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North East Charities Announce Training Programme To Create ‘Proud Allies’ In The Culture And Hospitality Sectors

TWO North East-based charities committed to championing and developing LGBTQIA+ arts, artists, and communities, has re-launched ‘Proud Allies’, a new training programme to further increase allyship and inclusion for the LGBTQIA+ community in cultural venues, the hospitality sector and in work places across the UK and internationally.

The ‘Proud Allies’ training programme, a collaboration between Curious Arts and Northern Pride, uses data and insights combined with an interactive, creative approach to learning. The team has already delivered courses to over 2500 people across the UK and the globe, and the charities hope that the launch of this updated programme will drive noticeable change when it comes to creating warm and welcoming spaces for LGBTQIA+ people.

Phil Douglas, chief executive of Curious Arts said, “This training is instrumental for venues and organisations looking to empower and educate their teams when it comes to what it means to be an LGBTQIA+ ally. We have already delivered to organisations across a wide range of sectors, including The National Trust, Newcastle City and Middlesbrough Council, Sunderland Culture, The Office of the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, and Cleveland Police. We have delivered our training sessions to high-profile businesses across the region, the wider UK and overseas including Twitch (Amazon), Sky, Museums Galleries Scotland, Crafts Council, New College Durham, Tees Valley Museums, National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, Engage London and Newcastle United FC and we have already started to recruit new members of the training team to fulfil the growing demand.”

The training is shaped and presented by a representative team of professionals from the LGBTQIA+ community who have varied lived experiences, and has been designed to build confidence in creating safe, inclusive, and welcoming environments for LGBTQIA+ people.

Proud Allies is an accessible, informative, and interactive learning experience designed to increase awareness and understanding of intersectional communities, culture, and is a practical way for organisations to invest in their employees and demonstrate their commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The relaunch of the training comes at a challenging time for LGBTQIA+ communities as we witness a rise in anti lgbt sentiment, eroding of rights and increased hate crimes. The training shares the social and political picture of life for LGBTQIA+ people, along with key learning and tools to support teams to be active in their allyship, covering a range of topics, from opening up the basics when it comes to acronyms and inclusive language, exploring how gender identity and expression can empower everyone, whilst also looking to historical milestones and how legislation and activism can impact the creation of safer, more welcoming spaces.

Joanne Mulvihill-Allen, Academic Development Officer at Open College of the Arts (OCA) added, “At the Open College of the Arts we aim to provide a learning and teaching environment in which all members of our community feel safe and respected. The training introduced our learners and staff to the importance of providing positive and inclusive spaces for LGBTQIA+ communities. It was a fantastic opportunity, delivered in a friendly and professional manner which has had an ongoing impact in raising awareness, and increasing confidence around the use of inclusive language, helping us to be more proactive, accessible, and informed.”

Kim McGuinness, Northumbria Police, and Crime Commissioner added “The training has been transformational for our organisation, and the team is still talking about it today.”

Whilst suitable for all organisations who are committed to championing LGBTQIA+ inclusion, there are added benefits for those working in public-facing roles, front of the house, customer service, marketing, HR, management teams, and board members or trustees. Sessions can be delivered in-person or online, for a small team or an entire company.

Proud Allies training is available from £1100 +VAT for a course for 16 people, with discounts for block bookings and for qualifying organisations. For more information visit the Northern Pride or Curious Arts website.