Pride Month is held in June of each year and celebrates the LGBT+ community in tribute to the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York.
Our LGBT+ staff network aims to promote the interests of LGBT+ staff, identify ways of challenging discrimination and stereotyping among colleagues and patients, and to promote mutual support to LGBT+ staff, patients and visitors.
Vicky Halliday is a clinical research assistant here at Royal Papworth and was recently elected as the LGBT+ Network co-chair. We caught up with Vicky to find out more about her involvement and her aims for the network.
“I have been involved with the LGBT+ Network since its inception in 2020, and in April 2022 became co-chair working alongside current chair Jack Fellows.
"I joined because I have a keen interest in giving a voice and a chance to speak to those who may not feel able to.
“I want everyone to feel listened to, acknowledged, and able to be themselves.
“I also want those with little knowledge or experience with the LGBT+ community to feel safe in having conversations, to feel comfortable in asking questions or queries to become a friendly ally.
“Pride is very much needed, even more so now."
Whilst Pride Month is only a month-long celebration, the network celebrates the LGBT+ community all year round and even arranges training sessions to support staff - including trans awareness training, provided by Gendered Intelligence.
These sessions support staff and help develop understanding, celebrate each other and to embody the Trust values: compassion, excellence, and collaboration. The knowledge taken from the training sessions is transferred to patient care: to provide compassionate and excellent care in a safe and understanding environment.
Vicky Halliday is a clinical research assistant, working in the Heart and Lung Research Institute (HLRI)
Vicky adds: “Engaged staff, living openly and supported by their team and the management, adds a tangible vibrancy, an authenticity, and a more rounded support to each other and the patients we care for, along with their families.”
As part of this celebration of diversity, the network is holding a stand in the hospital atrium next week where staff, patients and visitors can leave messages of support on printed stones. These ‘stones’ will then form a stone wall – a nod to the Stonewall charity and to mark the closure of Pride Month 2022.
Vicky concludes: “Pride to me means truly accepting someone, letting someone know I’m safe to talk to.
“We see so many people at their most vulnerable, and I want to reassure them that they can safely disclose personal information that may still be very sensitive to them.
“There is still stigma, misunderstanding and discrimination aimed at the LGBT+ community, and I want to continue to create an environment that they can feel safe in and feel accepted and welcome.”