As part of our EMBRACE Project, SAND is looking at developing Workplace Champions and, in 2020 – pre-Covid, we started working with Shropshire Partners in Care (SPIC) on a sub-project, a pilot, working with organisations and their internal ‘leaders’ to structure and embed meaningful change for LGBT+ people to access health and social care.

The ‘Whole System’ pilot project is funded by Health Education England and aims to develop a whole system approach to supporting LGBT+ people to access Health and Social Care across Shropshire’, with a particular emphasis on older LGBT+ people in the first instance. The project will engage organisational leaders and senior staff to work with SAND to change the way that community-facing health and social care service providers approach equality, diversity and inclusion.

It aims to:

  • Raise awareness and understanding of the lives and experiences of LGBT+ people, in particular their hopes and fears as they age
  • Bring organisations together to explore shared issues and solutions
  • Promote a change of culture for health and social care professionals and settings
  • Share and explore how learning is transferable and scalable for other groups who experience exclusion, prejudice and fewer good health outcomes

The first stages of this project were delayed due to Covid19 and took place in Oct – Dec 2020. These involved a series of 3 x 2 (90 minute) online “Awareness and Information” workshops. SPIC managed the outreach, recruitment and administration of these and SAND managed content and delivery. These will be followed, in 2021, with theme specific workshops expanding on issues relevant to the health and social care setting.

SAND will also offer regular ‘in conversation’ online sessions, to further knowledge and share experiences with other organisations and teams.

Participants in the workshops can choose to go forward with SAND to work together to explore their own organisational practice, identifying critical points where older and old LGBT+ people may experience inclusion or exclusion and what needs to happen to create meaningful change.