July 1, 2024

19th June 2024

What is a Silver Charter Award?

It’s a programme that enables organisations to proactively include LGBTQ+ people in every aspect of their work. The programme has been developed to support organisations to undertake training and review policies, practice and resources to make sure that they’re not only meeting legislative needs but are as inclusive as they can be. Organisations are guided through the programme with the help of LGBT Youth Scotland’s expert facilitators, step-by-step LGBT Charter workbook and a dedicated Charter Manager who is made available to advise them throughout the process.

Being awarded the LGBT Charter enables organisations to send a positive message, with confidence, that their organisation is a champion of LGBT inclusion where LGBTQ+ employees, volunteers, and service users will be safe, supported and included. The LGBT Charter makes a clear statement that equality and diversity are at the heart of their organisation.

How did Fast Forward achieve the LGBT Charter Silver Award?

The award is the continuation of Fast Forward’s journey with LGBT Youth Scotland.

We’ve been busy…

  • Reviewing and improving our policies and practices
  • Providing staff training and opportunities for discussion
  • Decorating our office spaces to be visibly inclusive

What the team have learned…

  • Several members of staff said they now feel more confident challenging inappropriate language
  • The inclusivity work we carried out encouraged positive conversation. We looked at how “banter” can lead to discrimination
  • Staff reported back saying they now have more confidence in discussing LGBTQ+ topics, and know that sometimes making mistakes in what they say is OK. Acknowledge, learn and move on
  • Staff who carried out the training said they felt challenged, but in the end, everyone said they had much better knowledge and understanding of the terminology used and the diversity which exists within the LGBTQ+ population

What’s changed at Fast Forward?

We move forward, confident our policies and practices. They have been reviewed and improved, and we hope to continue improving as we learn more about how to be more inclusive.

  • There are signs and posters on display in our office spaces which helps to show that our work on inclusivity has been recognised with the Silver Charter Award
  • Staff now know that it’s important to check in with the young people they work with about their preferred pronouns to ensure they address them correctly.
  • When meeting a new young person, staff are also sure to introduce themselves with their pronouns, and ask them about their preferred pronouns and what their identities mean to them. They also understand why putting pronouns in email signatures is important.
  • We wear our LGBT Youth Scotland lanyards with pride in our offices and when we’re networking at events/working in the community We celebrate and promote LGBT Youth Scotland social media awareness days across our social media, including LGBT+ History Month and Pride in June.

A staff member said: “Going through the Charter Process has made me, and the whole Fast Forward Team, think about how we engage with young LGBTQ+ people. It has also enabled discussions regarding how we engage with young people with other protected characteristics. It has been a very interesting and informative process, towards Fast Forward becoming a truly inclusive organisation.”

What’s next?

While we’re so proud to have achieved the LGBT Charter Silver Award, we won’t be sitting on our laurels! We’ll continue to work hard to keep inclusivity at the centre of Fast Forward, including:

  • Regularly reviewing and updating policies and practices – keeping up to date on legislative changes
  • Continuing to provide team training and opportunities for discussion
  • New staff members will be briefed on our inclusivity measures
  • Regularly checking in on our progress to embed our learnings into our workplace culture
We very much see the benefits and look forward to continuing Fast Forward’s journey with LGBT Youth Scotland.
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