Citi Belfast shows continued support for Northern Ireland’s LGBTQIA+ community through schools grants

Posted By:
Citibank N. A. (UK Branch)

27th Jul 2023

Strengthening their ongoing support for Northern Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community, Citi Belfast has partnered with Cara-Friend and The Integrated Education Fund to offer grants to three schools to support LGBTQ+ inclusion.

Citi is the lead sponsor of Cara-Friend’s LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Schools’ Charter, which seeks to develop safe, welcoming and inclusive environments for all pupils, but particularly those identifying as LGBTQIA+, offering everyone the opportunity to be their authentic selves. Established in 1974, Cara-Friend is the oldest LGBTQ+ voluntary organisation in Northern Ireland. The Inclusive Schools’ Charter recently celebrated the delivery of 21,000 ‘All Out’ anti-bullying workshops in schools across Northern Ireland since 2016. More than 6,000 students having completed these sessions in the past year. As lead sponsor of the program, Citi colleagues have also undertaken training to support the delivery of these sessions.

The Integrated Education Fund has worked with all the schools to support progressive and inclusive education. As an organisation, they work towards building a society where there is respect and celebration of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Lagan College, Brownlow Integrated College and Malone Integrated have all worked towards benchmark accreditation through the Inclusive Schools’ Charter and each school will receive £500 to support LGBTQ+ campaigns and initiatives.

Odhrán Devlin, Staffing Office Business Manager and Co-Chair Citi Belfast Pride Network, said:

“As an organisation, we are committed to providing a safe and welcoming place for all, and this goal for inclusion extends to the broader communities in which we operate. We recognise that LGBTQ+ people in Northern Ireland continue face a number of challenges and barriers, including young people in schools. We are pleased to be able to support the fantastic work across these schools and hope that it will encourage more schools to consider how they approach diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Jill Caskey, Parent Engagement Campaign Manager, Integrated Education Fund, said:

“The IEF is delighted to work in collaboration with Citi and Cara-Friend to enable integrated schools to access more LGBTQIA+ support and guidance. Through this generous donation from Citi we have been able to support the work of three Post Primary Integrated schools to continue their work as part of the LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Schools’ Charter. The three schools are absolutely delighted to learn of this additional support and are immensely grateful.”

Jo McParland, Education and Training Manager, Cara-Friend, added:

“I was delighted to coordinate with Citi, Principal Sponsor of the Cara-Friend’s LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Schools’ Charter, in recognising the great work and engagement Lagan Integrated College, Brownlow Integrated College and Malone Integrated College have had with their LGBTQIA+ school community. Thanks to the Integrated Education Fund these schools can continue to plan internal events and activities for their LGBTQIA+ students in the new school term.”