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Come walk in my shoes

Approximately 30 young people were involved in the planning and delivery of the events and over 100 people from the health and education professions who work with young people attended. Attendees heard from the young people about the challenges they face on a daily basis. The aim of the events was that those who attended would be able to adapt the services they deliver/commission to remove any challenges for young Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people. Interactive events were held to challenge the audience to place themselves outside the gender binary or outside heteronotmative structures and see the world through different eyes.

At what level the PPI take place

  • Service development.

PPI helped the project to

  • Improve efficiency of a service;
  • Inform commissioning;
  • Increase ownership.


The events were organised by and funded through a Regional LGBT sub group for children and young people. The sub group provides a forum to share information about the on-going work of voluntary and statutory organisations to identify areas where organisations could work together on individual programmes and links with the following existing structures and processes:

  • Regional LGBT consultative forum;
  • Regional transgender consultative forum;
  • Public Health Agency’s (PHA) regional LGBT thematic action plan;
  • Children and young people’s strategic partnership (CYPSP).

The group has representation from LGBT sector organisations, youth sector, education sector, Health and Social Care Trusts, Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum, PHA and the Health and Social Care Board.

The overall purpose of the sub group is to improve outcomes for those children and young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

Aim of involvement

  • To challenge the views of participants and encourage them to think of what life is like for young LGBT people on a daily basis;
  • To increase awareness and enable participants to take the learning back into their workplaces, families and communities and to share the learning;
  • To empower participants to challenge homophobia and transphobia where it exists and to contribute towards a more inclusive society.

Method(s) of Involvement


  • Transport to the venue in Belfast for the young people;
  • Getting a date which suited both young people (term time/exams, etc.) and the target audience.

Outcomes due to involvement

  • Over 100 professionals benefitted from the engagement with young LGBT people by learning about their experiences and hearing of ways they could improve those experiences;
  • Approximately 30 young people were supported to share their experiences.

Feedback/quotes from service users/carers involved

  • “Events like this are really important as they give teachers, youth workers and health care professionals the opportunity to gain first hand insight into the issues that face young LGBT people.”
  • “Hopefully it will help participants provide support and assistance.”
  • “It showed us that things can get better because people care.”
  • “Would do it again!”


May-October 2015.

Further Information

For further information, contact: Hilary Johnston, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager, Public Health Agency
Email: hilary.johnston@hscni.net
Tel: 028 9536 2905