As the Pride season kicks off in full in Birmingham today, Community is pleased to report back from its new LGBT+ forum.
Members met at Earls Barton last month for an inaugural meeting of the union’s LGBT+ forum. In what was described as a productive meeting, attendees felt it marked a vital first step in developing a network to support members who may feel isolated and unsure of where to seek support.
Nell Stockton (right), who attended the event, said: “Community has an important role in its offer to LGBT+ members. What it expects from employers, providing training and raising awareness for our reps, is just the start.”
Bev Bambrough, Community’s equalities director, said:
“One of the key points in developing a network to support LGBT+ members is communications, ensuring that members feel there are allies within Community who are able to provide support. One option for the network was to look at ways to increase the visibility of LGBT+ issues across the union. The network wants to find ways of engaging with members attending pride events, which are viewed as a must in the calendar.
“As far as next steps from the day, the group have started to develop a work plan. Raising awareness and using training specifically developed to support and build understanding for our reps, look at providing awareness events through Community’s regions.”
It was agreed by the group that the inaugural meeting was a positive step forward in starting the conversation. With further meetings planned for the autumn the network hopes to see increased representation.
Bev said: “I would like to thank everyone who has participated in the event for their input. It’s important that the network is able to grow and become the voice of our LGBT+ members. I look forward to seeing the network flourish in the months to come.”
If you were not able to attend and would like to take part in future meetings or have an idea you would like the network to consider please contact Angela May by email firstname.lastname@example.org .