Last Saturday (6 July) saw colleagues from across NELFT come together to celebrate the annual Pride in London parade, marching side-by-side with our LGBT+ colleagues and allies to celebrate pride and diversity in London.
The annual parade, the culmination of the month long 'Pride festival', which saw over 100 events across London, saw over 30,000 people from all parts of the LGBT+ community come together to march through the capital to " celebrate, protest and stand up for equality" (Pride in London, 2019)
The 'Pride Jubilee' was especially significant as it marked 50 years since the Stonewall Uprising: the moment which sparked the modern Pride movement. For many people who were walking, this was a chance to honour 50 years of activism, protests and victories that have made Pride what it is today. Reflecting on what the day represents, Stephanie Dawe, chief nurse and executive director of integrated care Essex and Kent, said:
"It is wonderful to see how far we have come and how different the world is now since the Stonewall uprising. There is still so much we can all do to help support the LGBT+ community and I felt proud to be able to walk alongside my colleagues, family and friends in NELFT"
This is the third year that NELFT have walked in the 'Pride in London' parade and we welcomed around 30 NELFT colleagues and friends to walk through Central London, helping to showcase our committment and support to our LGBT colleagues.
Alongside the thousands of supporters watching the parade, our colleagues were there to hand out balloons, sunglasses and shake hands with the crowd of wellwishers who were chanting 'NHS' in support of both NELFT and our NHS peers who were also marching, including NHS England and London Ambulance Service.
Of the day Margaret Heraghty, associate director of quality and patient safety, said:
Having attended many Pride parades over the years, all over the country, Pride in London is always extra special to me. To be able to walk alongside my colleagues, from a range of corporate, children's, adults and mental health, showcasing our wonderfully diverse, enigmatic workforce made me feel proud to work for NELFT. As always it was fabulous to hear the crowd cheering for all NHS services"
To learn more about our LGBT+ network and our equality, diversity and inclusion networks, please visit https://www.nelft.nhs.uk/about-us-equality-and-diversity.