education opportunities and acceptance.

“Activities like Art Activists help open young people’s eyes to the wider world and encourage fuller participation in our communities.”

Olivia Eren, a regular attendee of the GLOW group, was named LGBT Young Person of the Year at the Being Proud awards held at the same event.

Her mother Helen said: “Since attending Glow my daughter Olivia has come on leaps and bounds, she has had a rocky past and worked hard to turn it around with the help of youth workers and volunteers all encouraging her to be a better person.

“My daughter has gone from the ‘naughty kid’ who spent almost a year in isolation at school to being selected as student leader at school for her age group, winning an award for LGBT Young Person to be Proud of this year and campaigning alongside Halton Youth Cabinet for water safety, something she feels passionately about.

“I am very proud of her and I’m very thankful to the whole team at Glow for their support and all the opportunities she’s been given along the way.”

Halton GLOW is organised by Young Addaction on behalf of Halton’s Children’s Trust and Halton Council as part of an on-going commitment to improve opportunities for all children and young people living in the borough. Find it on Facebook.