Network for LGBT+ charity staff set for launch

The Intercharity LGBT+ Network will hold its inaugural event at the end of the month; it is already fully subscribed

A new initiative for LGBT+ charity staff is to be launched in London this month.

The Intercharity LGBT+ Network will enable LGBT+ voluntary sector employees to discuss issues affecting them at work and share best practice.

It is hoped charities could implement some of the network's workplace findings.

"Many charities are too small to have their own internal networks, so we felt this would be a great way to share experiences with others in the sector," said Kevin O’Brien, director of finance and corporate resources at Clic Sargent and a co-founder of the network.

"We will discuss more about what people want out of the network at the first face-to-face event."

The event at Diabetes UK in London on 28 March will be its first gathering and is already fully subscribed, with almost 100 people due to attend.

It is hoped further events will take place around the country two to four times a year.

The network was founded in September by O'Brien, Charlotte Dickenson of Cancer Research UK, Corriene Bailey-Bearfield of Diabetes UK, Sarah Tilsed of Alzheimers UK and Danny Beales.

It does not receive any funding but it is hoped charities will offer support, for instance by hosting events.

The network is running an online survey to find out about people's experiences of being LGBT+ in the charity sector and to see what they would like the network to do.

O'Brien said he hoped the network would have a "soft-influencing" effect on charities by, for example, informing them on how to implement LGBT+ policies, such as on transitioning at work.

He joined the voluntary sector three years ago from the property sector and said it compared favourably on LGBT+ issues.

"It's like a breath of fresh air," he said. "It's easy to be myself at work, but I realise it's not easy for everybody. There are people who don't feel comfortable talking about it."

He added that diversity appeared to be more of a problem in the sector than inclusiveness, and cited boards as an example.

More information on the network is available at www.intercharitylgbt.com, facebook.com/IntercharityLGBT or twitter.com/IntercharityNet.

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