LGBT+ Network

Our vibrant LGBT+ Network launched in May 2017 and, endorsed by the Trust Board, plays an important role within the Trust with three key functions:

  • To provide a forum for staff to talk about issues that specifically affect them, providing advice and guidance to anyone approachng the network seeking help
  • To raise awareness of equality in the workplace; hosting diversity events and being subject matter experts for all changes to or new services proposed by the Trust in terms of LGBT inclusion
  • To provide an element of scrutiny when required to consider reports on monitoring data

Co-Chaired by Sharon Melville and Mick Stupples, Dr Peter Maskell, Medical Director is the Network’s Executive Sponsor. Jo Hand, Sharon and Mick are out gay people who want others to reach out to them for support should they need it.

Anyone can join the Network and participate as much or as little as you can – come to meetings, attend events, join the WhatsApp group or join our confidential mailing list. Get in contact by dropping us an email : mtw-tr.lgbtnetwork@nhs.net or contacting Sharon, Mick or Peter direct.

Sharon Melville

Peter Maskell

Jo Hand

Mick Stupples

 

 

 

 

Network Meeting Dates 2019

24th October 2019, 12.30pm – 2pm : Academic Centre, Maidstone & Education Centre, TWH

18th December 2019, 12.30pm – 2pm : Academic Centre, Maidstone & Education Centre, TWH

You don’t have to be out to join the network – we have confidential correspondence that allows people to be kept up to date with the network activities without being part of an open mailing list.  Contact mtw-tr.lgbtnetwork@nhs.net for further details.

Stonewall Diversity Champion Partners

MTW are partners with Stonewall which enables our LGBT+ communities to flourish and individuals to reach their full potential. With their guidance, the determination of a fantastic Network and collaboration of our Allies Network, we have increased our Workplace Equality Index Score year on year. With the aim to be in the Top 100 Employers by 2020, we will be revealing our plans to get there soon!

Did you know that support and advice is available from Choices, a Maidstone based charity who have LGBT Independent Domestic Violence Advisors and work with male victims of domestic violence. See their website for more details: http://www.choicesdaservice.org.uk/

LGBT+ Allies

Many LGBT+ people feel nervous about opening up at work or when needing care in a Hospital environment, fearing discrimination or exclusion. Here at MTW we want to make sure that isn’t the case and have an energetic LGBT+ Allies Network. An Ally is someone who’s supportive of their LGBT+ colleagues, patients and visitors: an advocate, supporter and friend and who helps to create an environment where LGBT+ people feel included and accepted.

Our Allies range from Clinical Support Workers and Staff Nurses to Executives, Matrons and Managers. Anyone can be an Ally – if you have the ability to listen, support and taken action where necessary to ensure that people are treated with fairness, kindness and respect, contact Jo.Garrity@nhs.net for further details. Find out how to contact our Allies here.

Here are our Allies…..

Supporting Events

Transgender Awareness Week - November 2016

In support of this, we ran Transgender Awareness Workshops during the week. Hosted by Kristiana Taylor, an openly trans woman and member of staff here at MTW, staff had an opportunity to hear her journey. Find out more about Kristiana here.

The First Tunbridge Wells Pride Parade - August 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Sunday 20th August, some of our LGBT+ Network members joined hundreds of people in the first ever Pride parade in Tunbridge Wells. Sporting T-shirts adorned with a graphic designed by our Management Accountant, Erol Sonat, they were led by a band in a carnival atmosphere from Mount Ephraim to The Forum where a family friendly party continued into the early evening.

Official LGBT+ Network Launch - November 2017

The LGBT+ Network officially launched in November 2017 with stands at both Hospital sites loaded with homemade cakes and a competition.

LGBT History Month - Standing Together, Caring Together - February 2018

February saw the first (and certainly not last!) collaboration with Kent Fire and Rescue and Kent Police. Standing Together, Caring Together saw our caring professions coming together to demonstrate that irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity, inclusion is a key focus for our public services and that everyone counts.

Brighton Pride Parade - August 2018

Walking with Brighton and Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust and celebrating NHS70 to boot! Many thanks to Nicola Caley, Quality Assistant at BSU who made this happen!

Canterbury Pride Parade - June 2018

Staff from our LGBT+ Network and Executive Sponsor, Dr Peter Maskel, walking at Canterbury Pride with colleagues from the Rubin Clinic, MTW; Kent Community Health Foundation Trust (KCHFT) and Kent and Medway Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) on a beautiful sunny day.

NHS Rainbow Badge Launch - June 2019

Wearing a rainbow badge is a way for staff to show that this is an open, non-judgmental and inclusive place for people who identify as LGBT+.  By choosing to wear a badge, you are sending a message that “you can talk to me”.  You aren’t expected to have the answers to all issues and concerns, but you are a friendly ear, and will know how to signpost to the support available.

Wearing a badge says to LGBT+ people and families:

  • ​​​​​You ​can talk to me freely and without worry about who you are and how you feel
  • I will do my best to get support for you if you need it
  • This is a place of inclusion and you are not alone

Launched 19th June 2019!

We ran out of badges within a couple of hours of being at both Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells sites! More badges are on order and we have nearly 200 pledges to fulfill already! Watch out for more Rainbow Badge pop ups coming soon!

You can watch a video from the launch here.

Rainbow Flag Launch - July 2019

We are delighted to say that two new flag poles have been installed at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospitals and are proudly flying the Rainbow Flag during Pride season!

Tunbridge Wells Pride - August 2019

 Members of the LGBT+ Network were joined by the Rubin Clinic for the 3rd Tunbridge Wells Pride this weekend. Walking with the banner ‘Pride in our NHS’ (kindly loaned by KCHFT), the sun tried hard to shine.

Canterbury Pride Parade - June 2019

Staff from our LGBT+ Network and Executive Sponsor, Dr Peter Maskel, walking at Canterbury Pride with colleagues from the Rubin Clinic, MTW; Kent Community Health Foundation Trust (KCHFT) and Kent and Medway Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) on a beautiful sunny day.