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Nominated for Young Person award

DIGON, a group of pupils in year 10-13 from Ysgol Plasmawr in Cardiff, have been short-listed for their tireless work to promote equality for LGBT students and combat homophobia in their school and the wider community.

The group were established in 2011 to look into casual homophobia in the classroom. It was found that staff were unsure how to deal with homophobic incidents or what the protocol was when a homophobic insult had been used. The group set about creating specific policy and held an INSET session introducing the new rules and how they wanted staff to react but much more importantly why and why a consistent message was vital.

Since the early days, it has shown that the group gave courage to people in school who now knew there was someone there who thought that being gay was ok! The group have marched in the Pride Cymru March and held a stall on the field encouraging other young people to stand up against homophobia.

They regularly take PSHE lessons and this year trialled tweeting their lesson live to open the conversation with other people over the country. They have also started the conversation about appropriate use of language with primary school students. They have accepted the challenge of hosting a chapel service on the theme of acceptance in Canton’s Salem Chapel and speak publicly at conferences for young people and adults alike sometimes teaching lessons to pupils from other schools. Some members even spoke at a conference in Sweden last Summer.

Their fundraising to help LGBT people in less accepting societies has attracted the attention of Sir Ian McKellen, Desmond Tutu and the Education Minister Huw Lewis, who chose to launch his recent anti-bullying film competition at the school.