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Gay & Bisexual Young Men

Gay Icon - Sir Ian Mckellen Makes Surprise Visit!

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On Friday 18th Sept. 2009 - as part of our 'My Icons' project (in association with the National Portrait Gallery) - OutZone and Girl Diva members were treated to a surprise (and exclusive!) visit from real-life 'Gay Icon' Sir Ian Mckellen.

(As one of the contributors to the Gay Icons Exhibition, on at the NPG until 18/10/09), Sir Ian stopped by for a surprise visit to say hello and wish us all the very best with our very own creative endeavours. A (closed) celebratory event is planned for Friday 2nd October, when the very best 'Iconic Images' created by young people from PACE Youth Network | London will be officially unveiled. Further details to be announced shortly.
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OutZone fundraising mission to save essential services for all

News Release 20/05/09

Gay and bisexual young men from the OutZone Youth Project (part of PACE – London’s leading provider of health & well-being services for the LGBT communities) are on a mission to raise money to help ensure vital aspects of the service continue to be offered to all who need them. Every year, hundreds of young men make use of its weekly youth groups, telephone/online support and specialist one2one service, regardless of whereabouts in London they come from. OutZone has worked with well over 100 different young men in 2008/09, from all over the capital, and beyond.

Like many charities, OutZone is feeling the effects of ‘credit crunch’, and as a result, may have to consider ‘rationing its services’ based on which London borough a young person comes from. Over the last few weeks and months, youth workers, peer mentors and group members have been putting their heads together to come up with a fund raising strategy to help the project generate additional funding. OutZone members have already set up their very own EBay For Charity store, added a secure online donations service to their website (www.outzone.org) and are planning to hold other community-based fundraising initiatives over the coming months.

“When I talk about my work to friends, the vast majority wish they’d had access to a project like OutZone when they were younger or just coming out”

PACE Senior Youth Worker, Andy Higgins, said: “Wouldn’t it be great if London’s ‘adult’ gay community came together to show it values the work we do with London’s gay teens? When I talk about my work to my friends, the vast majority wish they’d had access to a project like OutZone when they were younger or just coming out. The confidence and social skills gay teenagers learn at OutZone, from being around others ‘just like them’, is essential if we want the next generation to reach their potential - and feel happy, healthy and valued members of society.

“I remember how unhappy I felt about so many aspects of my life before I found OutZone - and thought I’d always feel like that”

OutZone Peer Mentor, Jason Ramdoo (18), said: “I’m glad to get involved in helping to come up with ideas to generate funds for the project - I’ve had first-hand experience of just what an amazing project OutZone is. I remember how unhappy I felt about so many aspects of my life before I found out about the project - and thought I’d always feel like that. I can’t thank OutZone enough for all the support and help I’ve been given. The youth workers really do help us feel better about ourselves and always keep us smiling! It’s reassuring to know there is someone out there who actually cares about how we feel. I’ve also made some very good friends at OutZone, some of the closest friends I’ve ever had.

“28% have attempted suicide by the time they reach us, 27% feel isolated most of the time and 19% are deliberately hurting themselves”

PACE CEO, Tim Franks commented: “Our specialist youth workers at OutZone engage with some of the most vulnerable young men in London - Over the last year or so, we’ve been conducting a comprehensive needs assessment of all young people who access the PACE Youth Network. The initial results reveal some worrying findings: Of the 141 assessments completed to date, 28% have attempted suicide by the time they reach us, 27% feel isolated often or most of the time and 19% are deliberately hurting themselves. We hope to publish a full report shortly.

There are various ways the capital’s ‘pink public’ can support London’s gay teens:

  • Online: Visit www.outzone.org and click on the DONATE NOW banner on the home page. A safe and secure way to make a donation towards our work, by debit or credit card, no matter how large or small. Every £1 donated in this way means we receive £1.28 (with gift aid).
  • On eBay/Facebook: Visit our online shop and bag yourself a bargain: http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/outzone.london or find us on Facebook for ‘mates rates’.
  • By cheque/PO: Cheques/postal orders can be sent to: OutZone, 34 Hartham Road, London, N7 9JL
  • In kind: Donate stuff for us to sell – Contact us if you’d like to donate items for our online shop.
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Registered charity No. 801271

The 'OutZone Kitty Fundraising Committee' is a user-led initiative to help secure additional funding for the OutZone Youth Project. OutZone is part of PACE. © PACE 2009

OutZone is proudly supported by:
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Support the OutZone Kitty

Introducing the OutZone Kitty - Our new user-led fundraising committee

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Like many organisations, and in particular, voluntary sector youth projects, Outzone is feeling the effects of credit crunch. OutZone is one of London’s oldest and best known youth projects for gay and bisexual young men.

Since 1997, hundreds of young men have made use of our weekly youth group, telephone and online support and our specialist one2one service, regardless of whereabouts in London they come from. Despite our best and continued efforts, securing funding to work on a pan-London basis has been virtually impossible.

It’s vital we continue to support young men from all over London.

At a time when demand for our services have never been greater, we’re finding it more and more difficult to fund some important aspects of our work for young men who reside outside of our primary funding boroughs. Please help ensure our work continues for ALL young gay men in London.

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How much does our work cost?
  • The cost of one weekly youth group session (for an average of 18 young men from our base in Islington) is in the region of: £150 (inc. staffing, resources, refreshments and a contribution towards venue and organisational on-costs). This works out to just over £8.30 per young person, per youth group session attended.
  • The cost of providing each one2one support and information session is around £30 (inc. staffing, follow up and organisational on-costs).
  • Our contribution towards a typical ‘evening out’ for youth group members (i.e. bowling) costs us between £50 and £100, depending on the number of young men who attend (excluding staffing costs).
  • The cost of running one of our weekends away for up to 15 young men (and two youth workers) is in the region of £2500, which equates to £125.00 per person.

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Kitty says: 'Short-term, postcode lottery funding for youth work with young gay men in London is so GAY!'

OutZone members are on a fund raising mission to ensure some vital aspects of the project continue to be offered, including our hugely popular (and vitally important) Residential Weekend Courses. We have been hit by some cuts to youth worker staffing hours too, which means we are able to offer less one2one support than before, despite an increasing need.

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Kitty says: 'It's time for us to stop scratching around in the queer litter-box of life'

We recognise that OutZone members have put a lot of work in over the last 18 months, filling in countless surveys, questionnaires and evaluation forms, not to mention all the focus groups and consultations, but it seems (despite all the praise the project has received) there are still very few grants available for 'ongoing' and ‘successful’ youth work with young gay men in London.

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Kitty says: '8 out of 10 young gay men - who dare to express an opinion - choose OutZone'

Over the last few weeks and months OutZone youth workers, peer mentors and group members have been putting their heads together to come up with a fund raising strategy that will get some cold hard cash into the project and help sort out our very own 'financial crisis'.

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Kitty says: 'Support the OutZone Kitty or else the puppy gets it!'

The 'OutZone Kitty Fund raising Committee' is a user led initiative to help secure additional funding for the OutZone Youth Project. OutZone is part of PACE - Promoting LGBT health and well-being - Registered Charity No. 801271 ©2009 OutZone/PACE


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How to donate:

  • Online: visit www.outzone.org and click on the DONATE NOW banner on the home page. A safe and secure way to make a donation towards our work, no matter how large or small.
  • On eBay: Visit our online shop and bag yourself a bargain: http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/outzone.london or become a direct seller for us. See eBay for for full details.
  • In Kind: Give us some of your old stuff to sell – Please contact us by email if you’d like to donate some stuff for our online shop. info@outzone.org - Any old tat will be considered!

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