Poem written by Gap youth club member
Comments from Individuals & Organisations
I used to go to the Gap a few years ago and I just wanted to say thank you to you and the other workers at the youth club for making it such a warm and welcoming place.
Although I haven't attended lately it's something I hold close to me and know I really needed at the time. Thank you for giving me something that school and home couldn't provide for me. Youth club member
I just wanted to thank the team at Free2b Alliance.
You have given us the right support and advice at just the right time. Not having experienced it before it has sometimes been hard to negotiate our way through developing the right approach for a child who is transitioning; your straightforward, sensitive, caring and informative advice has been a life-line. Thank you!
There were so many things about LGBTQ that I didn’t understand - even what LGBTQ stands for. I have to admit to living in the dark ages. Free2B didn’t laugh at my questions and explained the gender and sexuality terminology to me in a way that I actually get. Now when my daughter talks to me about sexuality, I don’t have that gormless expression on my face. Free2B is a service I would recommend to parents and young people to find out information and to talk to. You really are Free2B however you want. Andrea (parent)
I've been going to the Gap since I was 13. Nicki has helped me through so much. She has helped me come to terms with who I am. She's always there to talk, she's helped me through being in love, my first heartbreak. I feel like I can talk to her about anything, she has become like a second mum to me. Youth club member
On my first day at Gap I was overwhelmed by how friendly everyone was, and also how comfortable people appeared to be in themselves and their identities there. I was fairly shy, but the atmosphere was relaxed and inclusive, and instantly felt like the way I would like to spend my Friday evenings. Gap went on to become a place where I could relax, let my guard down, shut off the rest of the world, and have fun – I really looked forward to Gap every week. It was invaluable to have a place where I could talk about LGBT+ topics and issues freely, in a way that I couldn’t anywhere else in my life. The leaders and volunteers were fantastic; they really understood how people were feeling and how to help. They were never patronising, unlike many people in previous experiences, which I really appreciated. And of course the other young people, who soon became my friends, are inspirational and I couldn’t imagine not having met them. After having been at Gap for barely a month, I went on my first Gap trip – to Brighton pride. Never had I seen so many LGBT+ people in one place, proud of being LGBT+. Other amazing trips, such as the LGBT+ history tour of Brighton, followed. Another great part of Gap were the speakers – my favourite was Reggie Blennerhassett who talked to us about being part of the LGSM and the film ‘Pride’.
The biggest impact Gap had on me was on my confidence – both about being gay and in general. Because of The Gap I was confident enough to raise LGBT+ issues at school, which had never been done before. At university I’ve been thoroughly involved with the LGBT+ society, and I wouldn’t have felt nearly as comfortable about doing that if I hadn’t have gone to Gap. Former Gap member
When my daughter was 13 she started seriously questioning her sexuality. I struggled to find an LGBT group to support her until I came across the Gap and, in particular, Nicki. My daughter was made to feel welcome and noticeably blossomed in confidence from her first few weekly sessions at the Gap. Led by Nicki she was provided with the right balance of education and chill out time, camaraderie and sensitive support to enable her to develop a clearer feeling of her own identity and how she presents that to the world. As a heterosexual mother I can be supportive of my daughter in very many ways including her sexuality but what I can never be is a positive lesbian role model. Nicki has helped fulfil that role for our daughter and in my opinion so many other youngsters attending. My husband and I can't thank her enough. Parent
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