We’re so proud to say we’ve been awarded the LGBT Charter Silver Award by LGBT Youth Scotland!
This means we’ve taken proactive steps to ensure LGBT staff, volunteers and service users will feel safe, supported and included at Move On.
What is the LGBT Charter Silver Award?
The LGBT Charter for Organisations is a straightforward programme that enables organisations to proactively include LGBT people in every aspect of their work.
The programme has been developed to support organisations to undertake training and review policies, practice and resources to make sure that they’re not only meeting legislative needs but are as inclusive as they can be.
Organisations are guided through the programme with the help of LGBT Youth Scotland’s expert facilitators, step-by-step LGBT Charter workbook and a dedicated Charter Manager who is there to advise them throughout the process.
Being awarded the LGBT Charter enables organisations to send a positive message, with confidence, that their organisation is a champion of LGBT inclusion where LGBT employees, volunteers, and service users will be safe, supported and included. The LGBT Charter makes a clear statement that equality and diversity are at the heart of their organisation.
Organisations can apply for Foundation, Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards.
How did Move On achieve the LGBT Charter Silver Award?
The award is the culmination of an 18-month journey for Move On.
Since February 2022, we’ve been busy:
- Reviewing and improving our policies and practices.
- Providing staff training and opportunities for discussion.
- Establishing an LGBT Youth Group.
- Decorating our office spaces to be visibly inclusive.
- Attending Pride events in Edinburgh and Glasgow with staff, volunteers and young people.
What the team have learnt
- Several members of staff said they now feel more confident challenging inappropriate language.
- The inclusivity work we carried out encouraged young people to engage in different ways: some came to Pride with Move On staff and volunteers, and some young people who usually aren’t keen on group work took part in new activities together. We now have an established Young Person’s LGBT Group.
- That if you allow “banter” to happen it can lead to discrimination and potentially death.
- Staff said they now have more confidence in discussing LGBT topics with young people, and know that sometimes making mistakes in what they say is OK. Acknowledge, learn and move on.
- Staff who carried out the training said they felt challenged, but in the end, everyone said they had much better knowledge and understanding of the terminology used and the diversity which exists within the LGBT population.
What’s changed at Move On?
- We realise we weren’t as inclusive in our policies and practices as we thought we were. This has now been reviewed and improved, and we hope to continue improving as we learn more about how to be more inclusive.
- We also acknowledged that we weren’t visibly inclusive: there’s now lots on display in our office spaces which helps to show our service users that we’re working on our inclusivity.
- Staff now know that it’s important to occasionally check in with the young people they work with about their pronouns to ensure they address them correctly. When meeting a new young person, staff are also sure to introduce themselves with pronouns, ask them about theirs and what their identities mean to them. They also understand why putting pronouns in email signatures is important.
- 80% of staff have been briefed and 50% trained and this is something we’ll continue to build on.
A staff member who’s part of the LGBT community said:
“It feels good walking into the office knowing how inclusive the Move On team is. Seeing the LGBT timeline on the wall and signposting on the shelves is an amazing first step to making the LGBT community feel welcome in the Move On office.”
What we plan to do next
While we’re so proud to have achieved the LGBT Charter Silver Award, our journey doesn’t end here.
We’ll continue to work hard to keep inclusivity at the heart of Move On, including:
- Regularly reviewing and updating policies and practices depending on legislative changes.
- Continuing to provide staff training and opportunities for discussion.
- New members of Move On staff will be briefed on our inclusivity measues.
- Regularly checking in on our progress to embed our learnings into our workplace culture.