Statements for all staff from CEO and EDI team

Support for colleagues affected by events in Afghanistan - 6 September 2021

You will have witnessed some of the devastating events unfolding in Afghanistan, through the media and through personal stories from family, friends, colleagues and from patients and carers directly, who are concerned about family and friends in Afghanistan.  In addition to this, some service users/colleagues who are from other countries, but have had similar experiences, are dealing with their own trauma and experiences triggered by the current situation.  We wanted to reach out to our colleagues and inform them of the support available to them.

For our colleagues affected by the events unfolding in Afghanistan, KeepingWellNEL is also here to support you, your colleagues, or loved ones. It is understandable to be either concerned or anxious for the safety of others and sometimes it can also be upsetting, with not being able to do more with living and working abroad.

KeepingWellNEL offers independent confidential one to one emotional wellbeing listening support over your preferred communication method, be it a SMS, voice or video call or our digital chat platform.

As part of our listening offer, we can also make referrals for talking therapies or other aspects of wellbeing support as needed. Any referrals we make are fast tracked to ensure that help is provided at the earliest opportunity. 

Our wellbeing and resilience ambassadors are trained in various psychological interventions and can support with brief psychological input as appropriate. 

We are open Monday to Saturday 8am-8pm. The best way to get in touch with us is via SMS, call or live health chat on website, you can complete a call back request at your preferred time to fit with your work or family commitments.

If you contact us during our opening times, you can send a message via the chat box or we will initiate a conversation with you using the same method.  You can also text us on +447723 484839. All conversations are strictly confidential.

Colleagues can also reach out to Harjit K Bansal, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (Equality&  to find out more about support services available locally in the areas that you live in. 

You can also contact the Ethnic Minority Staff Network Ambassadors, via ( for support. Dr Laura Gilkinson, Clinical Psychologist, has gathered information about local services and working in partnership with local services to carry on supporting families/service users through the work of the Refugee Services.

Share Afghan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme Helpline
+44 (0)2475 389980
The helpline is available 24/7 from Monday 9am onwards

Share info for Veterans
Events in #Afghanistan may evoke difficult memories for veterans. Help is available:

  • @SSAFA – 0800 260 6767
  • @CombatStress – 0800 323 4444
  • @foryoubyyou – 0800 056 2424

Joint statement from NELFT CEO and the NELFT LGBT+ Staff Network regarding Stonewall - 21 June 2021

Over recent weeks there have been public debates regarding trans and non-binary rights, further intensified by the publication of articles in relation to these debates. In response to this we would like to reassure all our LGBT+ colleagues, service users and carers that we take the rights of all our colleagues with the upmost seriousness. Ensuring all our colleagues, service users, and carers feel respected and safe and are treated with dignity and respect is at the heart of all we do. Our NELFT value of putting people first is a value that we hope is demonstrated by all colleagues across the Trust and if you do not see this value in action then please do feel like you can challenge this and speak up.

In particular we want to reassure our trans colleagues in NELFT that we stand against transphobia. We are working hard through our LGBT+ Network and our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) team reviewing our existing policies and developing new anti-discriminatory policies to support us as an organisation to further embed allyship across NELFT. The work of the LGBT+ Staff Network has been vital in allowing us to better understand the needs of colleagues and to put actions in place to address these needs, continuing to build our open and inclusive culture.

Part of the public debate has been focused on the Equalities Minister’s call for all public sector bodies to quit Stonewall's Diversity Champion scheme. Through PRIDE and 30 years of campaigns, Stonewall has been essential to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ communities across the UK. As part of NELFT's commitment to provide equity, support and safe spaces for LGBT+ colleagues, we, like many other Trusts partnered with Stonewall and participate in their Diversity Champion Scheme to decrease homophobia and transphobia amongst staff and patient.

With the development of the NHS Rainbow Badge Scheme we have been reviewing our partnership with Stonewall to ensure we are getting best value for staff and as more information about the NHS Rainbow Badge scheme becomes available we will evaluate both schemes to determine which best suits our staff and the communities we serve. We recognise the great work the charity has done and remain wholeheartedly committed to removing LGBT+ discrimination in collaboration with our LGBT+ Staff Network, EDI team, service users, local organisations, NHS England and other experts.

A message from Chief Executive Oliver Shanley, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team, and the Ethnic Minority Staff Network (EMN) - 3 June 2020

The recent events, following the unlawful death of George Floyd caused by an American police officer, have ignited anger and a call for an end to racism and injustice for black people. Both our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) team and the Ethnic Minority Staff Network ambassadors are reaching out to colleagues who may be feeling anxious, distressed, worried or even afraid, as a result of those events added on to the impact of COVID-19 on black and ethnic minority groups. 

Chief Executive Oliver Shanley and the executive management team’s message is very clear:

“As a Trust, we do not tolerate racism and hate crime. NELFT is a place where we want all staff to feel safe, protected and listened to. We are an organisation that is proud of its diversity and the talents our colleagues bring to our Trust and the diverse communities we serve.”   

If you wish to share your feelings or talk to someone, we are here to support you. You can contact the members of the EDI team (Harjit, Michael and Mariya), the EMN Ambassadors or our staff support services. You can also speak in confidence to the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian. 

The EDI team in partnership with the Ethnic Minority Network, would be happy to organise a webinar which will act as a safe space for staff to share their feeling and emotions. Details on this will follow in due course. While this is being organised, we ask managers locally to create a safe space for their team members to share concerns and worries or to seek support from any of the services listed below.

Remember we are all in this together. We support you and are here for you. Black Lives Matter. 

If you are feeling worried or distressed, or would like someone to talk to, support is here for you. 

Contact our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team:

Speak with our EMN ambassadors:

Get in touch with our NELFT staff support services:

Contact our Freedom to Speak Up Guardian