National Lottery gives £400,000 grant for LGBTQ+ clubs in UK schools

School-age children with Pride flag

The National Lottery has given a grant of more than £400,000 to an LGBTQ+ young people’s charity to support its Pride school clubs.

Just Like Us will receive £435,250 over three years from the National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by lottery players to good causes – an amount that will enable the charity to transform its Pride Groups programme. 

The programme is a national network of lunchtime and secondary school after-school clubs that provide safe places for LGBTQ+ young people and allies to meet, learn and seek support. 

The money means Just Like Us can turn their current programme into an initiative able to support some 16,000 pupils across 1,600 UK secondary schools, “helping more pupils than ever before to become better allies, to feel connected to the LGBT+ community and to make positive changes in their schools and local communities”, said Laura Mackay, the chief executive of Just Like Us. 

‘All young people deserve to feel that school is a safe place’

“All young people deserve to feel that school is a safe place where they are supported to be themselves, and I cannot thank National Lottery players enough for helping make this a reality for LGBT+ pupils across England and Wales.”

Phil East, an English teacher at Park Hall Academy in the West Midlands, said: “Running Pride groups last year, alongside other staff, with the help of the brilliant resources from Just Like Us, was one of the most fulfilling and rewarding aspects of my 20-year teaching career.”

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He added that the programme has made the academy feel more inclusive and welcoming for all students.

Research conducted for Just Like Us earlier this year revealed that LGBTQ+ people were much less likely to be happy in adulthood if they were not supported at home and school when they were younger. 

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