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Profile

Keith Farnish

Abseiling off the Forth Bridge for LGBT Youth

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p][b]Youth Work Changes Lives, not only for the young people who use it, but also the people who take part in making it happen. This is my story, and why I am ABSEILING OFF THE FORTH RAIL BRIDGE IN OCTOBER(!)[/b][/p][p]I first encountered LGBT Youth Scotland when my youngest child began attending the Involved youth group in Selkirk back in 2014. Throughout the time that Kaelin attended the group, my only contact with others would be when waiting at the bus stop on a Wednesday night. I’d see a few other people, usually with interesting coloured hair, chatting about what happened at group. It was clear to me that “what went on in group, stayed in group”, but it was obvious that Involved was a hugely important part of life for some young LGBT+ people in the Borders; in a few cases, a genuine lifeline. [/p][p]I got to know some other LGBTI young people in the Borders through my work at local schools and my wife’s support for trans and non-binary young people, and I became a bit of a local celebrity(!) for my non-binary activism alongside Kaelin, which led to my interest in more directly supporting LGBTI young people.[/p][p]An opportunity arose in early 2018 to become a volunteer at LGBT Youth Scotland and, in September, I began to help out at the very same Involved group Kaelin had gone to. Then, in November, there was an opening to join the staff team as a Sessional Youth Worker, as well as to be involved in Youth Commissions, and I jumped at the chance. Already, Involved and LGBT Youth Scotland had become a very important part of my life, and I was keen to take more responsibility for the young people and the group in a wider sense. I became part of the staff team in January 2019, and ran the group for the first time the very next week.[/p][p]My first group trip was in February, taking seven young people to the LEAP Sports bowling tournament in Falkirk, which was at times hilarious and very entertaining, but also a huge responsibility – having a group of young people put their trust in you is a very intense experience. The #BeLGBTInvolved mini-youth summit, held in St Boswells Village Hall on Purple Friday (20th February) was an even greater responsibility, but in this case the young people themselves were instrumental in running a great deal of it for the benefit of over 70 LGBTI under-25s from all over the Borders. It is a source of great pride that our small group was able to pull off such a successful day.[/p][p]As well as being a way of giving young people a host of new experiences in a safe environment, especially given the still-common presence of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in the Borders, being part of LGBT Youth Scotland has also allowed me to understand myself a bit more. I recently came out as pansexual having always convinced myself I was straight, despite having a close affinity with the LGBTI community. I also took four young people to Trans Pride Scotland at the end of March, which was my first Pride event, and by supporting a group of young people from the Borders and also Edinburgh I was also giving myself the chance to experience something new. None of this would have been possible had I not volunteered with and then worked for LGBT Youth Scotland.[/p][p]It is often difficult to know exactly what kind of an impact Involved has on the young people given the short time they have available for contact during the week (three hours on a Wednesday, along with trips and events). The fact is, they keep coming back. In many cases they increasingly show confidence and a willingness to take the lead in projects, as they entrust the staff and volunteers with their true identities and deepest feelings. Youth groups like these are essential in the Borders, and I am proud to play a small part in this.[/p][p][b]LGBT Youth Scotland urgently needs funds to ensure youth groups, educational programmes and vital political action continue to happen. If you can give anything to help support them, you will be changing lives for the better.[/b][/p][p]Thank you, [/p][p][i]Keith[/i][/p]
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Share Keith's story

Event

Personal Challenge Date

06 Oct 2019

Supporters

Sep 19, 2019

Anonymous

£20.00

Sep 4, 2019

Chris

Be proud that you’re doing the very scary thing for a very good cause!

£200.00 plus £50.00 Gift Aid

Aug 17, 2019

Graeme M

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Aug 6, 2019

Anonymous

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Aug 5, 2019

Luke M

G'luck Keith

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Aug 5, 2019

Debbie Bruce

£15.00

Aug 5, 2019

Cheryl

Good luck Keith.

£5.00 plus £1.25 Gift Aid

Jul 27, 2019

Anonymous

£5.00

Jul 27, 2019

Jo & Brian Chick

All the best for you abseil Keith, a wonderful cause, we look forward to an update here in NZ.

£20.00