New partnership aims to boost trans support across Cheshire

Cheshire’s police and fire and rescue services will work together to provide better support for transgender people.

Apr 23, 2018
By Kevin Hearty

The two agencies have partnered with charity Stonewall to introduce a one-day training programme aimed at creating better allies for the trans community.

The ‘Trans Allies’ course will help officers and staff better understand how they can tackle discrimination and better include trans people at work.

Cheshire Constabulary has already been recognised by Stonewall as one of the leading employers for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality in the country – and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service was ranked even higher.

The announcement comes as the charity revealed non-binary people face “alarming” levels of prejudice at work and in their everyday lives.

That anyone should be discriminated against in this day and age for their gender identity or sexual orientation is completely unacceptable.

Acting Chief Constable Janette McCormick said: “We have put a real focus on our LGBT+ communities in recent years and this has been reflected through our ranking in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers list.

“We are delighted to be one of the first organisations in the country to be a launch partner for the Trans Allies Programme and it’s fantastic to be teaming up with our fire colleagues as part of our ongoing collaboration work.

“That anyone should be discriminated against in this day and age for their gender identity or sexual orientation is completely unacceptable, and we hope that by partnering with Stonewall on this programme we can play our part in promoting equality both in the workplace and in communities across Cheshire.”

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service was rated the fourth best employer for LGBT inclusiveness in the country in Stonewall’s 2018 Top 100 report.

Meanwhile, Cheshire Constabulary was ranked 26th – the highest of any police force.

Figures released by Stonewall earlier this year showed 51 per cent of trans people have hidden their identity at work to avoid abuse.

One in eight trans people told the charity that they had been physically attacked by colleagues or customers.

Paul Hancock, chief fire officer and chief executive of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said he hopes the initiative will empower officers to stand up and challenge prejudice.

Stonewall’s director of empowerment programmes, Sanjay Sood-Smith, added: “We are looking forward to building on this extremely positive [work] to create more inclusive workplaces across Britain.”

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