• 2006 - 2008

    Increased services to young people, Research, National Development, Campaigns - BeLonG To comes of age!

    2006: Homophobic Bullying Seminar in partnership with the Children’s Research Centre TCD – first of its kind in September 2006 – proved to be important in gathering allies to the cause!

    2006: The Stop Homophobic Bullying in School Campaign, was launched by Minister for State in Education Sile De Valera in October 2006. It was a partnership campaign with the Equality Authority and significantly, was endorsed by the TUI, ASTI, The National Association of Principals, the Gardai, Irish Secondary Students Union and the National Parents Council. It was the largest LGBT campaign of any kind at that time.

    2006: Homophobic Bullying Research – also in 2006 BeLonG To partnered with the Anti-Bullying Centre in TCD to deliver the first Irish study on LGBT young people’s experience of homophobic bullying in school.

    2006: Drugs Research and Services – BeLonG To joined forces with the National Drugs Strategy Team and the North Inner City Drugs Task Force to carry out national research on drug use amongst LGBT young people and to develop the first and only LGBT specific drugs education and prevention service.

    2006: Suicide Prevention Policy - In response to young people presenting to BeLonG To with suicidal ideation BeLonG To delivered a submission to the National Suicide Review Group. As a result of this as well as ongoing BeLonG To campaigning, LGBT young people were included as a designated ‘at risk’ group in ReachOut, the governments ten year strategy on suicide prevention. 

    2006: Provision of Drugs Services - BeLonG To hires its first full time Drugs Edcuation & Outreach Worker, opening the first and only LGBT specific drugs education and prevention service in Ireland.

    2006: National Development Coordinator – BeLonG To hires a full-time National Development Coordinator to begin to put in place a plan to ‘Start-Up’ groups similar to BeLonG To across the country.

    2006: Project Leader – BeLonG To hires a full-time Project Leader for the Dublin project as the numbers accessing the service continue to rise.

    2007: Suicide Prevention – By further working with the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention, BeLonG To has been funded to deliver a National Development Project to establish LGBT youth supports to young people around the country. 

    2007: BeLonG To’s ‘Start-Up Pack’ – BeLonG To produces a manual on how to set up and run an LGBT youth group. Using this resource BeLonG To develops a network of 12 LGBT youth groups in the the coming years.

    2008: The National Youth Work Advisory Committee – BeLonG To were appointed to this body which advises the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs on the direction of services and policy for young people in Ireland.

    2008: President McAleese -  President McAleese addresses BeLonG To’s National LGBT Youth Forum in Galway, where she stated:

    ‘By working together ... we can overcome the bias and hostility experienced by many young gay people throughout the country.  No-one should have to suffer on account of their sexual orientation.’

    2008: First Accredited LGBT Youth GroupShout! In Galway becomes the first LGBT youth group to be accredited by BeLonG To.

    2008: Online Support Service – BeLonG To opens its Online Support Service at Christmas, operating each weekend throughout the year to support young LGBT people in dealing with any issues they may have.