West Sussex LGBTU youth research

  • Sherriff, Nigel (PI)
  • Pope, R. (CoI)
  • Hall, Caroline (CoI)
  • Ginn, Susan (CoI)
  • Flood, Glynis (CoI)

Project Details


Funded by West Sussex Primary Care Trust and West Sussex Children and Young People's Services, this project aimed to explore the current service provision (voluntary and statutory) offered to LGBTU young people in the West Sussex area.

Specifically, the research aimed to both map out the availability of existing LGBTU youth service provision, and identify any gaps and constraints on these services to meet the needs of LGBTU young people. The project also aimed to explore LGBTU young people’s experiences of local and accessible service provision and/or other support, and in doing so, identify their support needs.

The research project focused on the following six main objectives:

• To identify and make contact with existing mainstream services in West Sussex that deal with young people (for example, school nurses, Connexions, Youth Information Shops etc.) in order to build a picture of what is available for young people generally across West Sussex

• To identify LGBTU youth projects and/or services in the region (potentially outside of West Sussex), and to form appropriate links with them

• To search for existing LGBTU youth projects nationally which have a similar geography to West Sussex, and to investigate how their location affects service provision within these areas (eg. rural location)

• To assess the needs of the staff working with young people within the context of appropriate service provision

• To work with local youth services to identify and recruit LGBTU young people from around West Sussex for the purposes of consultation

• To investigate the support needs of LGBTU young people in West Sussex to inform the development of some form of peer support/youth service provision or support project.

Key findings

The research showed that despite a good range of mainstream services for young people across the county, no service existed in West Sussex (at the time of writing) that provides specific information, advice, or support for LGBTU young people.

Findings from local and regional professionals/practitioners as well as LGBTU young people themselves, calls attention to the urgent need for the provision of a LGBTU youth service in West Sussex alongside appropriate training for staff. A launch event for the report was held at the Sydney Walter Centre in Worthing West Sussex in May 2008 to provide a unique opportunity in gathering together young people, community workers, youth workers, policy-makers, teachers, social workers, diversity officers, and other related professionals to discuss and explore issues around being LGBTU in West Sussex. The event comprised presentations and workshops led by experienced practitioners, policy-makers, researchers, and young people themselves.

Since this report was published, further development led to the establishment of The Sussex LGBTU Training and Development Research Partnership to address specifically the training needs of practitioners and/or professionals working with young people across Sussex in response to the West Sussex LGBTU report. Unfortunately, the needs of many LGBTU young people across Sussex remain unmet and further work is needed to support and empower these heterogeneous groups of vulnerable young people.


Sherriff, N.S. and Pope, R. (2008). The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Unsure (LGBTU) Youth Research Project: Views and experiences of young people living in West Sussex, Education and Health, 26(4),63-66.

Pope, R., and Sherriff, N.S. (2008). West Sussex Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Unsure (LGBTU) Youth Project, Final report to the West Sussex Youth Service and West Sussex PCT: Brighton, University of Brighton.

Related outputs

Sherriff, N.S. Hamilton, W., Wigmore, S., and Giambrone, B. (2011). ‘What do you say to them?’ Investigating and Supporting the Needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Young People. Journal of Community Psychology, 39(8), 939-955.

Wigmore, S, Sherriff, NS and Bogen-Johnston, L (2009) The Sussex Training and Development Research Partnership. Final report prepared for the Brighton and Sussex Community Knowledge Exchange (BSCKE): Brighton, University of Brighton.

Hamilton, W, Sherriff, NS and Wigmore, S (2009) The Sussex Training and Development Research Partnership: Accessible Summary Report


Pope, R., and Sherriff, N.S. (2007). West Sussex Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Unsure (LGBTU) Youth Project. Poster and paper presented at the Brighton and Sussex Sexualities Conference, Universities of Brighton and Sussex, 19 September, 2007).

Sherriff, N.S. and Pope, R. (2008). The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Unsure (LGBTU) Youth Project: Young people’s perspectives on the provision and development of support in West Sussex. Poster presented at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference, Royal Dublin Society, Dublin, 2-4 April, 2008.

Pope, R., and Sherriff, N.S. (2008). LGBTU Launch Event: An overview of research findings. Sidney Walter Centre, Worthing, 16 May, 2008.
Effective start/end date1/09/0731/08/08


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