Volunteer initiative paves the way to an inclusive community RS News

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Tenants co-produce resources to better understand LGBT+ older adults

TENANTS of a leading housing and care provider are playing a vital role in creating a diverse and inclusive community.

Bield’s Equality Network members have co-produced a “terms guide” resource to help educate others and ensure services meet the needs of LGBT+ tenants.

The volunteer-run group focuses on inclusion and fosters a safe and social environment by bringing like-minded tenants together to create a social space where they are encouraged to share their experiences and ideas.

Zhan McIntyre, Bield’s Head of Client Policy and Standards, said: “The new resource has been delivered to all members of staff and is also available across all Bield developments in Scotland.

“The resource covers why improving our understanding of our LGBT+ tenants helps us demonstrate our values ​​of equality and diversity, kindness and caring.

“As a group historically subject to bias and discrimination, we must take additional steps to ensure Bield is a welcoming organization for LGBT+ tenants in practice and perception, and that our developments are safe for them.

“The guide is available to help colleagues and tenants understand the different terms and gives an overview of gender pronouns. We hope it removes any uncertainty about the appropriate language to use when interacting with members of the LGBT+ community.

“Our Equality Network has played a key role in developing this resource and has used their own personal experiences to ensure that all information is up to date and reflects real challenges.

“In addition to this resource, we also launched our Senior Rainbow Network this year to promote inclusion, celebrate diversity, support marginalized groups, and ultimately end the stigmas surrounding these communities.”

The Rainbow Network of Older People meets monthly to explore the experiences of LGBT+ older people living in social housing and discuss practical steps that can be taken to help promote inclusion and celebrate diversity.

The group is open to all LGBT+ tenants in sheltered and retirement homes across Scotland, not just Bield tenants, as well as any ally who is interested in making a difference for LGBT+ tenants.

Anyone interested in attending the virtual group should contact [email protected] to receive a link to the meeting.

Bield is a registered charity dedicated to providing flexible living solutions and support for older people. Field Housing and Care has 180 developments across Scotland, providing independent living for people aged 55 and over.

To find out more about Bield, visit https://www.bield.co.uk/housing-and-other-services or follow them on Facebook @bieldhousingandcare and Twitter @BieldScotland

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