Young LGBT people are to be at the heart of a new 3-year filmmaking project, supported by the Big Lottery Fund and delivered by Pink Saltire!

The project, titled ‘Through the Lens’, will be delivered by the Scottish human rights charity, Pink Saltire, and will focus on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young people aged 13 to 21 in Dundee, Glasgow and Fife.

The charity will work in partnership with professionals from the creative industries around the country to deliver workshops which will upskill young people with an interest in film or documentary-making. They will then support the young people to produce an original short film about an issue which affects their own lives.


It’s hoped the project will give useful practical experience for those who want to progress a career in front of or behind the camera, but also reduce isolation amongst LGBT+ young people, who can be at risk of social isolation and poor mental health.

Charity Founder, Stuart Duffy, told us:

“We’re so excited to be launching this new project in 3 very different places around Scotland. Glasgow is a creative powerhouse and we know it has a significant LGBT population already, but services like this are rare and will mean so much to young people in the city. Meanwhile, in Fife, lots of LGBT young people can be isolated because of it’s rural location, whereas in Dundee there are a range of social issues which mean investment in young people with digital skills is vital for the success of the city.”

“We hope this project will offer an opportunity for some of our best creative minds around the country to link up with young people and empower them to create a film which throws light on issues which really affect them. We can’t wait to get started!”

Pink Saltire was formed in 2014 and has been delivering projects for the LGBT community all over Scotland. A series of short documentaries commissioned in 2016 by the charity included a film for the TIE Campaign on the fight for inclusive education, a documentary about trans healthcare experiences and also a short film about LGBT people living in more rural communities in Fife.

Funding for this project, totalling £88,000 across the 3 years, comes from the ‘Young Start’ programme, managed by the Big Lottery Fund Scotland, who distribute cash from dormant bank accounts to good causes around the country.

Maureen McGinn, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund Scotland Committee said:

“Young Start empowers young Scots to pursue their hopes and aspirations while building skills and confidence for the future. I am delighted that young LGBT+ people from across Scotland will develop their digital media skills, using these to highlight issues that matter to them most through the Pink Saltire project.”

Welcoming the announcement of funding for the project, Cllr Julie Ford, Depute Provost for Fife said:

“I am absolutely delighted that Pink Saltire have been successfully awarded this funding from the Big Lottery. Pink Saltire have done so much to assist in promoting and providing equality for the LGBT+ community in Fife, and this new project is only going to push that even further forward.

“We unfortunately know that young people, in particular, can find it very difficult when coming out and telling people about their sexuality and/or gender identity. But we also know how important the expressive arts can be in allowing people to explore themselves and their feelings; which is why this project is going to be vital, and potentially a lifeline, to some young people.

“Young people are at the heart of our communities and are the people who will lead our society in the future. That is why it is important that they not only have their voices heard, but that they are given every opportunity possible to grow and gain the skills that could lead them to their career.”

Meanwhile in Dundee, Cllr Anne Rendall, the City Council’s spokesperson on equality, said:

“Pink Saltire has been doing some amazing work with young LGBT+ people since it was established in 2014. I am delighted that it has been awarded this money for a project that, as well as helping develop real-life skills, will also nurture a creative response to the issues facing the young people taking part.”

“I can’t wait to see what the participants come up.” 

And in Glasgow, the City Government’s Equality & Human Rights Convener, Cllr Jennifer Layden, said:

“I’m delighted to support the ‘Through the Lens’ programme which will give young LGBT+ people interested in film making transferable skills and the ability to learn about writing and reporting on these stories from professionals in the creative industries.”

“This programme will join a host of others across the city to provide much needed support for LGBT+ people and we will continue to work in partnership with Pink Saltire and others to ensure that the Council is fully supporting Glasgow’s LGBT+ population.”

The project will launch in February and those interested are invited to join the charity’s Facebook page to keep up to date on all the latest information.


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