An upper Calder Valley based activist has been invited to give a presentation at the WorldPride Human Rights Conference in Canada next year.
Jan Bridget, who has worked with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Calderdale for more than 25 years, will speak about her experiences at the event in June 2014.
Jan is delighted to have the opportunity to speak at the conference, which organisers said is a “significant achievement” as they received 400 applications from 60 countries around the world.
The conference will be held at the University of Toronto and will feature participants including activists, artists, educators, journalists, policymakers and students.
Jan, who recently retired, was presented with the Calderdale Citizenship Award in 2012 for her work with young people in the borough.
She helped to set up Gay and Lesbian Youth in Calderdale (GALYIC) to assess and respond to the needs of young people.
Many of the young LGBT people she worked with were highly vulnerable to mental health problems, alcohol and drug misuse, homelessness and poor sexual health.
Jan developed the Needs Assessment Tool (NAT): a comprehensive and systematic database which helps to develop an invidivual action plan with each young person.
Over the years Jan worked to improve the NAT and believes that, if used properly, it is a life-saving and life-changing resource which could be used not only by other LGBT youth groups but also professionals who come into contact with LGBT young people, especially those who work in the fields of mental health, education, housing, social work, substance misuse and sexual health.
She worked with a local business in Calderdale to put the NAT online.
Jan is now looking to raise the required funds to attend the conference.
She has set up a sponsorship page at www.galyic.org.uk/about/worldpride.