Céad Míle Fáilte – A Hundred Thousand Welcomes from Cara-Friend
Cara-Friend are absolutely delighted to introduce ourselves for the 2nd year running as participants in Outing the Past – The Festival of LGBT History. Set up in 1974 Cara-Friend started life in Northern Ireland as a telephone helpline set up and discreetly advertised 8 years prior to decriminalisation in 1982. Cara-Friend was the first point of contact for many LGBTQ+ people who called the helpline. Postal correspondence was also exchanged and befriending was arranged.
Since those early days Cara-Friend has gone from strength to strength, starting a youth service in 1999. Starting off as a small group of young people in Belfast the youth service has grown exponentially over the last 5 years. We now have youth services in 8 locations supporting hundreds of young LGBTQ+ people.
A key part of our work in the modern era is delivering free training to schools. We deliver ShoutOut Anti-Bullying workshops to pupils as well as LGBT Awareness workshops to pupils and teachers alike. Over the course of the past year we trained over 900 teachers and over 3,000 pupils. The demand grows each year!
Cara-Friend were proud to run the first ever hub of Outing the Past in Ireland this year in 2018, and we can’t wait to participate again in 2019. Growing on the success we’ve had to date we will be running hubs in Belfast AND Derry/Londonderry next year, as well as supporting hubs in Dublin and Cork in the Republic of Ireland.
Ireland has a rich and often untold LGBTQ+ history. We look forward to sharing some of our stories with you in 2019!