Fire and police team up for Stonewall Trans Allies Programme

StonewallCheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Constabulary are among the launch partners for a new programme by LGBT charity Stonewall aiming to create better allies for trans people.

As a partner, the fire and rescue service and police force will be leading the way in jointly delivering an innovative one-day programme in-house.

The aim is to demonstrate commitment to bringing positive change in workplaces and communities for all trans and non-binary people.

The Trans Allies Programme will help non-trans people understand how they can tackle anti-trans discrimination and show support trans people everywhere as allies.

They will receive a deeper understanding of the impact of transphobia, along with the tools and language to better include trans people at work and in their everyday lives.

The pledge to improve trans inclusion comes at a time when trans and non-binary people face alarming levels of discrimination at work and in society.

Earlier this year Stonewall released research that showed half of trans people (51 per cent) have hidden their identity at work for fear of discrimination or abuse. Moreover, one in eight trans employees (12 per cent) have been physically attacked by colleagues or customers in the past year.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service was ranked fourth in LGBT charity Stonewall’s prestigious Top 100 Employers list for 2018 - making it the top performing emergency service in the country.

Cheshire Constabulary was named as the top police force in the country with a ranking of 26th.

Paul Hancock, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service's Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive, said: "We've undertaken a huge amount of work in recent years to ensure equality of opportunity for LGBT staff and volunteers and to ensure the LGBT community has trust and confidence in the life-saving service we provide.

"However, we recognise that many trans people still encounter unacceptable discrimination, in spite of growing acceptance of lesbian, gay and bisexual people. For that reason we are proud to be among the first organisations in the UK to sign up to Stonewall's pioneering Trans Allies Programme.

“By raising awareness among our firefighters, community safety officers and support staff of the specific challenges faced by the trans community, we hope they will feel empowered to stand up and challenge prejudice, wherever they see it."

Cheshire Constabulary Acting Chief Constable Janette McCormick added: “We have put a real focus on our LGBT+ communities in recent years and this has been reflected through our ranking in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employer’s list.

“We are delighted to be one of the first organisations in the country to be a launch partner for the Trans Allies Programme and it’s fantastic to be teaming up with our fire colleagues as part of our ongoing collaboration work.

“That anyone should be discriminated against in this day and age for their gender identity or sexual orientation is completely unacceptable, and we hope that by partnering with Stonewall on this programme we can play our part in promoting equality both in the workplace and in communities across Cheshire.”

Sanjay Sood-Smith, Stonewall’s Director of Empowerment Programmes, said:  “We know trans and non-binary people face abuse and discrimination in their day-to-day lives. Half of trans and non-binary people have hidden their identity at work for fear of discrimination.

“However, having leading organisations including Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Constabulary backing our Trans Allies Programme shows there is strong support for trans people across different sectors. We are looking forward to building on this extremely positive to create more inclusive workplaces across Britain.”

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