We are delighted to share the news that The Yard has been awarded the LGBT Charter Bronze Award. The LGBT Charter is a programme run by LGBT Youth Scotland to support and guide organisations to ensure our services are welcoming, inclusive and safe for LGBT+ people. It involves working towards and achieving standards, which cover things from policy to promotional materials and training.

As an organisation that works with disabled children and young people, we always consider inclusivity in terms of disability; going through this process was an opportunity to expand our practice to also consider gender and sexuality. We aim for this to become just another of the many wonderful ways we continue to support our families, staff and volunteers, and most importantly, provide the creative and nurturing play environment our children need.

The LGBT Charter programme enables us to include LGBT+ people in every aspect of our work, protecting our staff and providing a high quality service to our members, families, schools and groups. It helps us be truly inclusive for staff, volunteers and service users.

We have undertaken staff training, and reviewed our policies, practice and resources to make sure we are as inclusive as possible. Being awarded our LGBT Charter lets us send a positive message, with confidence, that our organisation is a champion of LGBT+ inclusion where all employees, and service users are safe, supported and included. The LGBT Charter makes a clear statement that equality and diversity are at the heart of our organisation.
You may have seen our mini campaign over the summer or taken part in some of our themed activities. These include marking special days such as Purple Friday (22 February) - a day to stand against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, and show our support for LGBT+ equality. The day is named after the purple stripe on the LGBT rainbow flag, which represents spirit. In Scotland, we celebrate Purple Friday in support of LGBT Youth Scotland. This year's theme was CATALYST: 50 years of activism - marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprisings in New York in 1969 and birth of the modern Pride movement. 

Thank you to everyone who completed our survey and took part in our activities. We submitted our portfolio to LGBT Youth Scotland late last year and wanted to share our exciting news during this LGBT History Month. Several of our policies have been expanded and updated, as well as our staff being trained in how best to support our young people with LGBT+ issues. We have begun adding lots of LGBT+ titles to our library on the play floor. Please let us know if you have any book suggestions. We will also be adding LGBT+ resources to our website and creating a display notice board at each site very soon. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions please get in touch.