“I’m always happier coming away from the group than I was arriving.”
I fancied a fresh start, and enjoyed going out in the sunshine to group. My school counsellor told me about The Proud Trust, and I started attending its groups in the spring of 2019. It was somewhere I could be myself. I found friends who I had something in common with, and felt part of the LGBT+ community.
Before I came to the group I felt more alone, and didn’t have much structure to my week or life in general outside of school. I wasn’t confident about sitting next to people I didn’t know, but now I would happily sit next to anyone! Group has given me a routine, and has really helped me develop my social skills. I feel better at handling my emotions than I used to be, which has been due to working through things, meeting people and experiencing things. I’ve learned that I’m a better leader than I thought I was.
The groups have a really good, relaxing atmosphere and it’s always really fun. Learning something new is always good, and I have definitely developed my interpersonal skills. I’m better at talking to people and reading people’s emotions, and my confidence has definitely grown. I have always been fairly able to empathise with other people, but the group has given me opportunities to make sense of some of the things my new friends are going through, which has helped me make sense of myself a bit.
It’s nice to have somewhere to go where you can be yourself without judgement; you can really flourish.