GYRO- LGBTQ+ Youth (YPAS)
If you are a child or young person in crisis, you can call the crisis care line 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0151 293 3577 but you should only present to Accident Emergency Department if you need medical treatment or are struggling to keep yourself safe in the immediate moment.
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.
The group provides age-specific weekly (afternoon/evening) drop-ins, where young people can attend to socialise, meet other like-minded people, take part in informal group activities and receive 1-1 support.
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.
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.
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
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, creating 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 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.