Emerging Leaders project for HouseProud

Three of our staff, including myself, are working on an Emerging Leaders project for HouseProud which aims to improve the services Notting Hill Genesis provides as a landlord to residents from the LGBTQ+ community. In this update I’ll explain what each of the team has set out to do and what we’ve achieved so far, and how you can give us your feedback through our online survey.

My colleague Michelle Russell is focusing on resident engagement. She’s already had some encouraging wins, including securing a consistent approach with the resident engagement meetings and the successful recruitment of the Resident Chair, which has proven very challenging in the past. The next phase for Michelle is to work on a framework to ensure all parties have a clear pathway and clarity of their roles going forward, after our Emerging Leaders programme is finished.

My other colleague Francesca Walton has been very busy with activities to mark LGBT+ History Month. She has published an allies self-education page on our staff intranet with the aim of raising awareness amongst staff of the challenges and social inequalities faced by the LGBTQ+ community. We hope this list of resources will equip staff with the knowledge to step up as allies to their LGBTQ+ friends, colleagues and of course our residents. Francesca has also organised a ‘watch party’ for the award-winning comedy, Tangerine. This will be an after-work live streaming of a film where staff can live-chat during the film and join a discussion afterwards to talk about some of the issues raised. Tangerine has received critical acclaim for its screenplay, direction, performances and portrayal of transgender individuals.

As part of her awareness raising, Francesca has designed and circulated a feedback questionnaire to frontline staff to identify their LGBTQ+ training needs. She has started a conversation with our Contracts, Policy and Procurement teams, aiming to build minimum requirements for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) policy and training into our contracts for non-NHG staff, along with a method of regularly auditing compliance. She has also designed and will host a quiz at February’s meeting of the NHG’s LGBTQ+ Residents Forum, to provide residents with an opportunity for greater social interaction during lockdown.

Finally, my own part in the HouseProud project. I’ve been working on distributing the HouseProud logo and news of our accreditation to residents. Posters advertising the LGBTQ+ forum have gone up in many of our estates and care and support communal areas, with plans of more to come. The logo is now on recruitment advertisements on our website which shows potential employees this is part of our values at NHG and gives residents peace of mind that inclusivity is something we take into consideration from the very start of our recruitment process.

My next step will be asking staff to include the logo in their email signatures, to show our support more widely. I’m also looking at our staff policies and making sure these are up-to-date and mirror our commitment to the initiative.

Michelle, Francesca and I have launched a survey, open to all our LGBTQ+ residents, that allows you to give feedback on how you feel Notting Hill Genesis is supporting your needs and wellbeing. We would love you to tell us how we can improve in the future. To take part please click here and complete by 8 March.