The company has also donated €50,000 to BeLonG To Youth Services to help fund the increased levels of digital youth work and online group support which allows LGBTI+ young people to be who they truly are.
Irish Football stars and couple Katie McCabe and Ruesha Littlejohn launched Aviva Pride with a video that also includes stories of members of staff at Aviva who have driven the companies engagement through the Aviva Pride Network.
The importance of raising the issue of LGBTQ+ rights is highlighted in shocking clarity by recent findings from a national survey LGBTI+ Life in Lockdown, conducted by BeLonG To Youth Services, revealed that 93 per cent of LGBTI+ youth are struggling with anxiety, stress or depression during COVID-19 in comparison to 53% of the general youth population.
Additional key findings reveal that during COVID-19:
- 55% of LGBTI+ young people are struggling with suicide ideation
- 45% of LGBTI+ young people are struggling with self-harm
- 60% of LGBTI+ young people are experiencing loneliness
“Our research highlighted some alarming stats and emphasises the importance of LGBTI+ young people having access to spaces and supports for their mental health and wellbeing,” said Moninne Griffith, CEO of BeLonG To Youth Services.
“We are extremely grateful for the additional funding Aviva has given us to sustain the increased levels of support until the end of the year. We can now continue to address the needs of those who are most vulnerable in society, creating safe spaces to allow LGBTI+ young people to be who they truly are. We are looking forward to all shining bright this Pride.”
“It’s been a very difficult year for everyone, but to see these alarming stats on how the lockdown has been affecting the LGBT+ youth is a huge eye opener and it’s more important than ever that we light up our homes for Pride and celebrate together,” added Brian O’Neill, Head of Communications, Brand and Sponsorship at Aviva.
“We’ve come a long was as a nation, this year marking five years since the marriage referendum, and we encourage everyone to wave their rainbow flags and be proud to be who you are. Katie and Ruesha have been an inspiration to so many people and we hope that by sharing their personal journey can help give support to the LGBTI+ community.”
Aviva has supported Pride for the past 3 years and the Aviva Pride Network, which is Aviva’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans+ Employees and allies network group, will this year be celebrating Pride virtually with online fundraisers for BeLonG To, and sharing stories of colleagues from the LGBTI+ Community.
“Last year we came out to the whole of Ireland and we wanted to show support for the LGBTI+ community and that it’s okay to be who you are and you should always be comfortable in your own skin,” said Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team Captain Katie McCabe.
“We’ve received a lot of DM’s of people telling us their story of how they’ve come out and others are still working up the courage to come out. We have had people that inspire us and to be that person for other people, it makes you feel quite proud that you might have helped someone along their journey.”
Watch back our exclusive interview with Aviva Sponsorship manager Lisa Bergin on the background to the campaign.
Aviva Stadium is lighting up for Pride this year on Friday 26th through to Sunday 28th June and Aviva is asking people to #LightUp4Pride.
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