Jan Bridget Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection contains mostly paper-based materials and the majority stem from the various activities that Jan engaged in during her work with the organisations represented in this collection. Materials include correspondence, reports, promotional items, course documents, press clippings, and financial papers.

Administrative / Biographical History

Jan Bridget (formerly Foster) (b.1947 in Darwen) is a social activist, concerned with raising awareness of lesbian and wider LGBT issues, particularly those relating to youth and young adults in society.

Having spent time in the Women's Royal Air Force and as a secretary at Columbia Pictures, Jan became a Rural Youth Worker with Lancashire County Council in 1982, working primarily in the Ribble Valley. In 1986 Jan moved to Leicester to work with the National Youth Bureau, remaining there for 7 months.

In Leicester Jan met Sandra Lucille and in 1987 they setup the Lesbian Information Service (LIS). The service produced a newsletter and worked with lesbians in the Leicester area. The newsletter was developed into a national and then international publication, becoming increasingly radical in its political viewpoint, which eventually led to a decline in subscriptions and was discontinued in 1990.

In 1990 Jan and Sandra moved the LIS operations to Todmorden in West Yorkshire, and Jan was soon employed by Lancashire County Council to conduct research into the needs of young lesbians in East Lancashire. This research was attacked by the local media and this led to the Council placing restrictions on the research. LIS, in response, produced a report on the behaviour of the local press and the Council instead of the results of the research. The research was continued independently and a number of projects were created by LIS as a result. These included the Lesbian and Alcohol Project (LAP) and the Lesbian Youth Support Information Service (LYSIS).

LYSIS in particular was involved in a number of activities, including a national helpline, correspondence counselling, producing information packs and leaflets, and providing a pen-pal scheme. The service ran for seven years receiving funding from the Mental Health Foundation between 1995 and 1997. After Sandra Lucille left LIS at the end of 1996, and funding from the Mental Health Foundation ran out in 1997, the service was closed down and the pen-pal scheme, which had over 300 members, was transferred to another voluntary organisation in 1998.

As well as the aforesaid projects LIS got involved in the case of Jenny Saunders, a 19 year old woman convicted of indecently assaulting two teenage girls while allegedly impersonating a man. LIS worked alongside Jenny's legal representation and the Probation Service which resulted in her release from prison at the Court of Appeal in 1991, with Jenny serving nine months of a six-year prison sentence. A fund was created by LIS to help financially support Jenny during her incarceration and it received donations from both at home and abroad, including The Netherlands and Germany.

Though LIS officially ceased to provide services in 1998, it was involved in the ACTION for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youth in Calderdale Project, which was setup by a number of organisations to assess the needs of LGB youth in the area. LIS successfully applied for funding to conduct research between 1998-1999, which involved in-depth interviews with a number of individuals and a survey of over 40 agencies. The results of this research were disseminated at a one-day seminar and through the publication of a report.

As a direct result of the ACTION research the youth support group, Gay and Lesbian Youth in Calderdale (GALYIC), was established in 1999. The support group received funding from the Calderdale and Kirklees Health Authority and the Calderdale Involvement Project, and were awarded a substantial grant from Comic Relief. The funding allowed GALYIC to provide a youth centre, conduct training courses and conferences, and engage in other activities.

GALYIC ceased to provide services in 2011 but at present its website still remains active.

Arrangement

Arrangement has been based upon the various organisations that form the main bulk of the collection.

  • 1. Personal information
  • 2. Lesbian Information Service (LIS)
  • 3. ACTION for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth in Calderdale Research Project
  • 4. Gay and Lesbian Youth in Calderdale (GALYIC)
  • 5. Lancashire Education Authority Youth Service

Conditions Governing Access

Most of this material is open for consultation, on production of a valid CARN reader's ticket. Please visit our website for more information. A small amount of material containing sensitive personal information is subject to restricted access.

Other Finding Aids

The full archive catalogue can be searched online

Separated Material

Material from the Lesbian Information Service included a resource library which contained printed material including books and copies of articles, pamphlets, newspapers, newsletters and reports arranged by theme.

More ephemeral material which is much less likely to survive has been retained within the archive. An additional large collection of books has been incorporated into our archive service library collections.

Related Material

Jan Bridget was interviewed in 1999 as part of the BBC's Millenium Memory Bank project. The recording is at the British Library (reference 1999-03-19). Two websites set up by her have also been archived online by the British Library:

http://www.galyic.org.uk/ (Gay and Lesbian Youth Information Centre (GALYIC)) can be found at: http://www.webarchive.org.uk/ukwa/target/66158678/source/search (checked 5/11/2014)

http://www.lesbianinformationservice.org/ (Lesbian Information Service) can be found at:http://www.webarchive.org.uk/ukwa/target/66158686/source/search (checked 5/11/2014)

Personal Names