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Supporting Equality

3 December 2012

Karen Cooke
Karen Cooke with Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan.

A new scheme has been launched to offer staff the opportunity to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender colleagues. Karen Cooke, Chair of Enfys the University's LGBT+ staff network tells us more.

"We all want to feel supported by our colleagues. Seeing as many of us spend more time at work than we do at home, feeling accepted and supported by the people we work with is hugely important.

"The aim of the Friend of Enfys scheme is to give staff, who aren't part of Enfys, the opportunity to support the work that we do. By signing up to the scheme and displaying their Friend Card staff are sending out an important positive message to LGBT colleagues.

"I got the idea from a meeting I had with a colleague from Vancouver Island University. She had worked on a similar scheme and said that a really beneficial spin-off from the initiative was the impact it had on LGBT students. By noticing the Friend Cards students felt they had members of staff they could speak to without worrying about their reaction. Continuing to create this kind of environment across the University is really important.

"So how do you get involved? Well if anyone wishes to become a Friend of Enfys then they can email and we will send them an information pack including their Friend Card which we ask that they display in a prominent place. We will also add them to a mailing list and invite them to open events we organise throughout the year, the first being our LGBT History Month celebrations in February.

"I'm delighted to say that our Vice-Chancellor has already shown his support for the launch of the Friend of Enfys scheme. I hope many of you will follow his lead and join us in ensuring our University is as inclusive as possible."

- Karen Cooke, Chair of Enfys the University's LGBT+ staff network

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