A Bradford University student has won a national award for setting up a campaign against homophobic bullying.
As part of her work, Rosie Ellingham, 22, delivered a seminar to her peers about the effects of homophobia, using evidence compiled by Cambridge University that shows more than half of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people are bullied at school, and a third change their futures in consequence.
Rosie is now focussing her campaign to make Britain a better place for gay young people as the research also shows that a quarter of gay young people have already attempted to take their own life.
She has already received an award from Bradford University to recognise her work.
And today, she was named Young Campaigner of the Year by charity Stonewall, which represents gays, lesbians and bisexuals, at a ceremony in London.
Wes Streeting, Stonewall head of education said: “With so many young lives being ruined every day by anti-gay intolerance, we were really impressed with Rosie’s campaign to educate people about homophobia”
Receiving her award, Sheffield-born Rosie said: “I’m extremely proud, happy and grateful knowing I’ve been part of something so big and amazing.
“Young people are extremely open to changing views, they’re the future, and I hope we’ll see a big change with the next generation.”
Stonewall works with a range of schools and colleges to tackle the issue of homophobic bullying.
The Stonewall Youth Volunteering Programme is supported by Lloyds Banking Group which has 30 people monitoring and working with the young people involved, sharing their skills and experience through career skills workshops.
Fiona Cannon, the banking group’s spokesman on diversity and inclusion, said: “It’s been great to see the positive impact the expertise and enthusiasm of our colleagues has had, and I look forward to seeing another group of young people take up the challenge again in 2013/14.”
This year’s Stonewall Youth Volunteering Programme is being unveiled in London tomorrow as part of Youth Pride. Applications will open in July. For more information on the programme, visit youngstonewall.org.uk.