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DFRS LGBT+ & Allies Network Highly Commended In Employer Network For Equality And Inclusion Awards

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service’s LGBT+ Allies Network has been named as highly commended in the Employer Network for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI) 2020 Awards.

DFRS formed its LGBT+ & Allies Support Network in July 2018 with only four members attending the first meeting. Since then the network has gone from strength to strength to the thriving successful network that it is today with over 30 members, supporting staff and raising awareness of issues affecting LGBT+ colleagues, members of the community and DFRS employees of the future.   

Speaking following the commendation, Derbyshire’s Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Gavin Tomlinson, a regular attendee and supporter of the Network said: “The commendation from the ENEI is well deserved recognition for the work undertaken by everyone who supports and contributes to this valuable employee network.

“Historically, Fire and Rescue Services have been a predominantly white, heterosexual domain, with people from LGBT+ communities being under-represented in Fire and Rescue Services right across the UK. Our LGBT+ Allies Network has been instrumental in supporting the delivery of a sustained programme of awareness and support sessions to help our employees and service users, and to attract diverse talent into future roles right across the Service.”

Since the Networks inception, it has supported the delivery of:  

  • Two regional conferences, in partnership with local organisations
  • Working with diverse LGBT+ groups, including an over 50s group and a youth group
  • Planning and delivering awareness raising sessions for internal staff
  • Running lunch and learn sessions on bi and trans awareness
  • Hosting a workshop on LGBT+ Role Models and Allies at an external conference
  • Delivering a session on terminology and stereotypes of LGBT+ people for a local charity
  • Leading a session on mental health and wellbeing for local secondary school students
  • Planning and delivering internal conference for 50 members of staff
  • Being placed in the Stonewall Top 100 LGBT+ inclusive employers
  • Winning two regional Stonewall awards: Senior Champion and Role Model of the Year

In addition to the Service’s LGBT+ Allies Network being named as highly commended, the Service’s Director of Corporate Services, Judi Beresford was nominated for Senior Champion of the Year and Inclusion Officer, Lukasz Gazda was nominated for the Community Impact award.

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service has five Employee Networks supporting employees across the Service, these include Gender, Multi-cultural, Dyslexia and Wellbeing.