Hello from new CEO, Heather Paterson
I am very honoured to have been appointed as CEO at SAYiT. I have worked with LGBT+ groups, campaigns and projects in Sheffield for the past two decades, and more broadly with youth, women’s, equality and social justice organisations. I have worked closely alongside SAYiT in these roles seeing the great work they have done and been pleased to see the charity grow from strength to strength in recent years. I joined SAYiT a little over a year ago, joining the Call It Out project working to improve access to mainstream services across South Yorkshire for LGBT+ people who have experienced Domestic Abuse. Working with SAYiT for the past year I have seen the range of work the charity has been involved in, in addition to our regular youth groups, the work done with schools and colleges, specific SEND focussed work, supporting parents and carers, providing training, and running community events including BAMER Pride and IDAHoBIT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia) to name but a few.
As a young person I attended a LGBT+ youth group which I later went on to volunteer and subsequently work for so have first-hand experience of how invaluable this support is. Throughout my professional career I have championed LGBT+ equality and inclusion in settings across the voluntary and charitable sector, as well as within statutory bodies. Throughout this work I have developed strong relationships with local organisations and communities which I hope to further develop in my role as CEO. With a varied background in supporting people from vulnerable and marginalised communities I am consciously aware of those facing multiple marginalisation and the need for us to take an intersectional approach to our work to meet the needs of our young people.
Recent months have seen us all face challenges and adapting our ways of working due to the Covid-19 pandemic, alongside which we are living in i