15 May 2020
An inclusive and welcoming environment for all
My name is Sean McCloskey and I am home manager at Nelson Lodge care home in St Neots. I am also co-chair of the Rainbow network, alongside Zoey Thomas.
I think dates like the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (17 May 2020) are just as important to recognise as ever.
It is sad that these phobias continue in the 21st century, and it is important to raise awareness and make clear that they have no place in any workplace, especially not at Anchor Hanover.
I am a strong believer that there are many benefits to ensuring every workplace is an inclusive and welcoming environment for all, to both colleagues and the business.
At Nelson Lodge we make sure that all colleagues and residents are made welcome and that the importance of inclusion is made clear as part of our five-day induction during.
I see it as an important part of my role to actively promote this kind of environment. I make sure that I am open about my own sexual orientation and proud to be myself, encouraging all my colleagues to do the same. We are a hugely diverse team, including our very own Drag Queen!
We make sure there are a diverse range of events and activities available for our residents. For example, we are starting a ‘Diamond Club’ which will meet at Nelson Lodge once a month. The Diamond club is an LGBTQ+ coffee club open to colleagues, residents and also advertised in the local community. We hope this will encourage local people to visit our home and get to know us. Hopefully once they’ve seen what we are about, some of those visitors may choose to live or work with us in the future.
We do a lot of our advertising through word of mouth to make sure we get the best local staff, and we have found that people want to work with us because they know about the kind of environment we promote. The staff that have started work at Nelsons Lodge have made such a huge impact to the lives of all our residents, but particularly those who identify as LGBTQ+.
Some people worry that older people may be less accepting of LGBT+ colleagues or activities at their locations, but this is not my experience at all.
No one should have to hide their sexual orientation, and in my experience older people are very understanding of this. It is commonplace now to see same-sex couples in the community, on TV and in films, and many older people have family and friends that are part of the LGBTQ+ community. It is a great relief for residents who are LGBTQ+ to know that they can be themselves and be proud in their home.
We are so lucky at Anchor Hanover to have networks that celebrate and support diversity. There are four different networks here and I am really pleased to be part of the network to support LGBTQ+ staff employed by Anchor Hanover. I've found the Rainbow network really useful and as co-chair I’d encourage other colleagues to get involved too.
Sean McCloskey is the home manager at Nelson Lodge care home in St Neots