The Proud2Be Rural Outreach Project aims to reach isolated LGBTQ+ people and enable them to create friendships and connections that can become a lifeline. They do this through peer support groups and inter-generational activities and campaigns.
The project is aimed at LGBTQ+ people of all ages. Participants lead the development of the project through focus groups, surveys and as members of the Proud2Be Action Group which plans activities.
Activities bring together the community for mutual support and to tackle the issues including discrimination and social isolation which can be experienced in this rural area.
Torbay, Teignbridge and South Hams, South Devon
LGBTQ+ people remain at increased risk of mental ill health due to a range of factors including discrimination and isolation. When people feel unfair shame or stigma, they become more likely to withdraw from friends and family, and take part in fewer social activities leaving them isolated or experiencing loneliness.
The project creates the opportunities for people to come together, for members to develop better support networks with their peers and those who understand them, including inter-generationally, and increase their self-confidence and resilience.
The project also hosts community events to help to increase the visibility of LGBTQ+ people in the area and reduce feelings of shame and instances of discrimination. Every year, the project holds a pride event for LGBTQ+ people to come together and celebrate their identities.
I found Proud2Be at a time in my life where I really needed support and had nowhere to turn. They’re my chosen family and I am so grateful to have them.