CAERPHILLY Youth Service have celebrated the first anniversary of the young people’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and other people who are questioning their gender and/or sexuality (LGBTQ+) group.

The group - which was first established in 2012 – has gone from strength to strength and now has 32 members.

Members meet monthly and have taken it one step further and organised social activities outside of the group setting.

The group offers peer group support, the friendship and help of someone in the same situation and experiencing similar issues, to address the feelings of isolation and difficulties associated with 'coming out' and dealing with discriminatory social attitudes.

Group member Bethany Duffin aged 15, said: “I am able to express myself in a safe environment. I feel more confident, happy and accepted. By joining this group I have also found friends that I know will support me through anything.”

Joined by Nick Lewis - director of Umbrella Cymru - and local Cllr Nigel Dix, the group celebrated their anniversary by creating commemorative cards and taking part in craft activities before watching a DVD documenting their journey over the past year.

Cllr Philippa Marsden, cabinet member responsible for Education and Achievement, said: “I am thrilled that this group has become so well established. The peer led environment helps the youngsters really take ownership of the direction of the group and make it their own.”

For more information about the project, please contact a Youth Worker at Blackwood Basement on 01495 235511 or email thebasement@caerphilly.gov.uk.