The Allsorts Safer Spaces Award (TASSA) aims to support young people’s services to achieve better inclusion of young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or in the process of exploring their sexual orientation and/or gender identity (LGBT+), by sharing the skills and knowledge Allsorts has gained as a specialist LGBT+ service with over 20 years of experience. TASSA strives to adapt to the needs of your specific organisation, recognising the unique challenges and experiences faced by the LGBTU+ community in diverse settings.
"As a small service within a much larger organisation, TASSA has enabled us to influence organisational and strategic changes that have promoted better inclusion policies and practices for the LGBT+ community, but also for other marginalised voices and communities... I highly recommend this Award." - Brighton YAC
TASSA encourages and empowers participating organisations to examine and self-assess six key areas of operation, with a view to amending, improving or implementing inclusive practices that assure safer spaces for LGBT+ children and young people.
The areas include:
TASSA is anchored by The Equality Act, The UN Rights of the Child and robust best practice guidelines from authorities such as Ofsted and the NHS, helping participating organisations to adhere to relevant legal requirements.
LGBT+ young people are disproportionately affected by bullying, mental health issues, self-harm and suicidal thoughts compared to their non-LGBT+ peers. The Stonewall Schools Report (2017) found that:
In contrast, the Adult Psychiatry Morbidity Survey by NHS England (2014) found that only around 6% of all young people aged 16-25 have attempted suicide. LGBT+ young people are also disproportionately affected by other issues such as bullying (Stonewall Schools Report, 2017), homelessness (Albert Kennedy Trust, 2015) and domestic violence (SafeLives, 2018).
It is critical that youth services are safer spaces for LGBT+ young people so they can benefit from youth provision to its full potential, gain confidence and develop accepting friendship networks, benefitting their wellbeing and mental health longer term in the face of potentially challenging school and home lives.
“TASSA is a programme that will aid both YES as a service but also our young people coming through the front door. Considering the effect of mental health on the LGBT+ community, it is vital that we develop, grow and progress to ensure the safety of our young people.” - YES Staff Member
Organisations or services that are not education based and have direct contact with young people under 26 can take part in TASSA. For example:
In order to be considered for TASSA, prospective organisations must be able to evidence that they have the following policies and procedures in place and up to date: