As we said in our previous blog with our interview with Lucy Kirk, June is Pride Month in the UK, in which we celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community on its 50th anniversary! Pride Month is a time to celebrate and commemorate all LGBTQIA+ individuals: from the past, present and future. It is about love, acceptance and equality for all.
This year, the team at Gibsons collaborated with UK LGBTQIA+ charity Just Like Us and the fantastic illustrator Lucy Kirk to create the ‘Just Like Us 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle’. Lucy Kirk is an amazing illustrator, who has helped to depict the wonderful message of love and acceptance within our ‘Just Like Us Jigsaw Puzzle’.
Just Like Us 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle - £16.00
Just Like Us LGBTQIA+ Charity
We explained in our previous blog that Just Like Us are a UK-based charity that focuses on working with schools and other educational institutes across the UK to improve the lives of LGBTQIA+ young people. They work alongside teachers, teaching aids and students to make a safer space for LGTBQIA+ individuals, providing insights and resources to provide better support for LGBTQIA+ young adults.
Dominic Arnall, CEO of Just Like Us said: "We're so delighted to have this support from Gibson Games. The puzzle is a fantastic celebration of the LGBT+ community and we were so pleased to collaborate with them on the design. A huge thank you to Gibson Games for their donation and contribution from every puzzle, ensuring that we can support more LGBT+ young people than ever before."
The team at Gibsons were interested in finding out more about Just Like Us and their work in the LGTBQIA+ community, so we had a sit down with Dominic Arnall to find out more!
Q&A with Dominic Arnall - CEO of Just Like Us
1. Why do you think it is important to educate schools on the LGBTQIA+ community?
LGBT+ young people are twice as likely to be bullied, have depression, face tension at home and contemplate suicide, our independent research has found. While it may seem that after 50 years of Pride in the UK, life may be quite different for LGBT+ people, sadly growing up LGBT+ is still unacceptably tough. Our independent research found that there is a link between schools who do LGBT+ inclusion and pupils having better mental health – it's even linked to better mental health of non-LGBT+ young people. So LGBT+ inclusive education is good for everybody.
2. What do you think is the most common/biggest issue in the education system at the moment in relation to LGBTQIA+ individuals?
LGBT+ pupils feel far less safe at school. Only 58% of LGBT+ young people have felt safe at school on a daily basis in the past 12 months, compared to 73% of non-LGBT+ pupils. We need to change this by showing all young people that being LGBT+ is something to be celebrated – only then will LGBT+ young people be able to see that who they are is nothing to be ashamed of and be able to thrive.
3. We can see that people are able to donate to Just Like Us on your website. In what ways do these donations help ‘Just Like Us’ and the LGBTQIA+ community? What do the donations help to fund?
The generosity of the public is absolutely vital to ensure that Just Like Us is able to continue to support LGBT+ young people and to make their schools happier, more welcoming and safer places. Donations help Just Like Us to work with schools to set up Pride Groups for LGBT+ pupils to find support, to train inspiring LGBT+ young adults to tell their stories of growing up LGBT+ to thousands of pupils across the UK, and to provide teachers with the resources they need in order to run LGBT+ inclusive lessons during School Diversity Week.
4. We are overjoyed with the collaboration with Gibsons on the ‘Just Like Us 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle’. What are you hoping to achieve from the collab?
We are delighted to be collaborating with Gibsons Games with this project. This collaboration will help to support more LGBT+ young people across the UK. Donations from this puzzle will support Just Like Us' work to make schools more LGBT+ inclusive and help LGBT+ young people thrive.
5. Why did you choose Lucy Kirk for the design of the ‘Just Like Us’ jigsaw puzzle? Are there any details that fascinated you?
We really love Lucy Kirk's design for the puzzle. It represents a wonderful celebration of our diverse LGBT+ community, including supportive parents, different faiths, people with health conditions or impairments and a real mix of identities under the LGBT+ umbrella.
6. Was creating an LGBTQIA+ focused jigsaw puzzle a goal or aspiration for the Just Like Us charity or something that was a perfect opportunity?
The puzzle collaboration came about following a conversation with our ambassadors and Gibsons Games during Pride Month in 2021. We are delighted that Gibsons Games have brought this project to life with such an inclusive puzzle that will support LGBT+ young people to thrive.
7. What are your goals over 2022 to expand your reach and support for young LGBTQIA+ individuals? What do you hope to achieve?
This year, a record number of schools are taking part in School Diversity Week and showing their young people that being LGBT+ is something to be celebrated. We hope to work with more primary and secondary schools than ever before – including bringing more awareness and conversations about the existence of LGBT+ families, such as having lesbian mums, to primary schools. Growing up LGBT+ is still unacceptably tough – we hope to change that.
Gibsons x Just Like Us Collaboration
Samantha Goodburn, Senior Marketing Manager states: “We’re so pleased to be able to support the charity Just Like Us as they do such important and incredible work to eliminate bullying and spread awareness of the issues that young LGBTQIA+ people still face. We first collaborated in 2021, when their ambassadors ran a workshop with our team. Following that we knew we wanted to do more, so they put us in touch with Lucy and the rest is history!
Personally the Just Like Us jigsaw puzzle is one of my favourite designs in our range. The bright colours, happy characters and busy-ness makes it incredibly enjoyable and puts a smile on my face every time I look at it!”
For every copy of the Just Like Us jigsaw puzzle that is sold, we will be donating 25p to the Just Like Us charity, to which we have already made an initial donation of £4000. We hope that our donation will help in building a better future for LGBTQIA+ young people moving forward.
Join Gibsons in Celebrating Pride 2022
Our collaboration with Just Like Us is something which we are incredibly proud of at Gibsons, as we hope that our fans and any newcomers can join us in celebrating Pride Month, whilst supporting an incredible LGBTQIA+ charity.
Share the Love!
We would love to see your finished ‘Just Like Us Jigsaw Puzzle’. You can tag us on social media to share your photos and videos with the Gibsons team!