Sam Pepper, Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Manager, Exemplar Health Care
At Exemplar Health Care, we’re proud of our diverse colleague and service user community, and proud of the work we’re doing to provide an inclusive workplace culture where everyone can maximise their full potential.
Our Colleague Groups are just one of the ways we aim to develop a sense of belonging across our care homes and central services.
Over the past year we’re proud to have set up four groups for colleagues.
- A Proud Place (LGBTQIA+) Colleague Group
- Armed Forces and Veterans Colleague Group
- Parent and Care Givers Colleague Group
- Health and Abilities Colleague Group
Through the groups, we want to improve inclusivity, tackle discrimination and eliminate unconscious bias.
They provide a source of support for colleagues and a safe space to discuss issues, and offer a collective voice for our workforce to communicate with our senior leaders and managers.
The groups give people the opportunity to share their ideas and experiences, and discuss any issues they’re facing, either at work or in their home life.
Already, the groups are having a big impact on our colleagues.
Sarah, Chair of the Parent and Care Givers Group, shares: “I’m Sarah, an Activities Co-ordinator at Lakeview and also a Mum to a 16 month old ball of energy – and I’m not afraid to say that it’s hard!
“It’s safe to say that the past two years have been the hardest of my life, but also the most rewarding. Lockdown hit the day after I went for my 20 week scan and from that moment on, what was expected and supposed to be the happiest time of my life, became covered in a dark cloud of stress, uncertainty and fear.
“I’m hopeful that the trauma I’ve felt, the sadness I’m overcoming and the experiences I’ve had so far as a Mum might just mean something more and that I can help get myself and others the support that we so desperately need and deserve.”
Another colleague who’s benefited from being part of a Colleague Group is Lianne, Trainee Nurse Associate at Lakeview and Carer for her partner and Dad.
“I’ve worked at Lakeview since it first opened and have progressed from a Health Care Assistant to a Team Leader, and I’m currently a Trainee Nurse Associate.
“Outside of work, I’m a Carer as my partner had an injury two years ago which left him disabled and my dad had a brain haemorrhage over 10 years ago which left him with many disabilities.
“I want to be part of the Colleague Group as I want to be there for other colleagues, to listen to them, point them in the right direction for support and ensure that their voices are heard.
“I have an understanding of how difficult it can be both in and out of work, and I believe that the Colleague Groups are a positive way of ensuring that, as a team, we’re doing all we can to ensure every day is better for service users and colleagues.”