FROM BEING A CHAIR TO BEING A SUPPLIER – I’LL ALWAYS BE PART OF THE #LBOROFAMILY

So today is finally the day I get to announce something that I am not only really excited about but something I am so unbelievably proud of. This week I dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s and will officially be launching a brand-new service at Loughborough University in just a few short weeks. The Trans and Non-Binary Drop-in and Advice Service will run from October this academic year – a first for Loughborough and potentially a first for an East Midlands university.

IT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER BEFORE THAT WE HAVE A SERVICE SUCH AS THIS ONE ON CAMPUS

The aim of the service is to offer a safe, confidential space for trans and non-binary students who want to talk and access information and advice about their transition and/or gender identity. And I cannot tell you how excited I am to be running this essential service; and it is an essential service. Of course, not every trans or non-binary student will need support or want to access the service and of course every person is different. However, we know that the media have been increasingly hostile towards trans and non-binary people in recent years and that hate crime and hate incidents have increased hugely across the England and Wales.

We also know, that 64% of trans and non-binary students in secondary schools and colleges will experience bullying, 80% will self-harm and 45% will have tried to take their own life. A perhaps ‘doomy gloomy’ yet realistic picture of what life is like for trans and non-binary students who may then be going to go on to start life at Loughborough University. And it is for these reasons and so many more, that the positive impact of having a safe space for students to access on their own terms and use in a way that is right for them, cannot be underestimated.

I’M FEELING PROUD, HONOURED & PRIVILIGED TO BE RUNNING THIS SERVICE – NO PRESSURE THEN!

So many of the trans and non-binary people I have supported told me and continue to tell me that they cannot put into words the difference I have made to their lives. So, if I can make even a fraction of a positive difference to Loughborough’s trans and non-binary students I will be over the moon. I cannot wait to get started!

As a previous chair of Loughborough’s LGBT+ Association, I feel a huge sense of pride and honour to be able to say that I am running a flagship service for Loughborough University. If I could go back 10 years and tell myself, as a recent Loughborough graduate, that I would one day be a supplier of Loughborough University I’m not sure I would have believed well…me!

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