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LGBT+ History Month
1st – 28th February 2024

It’s Good to Feel Included!

At Guardian Angel Carers, we believe that outstanding things are possible when the culture naturally includes Diversity, Equality and inclusion (DE&I). These shouldn’t be difficult to introduce as we should be organically making these changes each and every day. 

From when I started at Guardian Angel Carers as a Housekeeper ten years ago to becoming a Managing Director last year, the inclusivity I’ve received over that time has been imperative to my growth and continued wellbeing”, says Vikki Craig-Vickers.

At its core, Care is a world where people care about the person: who they are, what they need and how they can be supported to live their best possible life. So, as employers we want to match up to that in our values and culture. We need to be open to doing everything possible to create an inclusive environment and a place where everyone can thrive and be themselves.

“Guardian Angel Carers are particularly supportive in this area,” adds Vikki “I’ve never felt as included as I do here. When I married my wife in 2018, only four years after it was legalised in England and Wales, the team supported me wholeheartedly. The same can also be said for my entire IVF journey over the last five years”.

Vikki’s positive experiences are something she hopes can inspire others. And she’s clear that she wants to continue to build on that legacy to ensure Guardian Angel Carers stays ahead of the curve. “Equality and inclusion (DE&I) are vital in achieving high performance and wellbeing for everyone,” she says. 

LGBTQ Article image

So, with February dedicated to LGBTQ+ History Month, Vikki has been reflecting on how far we’ve come and how far we’ve still got to. And how honouring it can make a meaningful difference to employees.

The celebration was first introduced following the repeal of Section 28, the law banning the ‘promotion of homosexuality’ by local authorities, including teaching in schools. Although this took place over 20 years ago, which may seem a significant time frame, changes are only slowly coming into effect. “I still find it incredible to think that LGBTQ+ people in England and Wales were only counted for the first time in the 2021 Census,” says Vikki. 

It’s clear the LGBTQ+ community’s activism, civil rights movements and campaigning for equality and freedom is still needed. Raising awareness and building understanding are at the heart of that and are as crucial as ever to drive the opportunity for inclusivity. 

IOW Pride

It feels apt, then, that in her first year as Managing Director of G A Carers Franchises, the LGBTQ+ History Month’s theme is ‘medicine’, #UnderTheScope. It’s an opportunity to highlight the work and lives of historical LGBTQ+ people who’ve worked in medicine, including homecare

Vikki has chosen to share the story of LGBTQ+ icon, Margarethe Cammermeyer, an American military nurse who positively prescribed real social change.

As employers we need to be ahead of this curve, we need to ensure we are doing everything possible to be as inclusive as we can.

Diversity, Equality and inclusion (DE&I) are vital in achieving high performance and wellbeing, honouring LGBT+ History Month makes a meaningful difference to employees. “Having started at Guardian Angel Carers as a housekeeper 10 years ago and now finding myself the Managing Director, the inclusivity I have received over that decade has been imperative to my growth and continued wellbeing”. Vikki Craig-Vickers.

LGBT+ History month’s theme this year is ‘medicine’, #UnderTheScope. Highlighting the work and lives of historical LGBT+ people who worked in medicine, including healthcare.

A LGBT+ Medical Icon to Highlight

Margarethe Cammermeyer, is a former military nurse who also served as a Colonel in the Washington National Guard. In 1989, when responding to a routine security clearance question, she disclosed that she was a lesbian, prompting the National Guard to discharge her in 1992. Margarethe began a lawsuit against the decision, which she won and returned to serve in the military until she retired in 1997. Her case resulted in the military implementing a ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy which prohibited soldiers from disclosing their sexuality whilst in the military. She campaigned publicly against this and fought for its repeal until long after she retired. In 2011 the law was revoked and LGBTQ + soldiers were openly allowed to serve in the US military.

Margarethe Cammermeyer

At Guardian Angel Carers we want everyone in our workplace to feel valued, respected and treated fairly. “Rather than acting as if everyone is the same, we like to embrace our differences and learn from one another”. 

Creating a workplace, where we can appreciate all our colleagues’ different perspectives and experiences, and take pride in our diverse workforce. It enhances our lives and all we do. Every unique viewpoint supports us in providing outstanding, compassionate care and in continuing to innovate and better understand and connect with all our clients’ needs and wants.

“It’s about bringing people together and listening to one another. Having open and honest conversations and providing the space for this to be possible” suggests Vikki. “Not just limiting our DE&I to those calendar moments, such as History Month and Pride but bringing it into the everyday.

What can you do?

Talk 

If you are LGBTQ+ and want to share your experience or need some support, reach out. If you are unsure of who in your team is best to speak to then contact National Office and we can help steer you in the right direction.

Learn  

Everyone is different, talk to colleagues and learn about their unique experiences. Not only are you then developing your own knowledge, you are learning how different people want to be valued and included. 

Change

Be prepared to change your outlook, we have all been exposed to unconscious bias, through ways we have been brought up and learning from our surroundings, but you can change this by opening your mind to others point of views.