New rainbow crossings installed at Sheffield NHS sites show 'hate is not welcome here'

The NHS in Sheffield has taken the next step in its commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusivity by opening new ‘rainbow crossings’ at three of its main sites this week.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 2:39 pm

Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust has installed the new rainbow crossings to proudly showcase its support for LGBTQ+ rights and inclusivity.

The crossings have been fitted at Michael Carlisle Centre in Nether Edge, Longley Centre in Fir Vale and Forest Close and Lodge near Middlewood.

Dr Justin Gardner, speciality doctor and co-chair of the Trust’s Rainbow staff network group, said: “Even though we’re living in the 21st century we know that lack of acceptance about people’s gender identity and sexual orientation still has a really big impact on people’s mental and physical wellbeing, and also effects their confidence in accessing services when they need it.

Mark Walton, Kat Taylor, Paul Palfreeman, Nomagugu Mujakachi, Katie Bray, Michelle Burton, Janice Humphrey, Andy Whiteley, Flo Konza, Alex McKeen and Barbara Wright.

“As a gay man who’s worked in the NHS for the last 25 years, I’m so proud we can promise people when they come to our services that they will be accepted without judgment and supported regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The openings saw 42 staff gather to pose with the crossings, cut the ribbon and celebrate.

Henry Harrison, governance officer and co-chair of a Rainbow group set up to give LGBTQ+ staff and allies a voice in the trust , said: “For me seeing that rainbow crossing it shows that the Trust is supporting me, that my local workplace is supporting me and that the service is supporting everybody in the LGBTQ+ community. It means patients who fall into that community are going to be welcomed, feel safe and that they’re seeing that simple sign to know that their care is going to be what matters to us.”

Michael Rennison, assistant psychiatrist at Forest Lodge, added: “It’s about the feeling of safety to know that my sexuality, my personality, everything like that is always going to be safe and not judged for who I am and what I am. It also gives that view that hate is not welcome here and I think that’s really important.”

Mark Walton, Kat Taylor, Paul Palfreeman, Nomagugu Mujakachi, Katie Bray, Michelle Burton, Janice Humphrey, Andy Whiteley, Flo Konza, Alex McKeen and Barbara Wright.
Justin Gardner, Helen Goodson, Wendy Clark and Barbara Molteno.
Justin Gardner, Helen Goodson, Wendy Clark, Barbara Molteno, Kelly Middleton and Richard Mills.
Janet Furniss, Henry Harrison and Michael Rennison.