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Sam, our LGBTQIA+ lead practitioner in the Compass GO! service tells us about his role

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Published on: August 9, 2022

Sam Walters , Compass GO! supervising practitioner and LGBTQIA+ specialist theme lead.

“My name is Sam and i am a supervising practitioner for Compass GO! in North East Lincolnshire and I have one of the specialist theme lead roles.

“I have the LGBTQIA+ community which involves looking at how we can support better access into our service for young people who are part of that community or identify as LGBTQIA+ or any other way and making sure that schools are on board and doing the best they can for that community.

“It also involves looking outside of schools as well, so looking more into the community how we can make the experience for young people living in North East Lincolnshire better, if they identify with the LGBTQIA+ community.

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“In terms of reaching out to young people, we really know that it’s important so that they can access a safe space, they can talk to someone about their mental health, their emotional well-being or whatever troubles they’re struggling with. To that end, we have 19 staff that have just signed up to wear a progress pride flag pin badge on their lanyard, which identifies them really easily to young people that they are a safe member of staff to talk to about anything and everything that they need to or that they want to.

“If they don’t have a safe place at home, it means the absolute world to me to be able to help these young people. I really do think they need the support and the support is definitely something that’s required especially in North East Lincolnshire.

“It just means that they’ve got that safe person to talk to, they’re getting some support for whatever emotion it is that they’re feeling and there is someone who is there to acknowledge their feelings, listen to their feelings and give them some different tools so that they can get through the difficulty they’re struggling with and have different strategies they can use for the rest of their life.

Life changing

“It is genuinely life-changing to work with young people who are struggling with their mental health and the schools so that we can change the experience that young people have within school and make it more positive overall, so that they feel like they’re getting the best out of their life.”