Each year, the month of June is a month of celebration for the LGBTQ+ community and also an opportunity for LGBTQ+ rights to be shared and championed.
Two of our core values at asphaleia are:
The inherent value, equality and significance of the individual regardless of ability, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and political viewpoint.
The importance of an individual’s unique sense of identity and their cultural and family origins.
The first point in our pledge to the children and young people we work with is about their differences.
YOU are part of what makes up equality and diversity at asphaleia. We welcome young people from different backgrounds and experiences— we understand not everyone sees things the same so be tolerant! Different is what makes asphaleia an exciting place to work and learn.
In all areas of our service delivery and our organisational culture, we are striving to be inclusive, recognising that it is a journey where we continually learn and reflect and improve.
why we celebrate pride
Celebrating Pride and acknowledging it with staff and YP and on our social channels helps demonstrate our pursuit of inclusivity and sends a message to LGBTQ+ YP that they are safe to be themselves in our services.
We were pleased that a YP felt they could share about their identity choices with a member of staff this month, who was the first person they had told. The YP was extremely pleased to find the staff member so accepting and non-judgmental.
Staff were offered training this month in LGBTQ+ Awareness and our CSE Interventionist for our Bromley service shared how in her consent sessions she includes two examples of a gay and lesbian relationship. She discusses with the YP if the situations are consentual and that it doesn't matter if the relationship is homosexual or heterosexual. Also, in her sexual health sessions they have been able to look at the laws surrounding teaching about homosexuality in schools.
school diversity week
asphaleia took part in School Diversity Week as an FE training provider, from 21st- 25th. Education is key for ensuring that at a young age, people are aware of diversity and inclusion and it was a great opportunity for us to utilize the many resources provided by Just Like Us to be used during the week.
One tutor shared about one of her employability sessions during the week:
We opened employability lessons with three questions:
· What is diversity?
· Why is diversity important?
· Why is diversity important in the workplace?
Generating some very mature and curious conversations, classes were able to highlight specific areas of diversity in the context of a workplace. Students were given the clue that there are nine protected characteristics and most classes were able to name many of them.
We then discussed why it was important to protect these characteristics at work, using a collection of case studies to define the characteristic in question as well as what the person impacted should do if their diversity isn’t being respected.
Students rightly identified sources of support at work from management to HR, to unions and all accepted and agreed that diversity is not only to be respected, but that it is the law in workplaces that protected characteristics are not discriminated against.
Students were also able to speak of how they feel their diversity is respected at asphaleia, noting that many of them have different family situations, race, gender, sexuality and more.
Finally, students acknowledged the importance of knowing about protected characteristics when they move into the workplace.