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CEO of Empowerment Mike Crowther reflects on Pride month

Empowerment’s vision is, ‘To work alongside people in Blackpool and the Fylde Coast who feel they have no voice and are not listened to; so that they are empowered to bring about real and positive change to their own lives and the lives of others.’ Crucial to our vision being made a reality, is genuinely listening to people whose voices are never heard.

As we come to end of Pride Month we remember that the battle for Kindness, Justice and Equality in our LGBTQ community goes on. As I write, the African country, Gabon has just voted to decriminalise homosexuality. However, there are still many countries where homosexuality remains illegal. Although legal in this country, people from the LBBTQ community still experience prejudice and bigotry each and every day and we can’t stop until that is a thing of the past.

Here at Empowerment, we work hard to ensure that the voices of people who are not being listened to; are heard and acted upon. Without being heard and rights being respected, then situations of injustice arise and remain. The challenge to ourselves here at Empowerment is this… Have we truly been listening to the voices of the LGBTQ community here in Blackpool? Are we an inclusive work place? Do LGBTQ people know about us and the support we provide. And if they do, do they feel confident in engaging with our support? Over the next few months we are committing ourselves to actively seeking out those voices so that they can be genuinely heard by us and responded to meaningfully, which means we have to be prepared to change. As a clear sign of our commitment, we have just made the decision to work towards the Lancashire LGBT Quality Mark, (https://lancslgbt.org.uk/for-professionals/)

If we are to work towards justice for LGBTQ people in Blackpool and the Fylde Coast, we have to start with ourselves!

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