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Celebrating LGBT+ History Month

On 28 February we held an event as part of LGBT+ History Month

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the very first Pride march in the UK in 1972.

Our event was planned jointly by our LGBT+ staff group Spectrum and the LGBT+ Resident Forum. It was held simultaneously in person at our offices in West Ham Lane and virtually on Teams to allow as many people as possible to attend.

It was an opportunity for staff to meet members of the LGBT+ Resident Forum, enjoy drinks and nibbles and celebrate L&Q being named in Stonewall’s top 100 employers. The event also had an open forum element to it, enabling members from across both the staff network and the Resident Forum to talk about their experiences and how it impacts their lives.

Fiona Fletcher-Smith is the Executive Sponsor for the Spectrum staff network and was there to show her support.

Michael Verrier, one of our residents and Chair of the LGBT+ Resident Forum, talked about the importance of knowing our history as the struggle for equality is ongoing. He spoke about his time growing up as LGBT+ and how these events impact on his generation today.

“This year’s LGBT+ history month event was a great way to demonstrate the successful work being done between the LGBT+ staff network Spectrum and the LGBT+ Resident Forum and of course to celebrate our rich and diverse history.

"It was also a chance to showcase the ongoing collaboration between the forum, Spectrum and senior staff which includes the joint evaluation of the Pledge and Pledge Plus Scheme. For me, personally, it was also an important part of the wider equalities work we are doing to ensure that Diversity and Inclusion is at the heart of everything we do within L&Q.”

Beverley Johnson was the guest speaker from Opening Doors, a national charity that provides information, services and support to LGBT+ people over 50. Opening Doors administer the Pride in Care accreditation which was successfully gained by LQ Living.

Beverley talked passionately about the issues that impact older LGBT+ people, including people going back into the closet and feeling isolated without the support of family members and a fear of discrimination from mainstream services.

She shared the results of the Only Connect survey they had done on the impact of coronavirus and lockdowns on their members, which showed:

  • 50% of respondents reported a negative impact on their psychological wellbeing
  • 18% felt much more depressed than usual
  • 23% experienced worsened physical health during lockdown
  • 37% felt more lonely than usual
  • 27% hardly ever or never had someone to talk to

Beverley congratulated us on the event and said that she wished she worked for L&Q.

Our LGBT+ Resident Forum is looking to grow its membership. If any of our residents would like to find out more about how to get involved, please complete the webform at the bottom of this page and a member of the Resident Involvement team will get in touch with you.

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