For the last two years we’ve been working with the IRIS Prize Festival, an international LGBT+ short film prize open to any short film of interest to LGBT+ audiences. It’s also the world’s largest short film prize.

Our Respect LGBT+ Network has used short films to help educate colleagues on LGBT+ themes as well as providing social and networking opportunities.

IRIS kicked off their IRIS on the Move, their programme which takes LGBT+ films on tour around the UK, with us in Manchester.

IRIS Education Outreach Day 2018

To coincide with LGBT history month, our Respect network helped organise the IRIS Education Outreach Day. We invited 15 students from our academies to come and watch the best short films submitted to IRIS Prize, meet industry professionals and hear from LGBT youth charity, Proud Trust.

We sponsor 12 academies in the north of England, all have co-op values and principles at the heart of everything they do. This can be seen through the work they’re doing around diversity and inclusion, specifically in their commitment to LGBT+ equality and inclusion as Stonewall Education Champions. This was a chance to explore how we can support our academies in their work to tackle homophobia in school and create more inclusive environments for all of our students.

Youth loneliness

Through #iwill* and the Co-op Foundation, we’ll be working with our academies in the coming months to support projects specifically looking to help tackle youth loneliness and isolation through social action in partnership with the Proud Trust.

*The #iwill fund is made possible through the Big Lottery Fund and the Department of Culture, Media & Sport each investing £20 million seed funding over four years. The Co-op Foundation are acting as one of several match funders who are awarding grants on behalf of the #iwill fund.