It was a sensational Saturday on Saturday 13th August, as staff from across Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) revelled in the Wigan Pride 2022 celebrations when they joined hundreds of people in glorious conditions in Wigan town centre for the year’s biggest Wigan Borough LGBTQIA+ event.
As headline sponsors for the event, WWL staff were led out in the Wigan Pride parade by Chair, Mark Jones and Director of Strategy and Planning Richard Mundon, whilst Director of Corporate Affairs, Paul Howard and LGBTQIA+ Network Chair, Joseph Usher, addressed the huge crowd on the Unity Stage. Deputy Chief Executive, Mary Fleming, was also in attendance, alongside more than 70 colleagues representing WWL.
The carnival atmosphere was a sight to behold, but most importantly, the Trust had the opportunity to put the people of Wigan Borough at the forefront of the day, providing health advice and support to partygoers, as well as listening to valuable opinions, suggesting and concerns from those who use WWL’s services.
Advice and free sexual health testing was provided by WWL’s Health Outreach and Inclusion Team, and the Trust’s Breast Screening Team were on hand to offer support on how to access their services. Attendees also had the chance to register their interest in employment and volunteering opportunities at WWL.
Speaking about the event, Paul Howard, who is also WWL’s Executive Sponsor for LGBTQIA+ Inclusion, said:
“It was a real hive of activity, energy and vitality at Wigan Pride and I was delighted to see so many colleagues from WWL attending and adding to the party atmosphere, especially as our headline sponsorship was the first of its kind for the event.
“Whilst Pride is a big celebration of people coming together in love and friendship, it was also an excellent opportunity for us to interact with the public directly, offering our services on the day and learning from people’s experiences of accessing health services with us, so that we could hear first-hand about any challenges they face.
“I have been absolutely blown away by the level of support for Wigan Pride at WWL, not only on the day, but in the build-up with all the decorations around our sites as well. We are committed to being an inclusive organisation for our patients and our staff, not only for the LGBTQIA+ community, but for everyone. Being truly inclusive is our mission and will allow us to provide the best standard of care possible to our patients.
“On behalf of everyone at WWL, I’d like to thank the organisers of Wigan Pride, Wigan Council and all the partners who helped to make the event possible, with a special thank you to everyone from WWL who has supported Wigan Pride this year and continues to support our LGBTQIA+ community.”
WWL’s Chair of the Board of Directors, Mark Jones, who led colleagues along the parade route, added:
“It was magnificent to see so many people celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community at Wigan Pride this year and a thoroughly well-organised and enjoyable afternoon in Wigan.
“I had the privilege of leading out more than 60 colleagues from WWL in the parade itself, and it filled me with a great sense of pride to be able to do so.
“The way in which the Trust has embraced Wigan Pride this year is a great example of how important equality, diversity and inclusion is to everyone who works for WWL. It’s vital that people in the Wigan Borough are reassured that we are part of the community, we are here for you, and we are continually working hard to make sure our services are accessible for all.”
To find out more about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at WWL, please visit www.wwl.nhs.uk/equality-diversity-and-inclusion-strategy