St Andrew’s flies the rainbow flag

St Andrew’s values the importance that difference can bring to the workplace, and today (May 17) we are showing our support for the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, by raising a rainbow-coloured flag above our main building in Northampton.

The focus of this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (also known as IDAHOT day) is mental health and wellbeing, and the day aims to highlight the stress and anxiety caused by stigma, harassment and discrimination related to sexual and gender diversities. 

A key message from Stonewall, the national campaigning and lobbying charity for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, is that people perform better when they can be themselves. This message is very important to staff at St Andrew’s – in fact, the charity was earlier this year named as one of Britain’s most inclusive employers in the 2017 Stonewall Equality Index

Dean Howells, Executive Director of Nursing and Operations and executive sponsor of St Andrew’s LGBT+ group, commented: “We believe it’s important to recognise the LGBT community and the challenges they face – by marking IDAHOT day, we are celebrating everyone’s sexual and gender diversities so that people can be themselves and live their lives free from discrimination, inequality and fear. Please join us in championing the cause of equality and help us to make an inclusive environment for everyone.”

St Andrew’s Rebecca Lovell, Occupational Therapy Technical Instructor, explained: “We do some amazing work with our patients supporting them as they explore their sexual or gender identities, and this should be celebrated. We’ve had rainbow discos for the children and adolescents in our care, and we recently hosted a Pride event. Our support isn’t just for patients; we have a small but strong staff network group that continually works to ensure that our workplace is reflective of the society we live in. If we can continue to make our workplace a safe and supportive place for EVERYONE, regardless of race, disability, age, gender identity or sexual orientation; then we will continue to create a culture of inclusivity.”

St Andrew’s is entering the annual Birmingham Pride parade, which takes place on May 27 in the city. Staff and patients will be waving rainbow flags, wearing custom t-shirts and showing support for the LGBT+ community.