Q-topia, a Christchurch based organisation supporting queer youth in Canterbury is expanding its activities to support the growing needs of the queer community.
This is the culmination of extensive work, planning and recognition of the value provided by the organisation over the last 2 years. “We’re really excited about our new activities to support the diverse needs of youth in Canterbury. We have recently appointed two new staff; a General Manager and Lead Facilitator, to oversee these developments and strengthen our connections with the wider community” explains Q-topia co-chair Laura Jones.
Q-topia will be focusing on providing diversity support to the education sector with the help of Q-topia Educator Anne Nicholson who has been the driving force behind Q-topia for the last six years and is looking forward to focusing on education as their main project. “I am truly excited to be on the front line challenging discrimination and giving young people, and the wider community, the language to understand and support gender and sexuality diversity in a safe space” says Anne.
Q-topia offers four support groups: An under 18’s rainbow community support group; an over 18’s community group; a gender diversity group, and a passionate group looking at activism. Q-topia also supports an external group for families with gender diverse children which are led by newly appointed Lead Facilitator Nic Dorward.
Newly appointed General Manager, Chloe Jones, comes with a background in youth advocacy, social work and a passion for queer youth development. Chloe, has worked with Q-topia previously and has a strong understanding of the challenges diverse queer youth face in our communities
Having a team with three specialised roles and a common passion for queer youth cements Q-topia’s vision and passion to provide advocacy, education and support; “These changes set Q-topia on a path as a leader in the New Zealand field of queer youth development, placing Christchurch at the forefront of making significance advancements for our young people. I am very excited about the future of Q-topia, we have an awesome team and fantastic ideas to ensure
Q-topia is sustainable, visible and will meet the needs of the rainbow community moving forward” exclaims Chloe.
In addition to the three staff, Q-topia utilises a team of volunteers who facilitate the various Q-topia support groups. Many of the volunteers were previously involved with Q-topia as members, bringing a shared understanding of the needs of queer youth. Q-topia is governed by a board elected directly by the youth members, and made up of individuals with a passion for supporting queer youth in Canterbury.
Source | Q-topia