When Targeted Youth Worker Lizzie first started working with Aidan he was living at home with his grandparents, who were concerned about his anti-social behaviour. When Aidan’s grandparents found him looking at gay content online they took away his phone, his laptop, and reported to his school that he’d been accessing inappropriate websites. 

“When I first started seeing my youth worker, Lizzie, I wasn’t allowed access to my phone or the internet, I also wasn’t allowed to attend out of school activities. I felt trapped in my own home. I was without friends, and in isolation for my behaviour at school.

I felt powerless, so I reacted by lashing out. I thought nobody would understand what it was like to be gay in a strict household. Luckily, I had Lizzie to talk to each week. This gave me the hope I needed. I couldn’t trust any of the other adults in my life, but I knew Lizzie wanted to help me.

Lizzie encouraged me to be honest with my friends about my situation, which resulted in one of them helping me to set up an Instagram account on their phone which I can use during lunch breaks. This helps me to feel less like I’m missing out.

I felt nervous to tell my friends that I was gay, my grandparents would not approve, so I didn’t think my friends would either. Lizzie helped me build enough confidence to join an LGBT+ group in school where I started to realise that being LGBT was not a negative thing and met lots of other people like me.

On the days I see my mum, she lets me go to youth sessions so that I can talk to people my age. She’s also been worried that I was isolating myself so she’s happy to see me being excited again. The sessions I have been going to with Creative Youth Network have changed my life. I can finally be open about my sexuality, and I’ve found a space where I can be entirely ME.“

We’re really glad that his school have seen a big change in Aidan’s behaviour and attitude. He’s now attending youth sessions and is still in contact with his targeted youth worker Lizzie, to get the support he needs. Aidan is now smiling and we couldn’t be more proud of his confidence.

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