We’re looking back over 20 years of SAYiT in preparation for our 20th Anniversary Celebration on 24/10/19 at the Sheffield Town Hall. We are lucky enough to have incredible staff who go above and beyond for SAYiT. Their priority is our young people and that is evident in everything that they do.
We asked Steve Slack (SAYiT CEO) to say a few words about SAYiT’s staff: “I feel so humbled and privileged to work alongside such a committed, dedicated and passionate team; people who have taught me so much and who consistently place young people at the heart of all they do. A team who will challenge and question me, make me laugh and stop me in my tracks at their incredible vision, creativity and selfless compassion. How lucky am I!”
In 2007, SAYiT hired its first employees – a co-ordinator/ fundraiser and two Fruitbowl youth workers. We now have fifteen staff members – our numbers and roles growing and adapting over the years. We’re very proud of all of our SAYiT workers for all they’ve done to improve the wellbeing of LGBT+ young people in Sheffield. SAYiT worker Sophie Williams met with us to talk about her role at SAYiT, and our upcoming 20th Anniversary. Sophie was born and bred in Sheffield, and she plays football for a local team. She got involved in SAYiT around 10 years ago as a young person participating in our Side by Side project which combined drama with peer workshops and outreach. Sophie then worked as a Volunteer for SAYiT before becoming a staff member in 2014.
Sophie at the SAYiT Pink Triangle installation – Holocaust Memorial Day 2019
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Sophie. What’s your role at SAYiT?
I am one of the youth workers at SAYiT, I lead on involvement and empowerment within the charity but get involved in all sorts!
Speaking of getting involved in all sorts – you’ve been really busy with plans for the upcoming Anniversary Celebration. How do you feel about SAYiT’s 20th Anniversary?
Proud. I think the work SAYiT does is absolutely incredible and to be a part of its journey and legacy make me extremely proud.
I think that ‘journey’ is a great way to talk about SAYiT’s past. If you cast your mind back on your own SAYiT journey – What’s your favourite memory?
Ooo, struggling to answer this. I can’t pick a favourite, a few that come to mind are fashion for Fruitbowl cat walk, the young people’s performances at IDAHoBiT, marching at pride, Duke of Edinburgh, raft building on the 2017 residential, side by side and many silly times with the young people and staff.
Well that’s an impressive shortlist – and it captures the silly times alongside the poignant that sum SAYiT up well.
We’ve discussed the past, but what are your hopes for the future of SAYiT? What do you see for SAYiT in 2020?
I guess our young people can decide that!
Absolutely. Where do you see SAYiT in another 20 years time? #SAYiT2039?
This is difficult as to a certain extent you hope we don’t need to exist but 20 years might be a bit optimistic. I’d like us to be bigger, there is so much we could be doing but capacity limits us. I’d like to see us in every school.
Is there anything else you’d like to say about SAYiT or the Anniversary?
A thank you to every staff member, trustee, volunteer and young person that has made everything SAYiT has achieved possible. You’re all great and I think when you look at how much we’ve done and been a part of in 20 years you really get a sense accomplishment and pride.