As well as raising awareness, Purple Friday aims to raise £20,000 towards the LGBT Youth Scotland’s services
Every party leader at Holyrood has spoken out in support of LGBT Youth Scotland’s annual Purple Friday campaign, which asks people to show their support for LGBT equality and raise funds for the charity’s work.
Purple Friday takes place on the last Friday of February each year, marking the end of LGBT History Month. The name comes from the purple ‘spirit’ stripe in the LGBT Pride flag, and celebrates the spirit of the LGBT community and their allies.
This year, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been joined by cross-party leaders in calling attention to the importance of the campaign.
She said: “Purple Friday is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to celebrate the progress that has been made on LGBTI rights in Scotland, but it’s also a chance to remind ourselves of the work that we can all do to make sure that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia truly become remnants of the past.”
The two leaders of the Scottish Green Party, Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, also Scottish Government ministers, both expressed their support for Purple Friday.
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar and Scottish Liberal Democrats Alex Cole-Hamilton also backed the campaign.
Chief executive of LGBT Youth Scotland Mhairi Crawford said: “We are heartened by the messages of support from party leaders across the political spectrum, which demonstrate that we can all unite around the commitment to ensuring that every young person grows up knowing they are respected, included, and cared for.
“The last year has been challenging for LGBTI young people. However, with the incredible resilience they have shown, and the wonderful support we’ve had for Purple Friday from schools, organisations and individuals around the country, we’re confident we can create a better future together.”
LGBT Youth Scotland supports two LGBT young people to represent their peers as Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP).
MSYP Fin Buchan said: “For the last few years I’ve been a part of LGBT Youth Scotland. Their youth work services have changed my life in so many ways.
“I’ve been able to do all sorts of things, like attend Cop26, become an MSYP, but I’ve also had the opportunity to go to groups, have one-to-one support and attend all sorts of events.
“These services are really vital for loads of young people, not just folk like myself, and they can be really life-changing. So, if you have time, please look into how you can support LGBT Youth Scotland this Purple Friday.”
As well as raising awareness, Purple Friday aims to raise £20,000 towards the LGBT Youth Scotland’s services, which include youth groups, one-to-one support, and national projects with LGBTI young people.
The charity is asking people to take part in a sponsored ‘Pass The Torch Relay’, by covering a minimum of five kilometres each on the day and those signed up to take part in Purple Friday so far include individuals from across the UK, from Brighton to Montrose.
There are also organisations supporting the fundraising effort, such as Bailey Gifford, Shepherd and Wedderburn, Tweeddale Youth Action Group in Peebles and the University of Dundee Staff and Postgrad LGBT+ Network.
If you’d like to support Purple Friday on the day, you can donate at LGBT Youth Scotland’s website at www.lgbtyouth.org.uk/donate, or Text PURPLE to 70470 to donate £5. This costs £5 plus a standard rate message. Alternatively, you can opt to give any whole amount up to £20 by texting PURPLE followed by the amount you wish to give (for example, ‘PURPLE 15’ to give £15).