DMU among organisations to win inaugural LGBT+ Inclusion Award for work in the community


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De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) was among the organisations to be recognised this week for pioneering work in promoting LGBT+ rights.

The inaugural LGBT+ Inclusion Awards, run by the Leicester LGBT Centre in Wellington Street, took place in DMU’s Trinity Chapel to reward bodies that encourage diversity.

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The award winners at DMU this week

DMU was one of nine organisations from Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to receive the award. DMU was rewarded for its work running the DMU Pride festival, which is staged every February during LGBT History Month. It is open to all, and aims to make the entire city a more inclusive place to live, work and study.

This month’s DMU Pride festival has involved talks, lectures and events covering sport, faith and mental health as well as a season of new theatre and dance at Curve.

The LGBT+ Award comes after DMU was named as one of the most inclusive employers in Britain by lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity Stonewall, in its Top 100 Employers list for 2020. It is the fifth year running that DMU has made the list.

Theo McCarthy-Hirst, who led the organisation of the awards for the LGBT Centre, said: “It has been a really good day. We felt it was important to give recognition to community organisations in these inaugural awards.

“We now want to open out the awards to more people across Leicestershire, from the corner shop to big business, and the dream is to see shops throughout the city and county displaying their LGBT+ Inclusivity Award sticker in their window.”

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The awards were presented in DMU's Trinity Chapel

Mpazi Siame, Equality and Diversity Officer for Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “I am genuinely excited for the fire service to receive this award in recognition of the steps we have taken so far and it gives us the energy and enthusiasm to keep doing better.

“It is also good for recruitment. We have done very well in the last three years in attracting LGBT+ individuals into the fire service and it helps us to continue fighting fires with pride.”

Antonia Jackson, Senior Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor at DMU, said: “We are proud to receive an LGBT+ Inclusion Award that focuses on the work we do within the community. We have a diverse student and staff population at DMU so we want to be able to show that people who work and study here can be themselves.”

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Some of the winners with Theo from the LGBT Centre

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The full list of award winners was:

DMU – for DMU Pride’s work to make Leicester a more inclusive place to live, work and study

University of Leicester - The LGBT+ Staff Forum co-chairs work closely with other equality forum chairs, such as BAME, Women’s, and Disability, to ensure all events account for all sections of society.

Victim First – for its work with Leicestershire Police to provide the best support possible for victims and witnesses of hate crime

Charnwood Borough Council – for creating a Sexual Orientation Statement & Policy to focus on creating an inclusive environment in which to support staff and advance LGBT+ equality

Leicestershire County Council – for its LGBT+ Staff Network, set up in 2008 , which meets on a bi-monthly basis.  It provides advice and support, including on a confidential basis, to LGBT+ employees.

Leicester City Council - Supporting Transgender Employees is a good practice guide for managers and the Transition Support Template is a tool that can support employees with specific needs in transitioning such as coming out, changing ID and time off needed for appointments.

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual (LGBT) shOUT! Network consists of both operational and support staff who want to contribute to the service’s ambition of making it an organisation free from discrimination, victimisation, bullying and harassment because of an individual’s sexual orientation.

Leicestershire Police - LGBT+ meetings are chaired by a member of the community and act as a consultative group for the police on policy, recruitment initiatives, hate crime reporting and other policing issues as they arise. Police are focussing on the under-reporting from the LGBT+ communities and use this group to seek ways to encourage reports.

Harborough District Council – The council uses posters and literature to portray perspectives from people who identify as LGBT+ and who have different faiths, ageing within the LGBT+ communities and also experiences of disabilities, such as dementia, to show that there are also cumulative impacts for people who may be disadvantaged due to more than one personal characteristic.

The LGBT+ Inclusion Award is a programme set up in partnership between DMU, University of Leicester, Leicestershire Police, Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service and Leicester LGBT Centre.

Posted on Thursday 27th February 2020

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