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Thank you for taking the time to chat to a member of our Proud Connections support staff. We’d appreciate some feedback to be left on your experience today.


Proud Connections is a one-to-one web chat service from The Proud Trust (Charity number: 1161102). Proud Connections provides support, information and referrals to other groups and services for young people and the adults who support them, with a focus on LGBT+ identities (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and related identities).

Our chat operators are experienced youth workers who are available to listen and support you during our open hours. Before using Proud Connections, please read both these terms and our Confidentiality Statement, as by accessing or using Proud Connections you are agreeing to both of them. If you have any questions about these terms, please contact us by email at info@theproudtrust.org.

Changes to terms

The Proud Trust may make changes to these terms at any time, and we will always post the most up to date version here. Any changes that we do make will be applied immediately.

Service use

Proud Connections is a listening service, providing support, information and referral on to further support; we are not a crisis line or an emergency service. If you need urgent support while we are closed, please contact Childline on 0800 1111, Samaritans on 116 123 or text SHOUT to 85258. In an emergency you should always contact 999.

Surveys

At the end of your conversation you will receive a link to a feedback survey. The information you provide in this survey will help us learn about your experience and improve our service. It is important to remember when completing the survey that:

  • You do not have to answer any or all of the questions if you don’t want to.
  • The answers that you do give will be anonymous, so we won’t be able to see who has given specific answers.
  • For some of the questions you can give longer answers but remember not to give your name or anyone else’s name, so the answers stay anonymous.
  • The anonymous responses to these surveys may be shared with external people for evaluation purposes.

Unacceptable use

Proud Connections is here to listen and support young people aged 13+ and adults who support young people aged 8+, and we can talk about anything you need. However, there are times when we may need to end the conversation, such as if you are using the chat service in any of the following ways:

  • Threatening, harassing or abusing the service, its operators or other users.
  • Pretending to be someone else.
  • Misusing the service (for example, ‘prank’ messages).
  • Using sexually inappropriate messages.
  • Any use of the service with malicious intent.

The operators have the right to end the chat at any point if you do any of the above. If necessary, or if you continue to access and use the service in an unacceptable way, we may also block you from using the service again in the future.

Feedback and complaints

We are always interested to hear your feedback about our services. Any feedback we get will be used to develop our services to make sure we are supporting people in the best way possible.

To give us feedback on your experience of using Proud Connections, you can either:

We will aim to acknowledge your feedback within five working days. If you are submitting a formal complaint about the service, we will aim to resolve the issue within one month. There may be times when we need longer to investigate the claims and address the issues raised. If this is the case, we will keep you informed of progress and any updates.

If you are not happy with the outcome of the complaint, you will be able to appeal the decision and we will be able to advise you on the next steps of that process.

Keeping conversations confidential is very important to us, but keeping you, or the young people you interact with safe and supported is our biggest priority. So, there may be times that we need to break confidentiality, which means telling other people about our conversations. We will only do this if we think we have to in order to keep you or someone else safe. Where possible, we will always talk to you first about who we might need to tell and what information we will give them.You can read our full confidentiality statement here

Before starting a chat make sure you have read What you need to know which explains our terms of service.

  • You’ll be asked to create an account, login or join as a guest.
  • There may then be a short wait depending on how busy the service is, but you will be connected to someone as soon as possible. Don’t worry, you can still check out our resources and information while you wait, then you’ll get a notification when the chat is ready.
  • Once connected you will be able to speak to an operator (this is a trained staff member, not a “bot”). You will be able to type at your own pace. We are here to listen and support you, so take your time.
  • We might ask some questions during the chat; this is just so that we can get a better understanding of your situation, so we can support you in the most appropriate way.
  • Throughout the conversation the operator may offer you some information about other services that may be able to support you.
  • Everything you say to us will remain confidential, so anything you say will stay between you and the operator. The only time we would need to share some of the conversation would be if you ask us to, or if we believe you or someone else is in danger. You can find out more about this in our

We are here to talk about anything you need to; this might be: your gender identity, your sexuality, your mental health, problems at school/college or your relationships with friends, family or your religion.  Also, you might not want to talk about yourself, it might be that you want to know how to talk to or support a LGBT+ friend or family member.

No problem is too big or too small to talk to us about – we are here to support you!

If you are worried someone will see that you have been using the Proud Connection website, there are a few things you can do:

  • Exit button: On all of our pages there is a quick exit button. If you are worried someone can see what site you are on, you can press this button and you will be redirected away from our website.
  • Private browsing & deleting internet history: If you don’t know how to do this check out our guide

Once connected you will be speaking to one of our chat operators. Our operators are trained staff from The Proud Trust who have experience working with and supporting LGBT+ young people. But most importantly they are people who:

  • Are LGBTQ+ themselves.
  • You can trust.
  • Will listen to you and will be open and friendly.
  • Will not judge what you say and are ready to talk about anything you need to.
  • Know about the issues facing LGBT+ young people, often from first-hand experience.
  • Will give you space to share what you need to in your own time.

There may be times that the chat cuts off due to internet connection issues, or if you need to close the chat suddenly. Don’t worry, you can reconnect again once you are ready. You might not be able to connect with the same person, but once you reconnect someone will be there to support you.

We won’t finish the chat until you are ready to, unless it is because the service is closing for the day. Once the chat does come to a close, there might be a few different outcomes. You might have some new information to go away and look at, you might want to come back and chat again another day, or we might have linked you up with other services that could support you.

Whatever happens after the chat, we are here to support you and you can come back again any time.

Proud Connection is a support service with limited opening hours; we are not a crisis or emergency service. If you need urgent support, you can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258.

In an emergency you should always contact 999.

Keeping conversations confidential is very important to us, but keeping you, or the young people you interact with safe and supported is our biggest priority. So, there may be times that we need to break confidentiality, which means telling other people about our conversations. We will only do this if we think we have to in order to keep you or someone else safe. Where possible, we will always talk to you first about who we might need to tell and what information we will give them.You can read our full confidentiality statement here

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If you have an account, please login below to begin chatting.

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Continue as a guest

If you’d rather chat without creating an account, you can continue as a guest.

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On each page / pop up and download within this website, you’ll see a button that looks like this.

If you click on the button, it will automatically add the page / pop up or download to your favourites. This means you’ll have a quick link to any saved resources when you’re next on the website.

You can access your list of stored favourites at ay time, by clicking on the ‘My account’ button at the top of the website (you must be logged in to see your account page). Once on your account page, you can click on the button called ‘view your saved favourites’.

Create an account

If you create an account with Proud Connections you can favourite any page, popup or download on the site – so you can access them easily from your dashboard.

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