Teenagers are still being kicked out of their homes for being gay, according to an LGBT campaigning mother.
Claire Mcgettigan, 49, lost her son Noah Lomax, a 15 year old from Crookes, when he took his own life last August.
Claire and her family set up Noah’s Fund with Sheffield charity SAYiT, and it has now reached £14,000 which goes towards counselling for teenagers struggling with their sexuality.
She said: “Believe it or not, there’s a lot of teenagers kicked out of their homes when they say they’re gay, and they end up on the streets, which you just cant believe in this day and age. That’s your child, it’s a part of them.
“We wanted to be able to help teenagers in his position really, vulnerable teens. Noah was a big part of the LGBT community, so we wanted to direct it towards that.
“The volunteers that work with the kids there were asked what would mean most to them, and the top answer was counselling. They’re waiting for months and months.”
Shortly before his death, Claire had taken Noah to his GP, following concerns that he’d planned to take his own life.
The coroner who performed the inquest into Noah’s death said there was a breach in that there had been ‘a failure to protect Noah, who was a vulnerable person’ as the urgency of his case had not been communicated to CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services).
They have since changed their referral processes.
“Noah was basically the supporter of everyone else, but he just wouldn’t ask for help. All his friends said they used to ask him “are you alright?” and he’d turn it straight back at them, he was very skilled at doing that.
“He’d fight with anybody on Facebook or Twitter about gay rights, he was very eloquent and he’d put them down and fight his corner.”
To support Noah’s Fund, visit www.localgiving.org/fundraising/noahlomaxfundsayit.