Education has been at the core of our mission since our inception, and Happy Valley Pride makes it a priority to educate the next generations with lessons of love and equality. We work with schools in Calderdale to help them to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community, anti-bullying and the diversity of families in our local community. Our work has been recognised by Stonewall, who chose us for one of their Prides to visit in 2019.
The Happy Valley Pride Youth Engagement Programme plays a leading role in the provision of quality creative learning for young people around LGBTQ+ life in Calderdale and the surrounding areas through education and art, furthering Happy Valley Pride as a valued and influential partner in LGBTQ+ equality and human rights. We work closely with and support primary and secondary school teachers and leaders to run a programme of creative activities and assemblies forming an annual arts project that is presented as part of Happy Valley Pride Festival.
My 10 year old son was very excited when Happy Valley Pride was talked about so positively in his school. It sent out a clear message to him and all the pupils that the valley celebrates diversity and people should be proud of their sexuality.
In 2021, we focussed on encouraging children to explore their own individuality and express themselves through art and creative outlets. We called this the Creative Youth Engagement Project.
Our Youth Engagement Officer is local teacher, musician and LGBTQ+ supporter Terry Logan. If you live in Hebden Bridge you have probably heard of Terry logan, but if you haven’t then listen up! Terry is an amazing musician and has been a prominent member of the local pride community for quite some time.
Age is an important factor, so to accommodate age groups across the educational system, each Key Stage had their own separate project based on the theme of identity, but shared the same learning objectives:
- To develop our understanding of identity
- To develop our understanding of diversity
- To develop our awareness of the LGBTQ+ community
- To develop our awareness of equality and compassion
- To connect communities both educationally and wider
We devised a number of colourful and engaging lesson plans and activities that were taught by teachers in each respective school.
“I came to the valley with my 3 children in 2015. As a single lesbian mum, Happy Valley Pride gave me the boost I needed to feel that this was a great place to bring up my children who have been involved in both enjoying the festival and even volunteering. It helps them feel safe and proud to have a lesbian mum. My 10 year old son was very excited when Happy Valley Pride was talked about so positively in his school. It sent out a clear message to him and all the pupils that the valley celebrates diversity and people should be proud of their sexuality. We love living here, thank you Happy Valley Pride for playing a massive part in this.”
–Sally, Volunteer and local lesbian parent.
Read our guest blog by Megan Garside all about our 2021 Creative Youth Engagement Programme here.