North Ayrshire Women’s Aid Receives LGBT Inclusion Award

North Ayrshire Women’s Aid were awarded an LGBT Charter Mark on the 25th of September 2014 and commended for their readiness to support transgender women

The LGBT Charter Mark is an initiative developed by LGBT Youth Scotland which guides organisations to take steps in becoming inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The process looks at key areas including policy, staff training, resources, and staff practice and monitoring of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Cara Spence from LGBT Youth Scotland attended their Annual General Meeting at the Menzies Hotel in Irvine and commended them for their approach to partnership working, their equalities statement that’s embedded into their policies and visible on their website, as well as their commitment to staff training which included a full day of transgender awareness training. Reflecting on the organisations journey Helen Aitkin from North Ayrshire Women’s Aid said: ‘As feminist organisation, lesbian women were in with the bricks but supporting transgender women was really new to us.’

As part of LGBT Youth Scotland’s assessment process young people from the Voices Unheard project visited the service to review its progress, it was clear that the organisation had made meaningful steps towards an LGBT inclusive service. In their review they noted that staff ‘knew what they were talking about’ and were impressed by their honestly and ability to recognise the challenges they faced.

Cara Spence from LGBT Youth Scotland said: ‘We’re delighted to present a Bronze LGBT Charter Mark award. It shows that single sex services can and should be inclusive of transgender women. It’s been a pleasure to work with them.’