Leeds City College has been awarded funding for an LGBTQ+ volunteering programme, as part of the Association of Colleges (AoC) Sport Leadership Academy Development Fund.
The LGBTQ+ Sport and Physical Activity Leadership Programme will inspire those within its community to become sport and physical activity leaders, by encouraging volunteers to support and lead sessions for the college’s LGBTQ+ Society and the wider college community.
Leaders within the programme will receive Community Sports Leadership Level 2 training, culminating in a nationally-recognised qualification, which enables them to coach unsupervised sessions for LGBTQ+ students and staff.
In addition to their formal training, student volunteers will be supported by college staff through a personal development plan which will increase their confidence to deliver sport and physical activity sessions.
Working with AoC Sport, Leeds City College’s team of experts will be delivering online training sessions and volunteering activities via the LGBTQ+ Society Google Hangouts group.
Tom Adams, Sport, Leisure and Outdoor Activities Officer from the Student Life Enrichment Team at Leeds City College and project lead, said: “We are passionate about ensuring that our volunteers represent the diverse and inclusive nature of the college and our city. LGBTQ+ leadership and participation is often underrepresented in the wider national sport and physical activity community, therefore we wanted to create a bespoke offer for our LGBTQ+ students.
“The funding from AoC has allowed us to create a safe environment, where our leaders are empowered to develop new skills and opportunities and can aspire to be vocal leaders across the college and wider community.”
The programme is currently completed online, with the aim of transitioning to physical volunteering, leadership and training when possible.
Gray Mytton, Policy and Project Officer at AoC Sport, added: “The AoC Sport Leadership Academy Development Fund was created to support and develop college volunteering programmes, aiming to inspire more students to participate in physical activity. It’s great to hear that six students have already signed up to the college’s programme.
“Leeds City College has a fantastic LGBTQ+ society and staff network, and is clearly committed to giving a voice to a currently underrepresented group. Over the next six months, we will be working together to enhance the opportunities for students within this community and create an inclusive environment where volunteers feel confident to participate.”