GYRO- LGBTQ+ Youth (YPAS)

GYRO is a collection of youth groups (separated by age) for young people who identify themselves as: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Trans*, or who are Questioning their sexuality or gender identity (LGBTQ+) We also have a sibling group ‘THE* (Trans* Health Education) Action Youth’ which specifically supports young people around gender identity.


What is the service?

GYRO is a youth group for young people who identify themselves as: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Trans, or who are Questioning their sexuality or gender identity or identify as something other than heterosexual and cisgender (LGBTQ+).


What do you do?

Provides age specific weekly (afternoon/evening) drop-ins where young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning their sexual or gender identity can attend to socialise, meet other like-minded people, take part in informal group activities and receive 1-1 support.


What age group does your service work with?

Every Tuesday 4-6pm for young people in Years 8-11 of secondary school (age 12-16)

Every Thursday 6-8pm for young people post Year 11 (16-25).


Do you work with other family members?

In most cases young people self-refer, and some do so without the knowledge of their family or carers as they may not be open about being LGBTQ+. We occasionally have contact with parents or carers with the young persons consent, or in an emergency we will say we are calling from YPAS so as not to put a young person at further risk by ‘outing’ them. Sometimes a parent/carer needs some advice and staff will do their best to assist.


Are you limited to working with people from a specific geographical area?

No – we support young people from across Merseyside as many of them do not attend local neighbourhood youth groups, preferring the anonymity of a city centre group. Young people would have to make their own way to and from the group regardless of where they are from.


Who would someone ask for in the first instance?

A worker from the GYRO project or the LGBT+ Information, Advice and Guidance worker.


What are your opening times?

Every Tuesday 4-6pm for young people in Years 8-11 of secondary school (age 12-16)

Every Thursday 6-8pm for young people post Year 13 (age 16-25).


Can you be contacted out-of-hours?

Outside of the GYRO drop-in times we can be contacted Mon – Fri via email or Telephone number. Phone YPAS on 0151 707 1025 for more details or email gyro@ypas.org.uk and a staff member will get back to you ASAP.


Do you have appointments outside working hours?

Yes, 1-1 appointments can be made with anyone who would like to know more about the service and /or would like to engage with the groups.

There is also the possibility to work 1 to 1 with a young person with the Information,Advice and Guidance (LGBTQ+) worker on practical support around coming out or reaching a goal or exploring terminology. This service may be more suitable for young people who find it difficult to engage in groups or have a specific need they want to meet.


Do you have drop-in facilities?

Yes.


Where do you see young people?

The GYRO drop-in groups take place at YPAS’ Liverpool city centre location:
36 Bolton Street, L3 5LX (It’s between the Adelphi Hotel and Lime Street station)


Do you take referrals directly from children/young people, parents/carers?

Yes – YPAS takes self-referrals, which means making your own referral direct to YPAS.

A young person can just turn up to the appropriate group when it is open, no referral required.

If 1:1 support is needed a referral can be put in via YPAS clinical admin or electronically via http://www.ypas.org.uk/make-a-referral/ and a referral can be made by a parent/carer/professional/ appropriate adult. Consent must be obtained from the young person to have the referral made


If not, how can people refer in to your service?

N/A


Who else can make referrals to you?

Anyone who supports a young LGBTQ+ person, with their consent. Contact us to request information to pass on to a young person.


What kinds of things do you help with?

We offer information, advice and guidance (1:1 support) on a range of issues relevant to LGBTQ+ young people in particular, including coming out, bullying, sexual and emotional concerns, mental health and well-being, trans specific issues. If additional support is required e.g. counselling, we will refer them within YPAS or onto other organisations. GYRO also operates as a safe social space for young LGBTQ+ people to be themselves without fear of persecution. The groups are alcohol and drug free and always have experienced staff working on them.

GYRO also offers fun activities such as drama, music, games, art, craeting zines etc. They also take part in Liverpool Pride each year and attend other external LGBTQ+ youth activities around the country.

If more specific support around gender is needed we have experienced and knowledgeable staff who run a group THE* (Trans* Health Education) Action Youth on a Wednesday afternoon. They can also offer 1 to 1 Information, Advice and Guidance regarding gender identity issues such as accessing appropriate health care.


What do you offer?

N/A


What happens after a referral is made?

If a young person self-refers by phone, text or email we will inform them about the group and invite them to attend the drop-in.
If a young person self refers or is referred for IAG (1 to 1 support) then an appointment will be made for a time of their convenience as long as a worker is available.


What will happen at the first appointment?

For gyro drop in: Most young people self-refer by attending the drop-in. When they access they will receive an induction including some paperwork and an explanation of how the group works and what it can offer. They will be asked if there are any particular issues they may want support with, and if they are receiving any support elsewhere.

If the appointment is for IAG: The worker will have to do an initial assessment which may take up to 1.5 hours. This will involve collecting some personal information and finding out how the staff member and young person can work together to achieve some goals.


What will happen after that?

Young people will be informed about the drop-in opening times and planned activities they may take part in.

For IAG: future appointments may be made to continue working on goals on a 1-1 basis.


What do you do if a client is not happy with the service?

The young person should be informed about YPAS’ complaints procedure and supplied with a ‘comments compliments and complaints’ document this document is also available in the YPAS reception area.


What skills do your staff have?

Our staff are experienced in group work, social work, information advice and guidance(1:1 case work) and safeguarding. We specialise in supporting issues particular to LGBTQ+ young people, as well as general risks and issues common to all young people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Core staff are part of the LGBTQ+ community and have wider links with local and National LGBTQ+ organisations


Do you offer training in your specialist area?

Training other professionals and young people to be confident to discuss sexuality and gender and furthermore appropriately challenge/report homophobic and transphobic hate crime is on offer and in continual development.

Please contact for more details and visit Liverpool CAMHS website to see if there is any available training on ‘Gender Identity in Children and Young People’