The Network is delighted to share news of its recent contribution to an exceptional equality & inclusion awareness day at the Aranlaw Residential Care Home, (Rated Outstanding By CQC), Branksome Park, Poole, where we were kindly invited to provide to residents and the Aranlaw team, through Ms Niamh Coffey, a talk and Q&A session by our Convenor/Lead Officer Alan on the LGB&T community profile. Also contributing to equality & inclusion day were Mr & Mrs Dorset (valuable question received from Mr Dorset, to Alan) and brilliant Drag artistes.
The Network talk included sharing tactfully but clearly about issues on LGB&T inclusion and particular needs of the community in regard to forms of direct and indirect prejudice and discrimination still faced by many community members, and the very important matter of encouraging LGB&T inclusion and safeguarding by businesses and organisations that ‘Allies’ of the community.
In Alan’s speech and the follow-up Q&A session, the work of LGB&T friendly & LGB&T supportive businesses such as Aranlaw, were highlighted, as essential in this stage of the journey towards realising to the fullest extent, LGB&T human rights and inclusion.
The core message provided in the talk and answers to questions, that LGB&T inclusion is NOT about ‘them and us’ but fundamentally about recognition of and respect for the individual and that the whole experience of life concerns diversity being core to human experience, and nowhere more so than in human individuality.
For this reason securing LGB&T inclusion (and by extension equality) was a matter, as of respecting those from different cultures and ethnicities, of the greatest importance to ALL, and in the interest of all whether gay, heterosexual, non-binary, binary, from a majority race or a minority ethnicity.
In the field of residential care for the elderly and end of life care, nothing can be more valuable than providing inclusive, diversity respecting and celebrating settings.
This is why the work of Aranlaw is particularly important, and is a major instance of the Network strategy of bringing about change by connecting to and having relations and partnerships with businesses such as Aranlaw, that demonstrate real – not superficial / ‘tick box – inclusion & diversity Best Practice, are so important to bring about meaningful society as well as business and service provider level change.
Almost all of the residents of the Aranlaw Care Home were born in and have lived much of their lives in times when if you belonged to a sexual minority, you were in law a criminal. You could be subject to blackmail, violence, imprisonment and even chemical castration (as evidenced by the infamous abuse by the British state of the national hero, Enigma Code breaker, gay man and legendary British patriot Alan Turing).
By having such a day at Aranlaw, those residents who are LGB or T (whether openly so or keeping their LGB or T identity as a very private matter not to be disclosed to others) where given great Respect and an affirmation that they are equal members of society.
In addition, the talk indicated how important it was for those residents who are NOT from sexual or gender minorities, that in the later years of their lives, to learn about and to respect those from LGB&T minorities (and other minorities such as ethnicity, culture, religion), that essentially their sexual or gender minority status was a matter that needed to be respected on the basis of their individuality (sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, etc. being just one facet amongst many of who they are).
In this a great service has been provided by Aranlaw through events of this kind, and the Network looks forward to seeing Aranlaw developing this work with the LGB&T Dorset Equality Network!
The very positive experience of that day at Aranlaw has confirmed how important verifying year-round LGBT safe and appropriate service in the private and public care homes sector is for residents, staff/teams, owners and investors. The Network will be providing news early this autumn on its work in this area, so watch this space for more!!