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Victoria Grace McKensie


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Blog: Proud to welcome in Pride

June marks the start of Pride season. Let’s be proud of our achievements over the years on LGBT+ inclusion, and make sure we keep equality at the heart of everything UNISON does.

UNISON’s LGBT+ members bring so much to our union, and make it a diverse, wonderful organisation to join and to work for.

A year on from the last time I wrote about Pride month, it’s sad that such little progress has been made in our society and even worse, that in some ways, the UK government is taking huge leaps backwards.

One in five LGBT+ people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months.

Attacks on and discrimination against LGBT+ people seem to constantly be on the rise, and Trans people are being used in a game of political football, with little regard for their feelings or their voices.

But within UNISON, we’ve a lot to be proud of. Our Trans equality training has been delivered to many branches and regions, with over 600 members now having taken part. Our trans activist network has doubled and are delivering a ‘train the trainer’ workshops for trans activists to keep up with the demand.

During LGBT+ history month in February, we lit up UNISON Centre in Pride colours and, as this year is UNISON’s Year of Black Workers, we celebrated our Black LGBT+ activists, both from our past and present.

So I want all our LGBT+ members to stay hopeful. UNISON is here, campaigning for urgent action by governments to combat rising inequality and to put adequate funding into specialist LGBT+ services.

We’re here, campaigning for the abolition of conversion therapy and to encourage inclusion, make more allies for the LGBT+ community and to always show solidarity.

Let’s be proud of our achievements over the years on LGBT+ inclusion, and make sure we keep equality at the heart of everything UNISON does.

Happy Pride season everyone. Stay fabulous.

The bulletin for UNISON's 2023 National LGBT+ Conference is available from the following URL:


Find out the practical steps to further LGBTQ+ equality and improve the experiences of LGBTQ+ people in Wales | Cysylltwch am y llyfryn Cymraeg

The LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales: Next Steps Conference
Wednesday 19th July 2023
09:00 - 13:30

Dear ,

The Welsh Government wants to make Wales the most LGBTQ+ friendly nation in Europe. How does your organisation fit into delivering this vision?

The recently published LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales* sets out a wide range of policy-specific actions relating to workplaces, human rights, education, safety, housing, health and social care, sport, culture, and community cohesion.

Attend Senedd Insight’s The LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales: Next Steps Conference to take a deep-dive into the detail of the Plan. Find out how your organisation can play its part in strengthening equality for LGBTQ+ people, challenge discrimination, and help create a society where LGBTQ+ people are safe to live and love authentically, openly and freely as themselves.

This conference will bring together representatives from Welsh Government, local authorities, education, police, health and social care, housing, sports and cultural organisations, community groups, and individuals from the breadth of the LGBTQ+ communities in Wales.

* LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales - February 2023

Confirmed speakers

•    Chaired by: Dame Nia Griffith, MP for Llanelli
•    Jason Rees, Superintendent and Lead for Hate Crime, South Wales Police
•    Zoe Byrne, Service Director (South and Wales), Victim Support
•    Donna Zammit, Director, Radio Cardiff; as recognised in the Pinc List 2022
•    Nick Millington MBE, LGBTQ+ Lead, Western Region; and Route Director for Wales & Borders, Network Rail
•    Mitchell Jones, Equity and Inclusion Manager, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
•    Yana Williams, Chief Executive, Coleg Cambria
•    Frances Beecher, Chief Executive, Llamau
•    Dr Darren Cousins (he/him), Consultant for Sexual Health and HIV, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board; and Member, Wales •    HIV Action Plan Task and Finish Group
•    Mark Lewis, Head, Hoops and Loops

Key points

•    The LGBTQ+ Action Plan explained – timeline of actions, activities and outcomes
•    Promoting the rights and dignity of trans and non-binary people
•    Preventing homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying and hate crime
•    Recognising intersectional issues and challenging stigma
•    Tackling discrimination in the workplace and developing inclusive recruitment practices
•    Examining the impact of COVID-19 and supporting LGBTQ+ people post pandemic
•    Improving LGBTQ+ inclusion in healthcare, education, and other vital public services

* View Agenda <>
* Book Now <>

Benefits of attending

•   Find out the practical steps to further LGBTQ+ equality and improve the experiences of LGBTQ+ people in Wales
•   Better understand the specific needs, diversity and vulnerabilities of LGBTQ+ communities in Wales
•   Network and learn from leaders of award-winning LGBTQ+ inclusive organisations
•   Discover how to overcome common challenges to break down barriers to LGBTQ+ inclusivity
•   Hear the latest best practice in developing LGBTQ+ inclusive policies, services and environments
•   Learn how to foster cultures of inclusion, allyship and belonging

Who should attend

All professionals involved with delivering the actions set out in the LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales including employers and public service providers:

•       Welsh Government
•       Local authorities
•       Employers
•       Schools, colleges and universities
•       Police and community safety teams
•       Sports and cultural organisations
•       Housing teams
•       Health and social care professionals
•       Trade Unions
•       LGBTQ+ civil society organisations
•       Voluntary sector

Venue details

The venue will be in central Cardiff and will be announced shortly.

* Discounts available

•       Please email us for group bookings -
•       Pay online by credit card and receive a further 10% off (This will be automatically applied when you book online).

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards,

Senedd Insight
t: 0345 647 9000

For sponsorship opportunities, contact us at

Senedd Insight is a division of The Knowledge Exchange Group Ltd, registered in England and Wales (08808447)

1 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5BW.

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Please find attached an Application form for the forthcoming LGBT+ Development Weekend, to be held in the Clayton Hotel in Cardiff from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March.


The weekend will be starting with the AGM meeting at 2pm on Friday 24th March, and finishing with lunch on Sunday 26th March.


Please note the closing date for Applications is Friday 10th March.


Kind regards

Gill Smith

Area Organiser

LGBT+ Dev WE 2023 Application Form.docx
Microsoft Word document [116.2 KB]

The trans caucus, together with Northern Ireland and North West regions, pick up the first awards since COVID began

LGBT+ conference rises to celebrate a lifetime of campaigning


From the workplace to the Rwanda policy, to Ukraine and Ghana, LGBT+ delegates debate a worrying situation



General secretary tells UNISON LGBT+ conference that there’s still much to do on equalities and trans equality cannot be treated as some ‘poor relation’


Dr Julia Ehrt, executive director of ILGA World praises UNISON and tells conference: “It is time for LGBTI movement to learn – trans exclusion weakens your own cause.”


Hi Colleague,

LGBT+ at Work Digital Conference | Broadcast Live | Thursday 8th July 2021

Westminster Insight’s LGBT+ at Work Digital Conference will feature inspiring leaders from Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers 2020 and OUTStanding Role Models who will share actionable advice to help you progress your inclusion journey, and embed LGBT+ diversity across your organisation. 

Join us to gain key insights on how to set meaningful targets, measure the impact, and achieve a diverse workplace where everyone can thrive. 

Expert Speakers:
•       Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive, LGBT Foundation
•       Ian Adams, Director of Membership and Stakeholder Engagement, NHS Resolution OUTStanding LGBT+ Executive 2020
•       Liz Ward, Director of Programmes, Stonewall
•       Charlotte Bailey, Executive Director of Organisational Development and People, Central and North West London, NHS Trust – Stonewall’s Top Health and Social Care Organisation 2020
•       Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, Global & UK (Inclusion & Diversity) Relationship & Membership Development Manager, Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion
•       Ronika Cunningham, Engagement Manager, Home Group Stonewall’s 18th Top Employer 2020
•       Becky Leonard-Dixon, Engagement Advisor, Home Group Stonewall’s Regional Role Model of the Year 2020
•       Arlene McDermott, Portfolio Director, London Stock Exchange Group, OUTStanding LGBT Role Model 2020, Pride Power List 2020, Visible Lesbian 100 List 2020
•       David Blackburn, Chief People Officer, Financial Services Compensation Scheme, OUTStanding LGBT Role Model 2019
•       Charlotte Jackson, Group Head of Resourcing Policy & Expert Services People Group, Ministry of Justice Stonewall's Top Government Organisation 2020
•       Karen Harvey-Cooke, Organisational Development Manager, Chair of Enfys the LGBT+ staff network, University of Cardiff Stonewall's Top Education Organisation 2020

Key Points:
•       Developing inclusive processes and policies to promote equal opportunities and a diverse workforce
•       Breaking down everyday barriers, challenging stigma and using inclusive and identity-affirming language
•       Leadership matters - the importance of role models, visible leadership and leading by example
•       Best practice in allyship and advocacy - fostering open conversations, effective employee resource groups and reverse mentoring
•       Guidance and resources for staff and leaders to support LGBT+ employees

Conference Details:
Thursday 8th July 2021
09:00 - 13.00
Broadcast Live

View the agenda --> <>
Book your place --> <>

This event will be broadcast live from our London Studio. Find out more about our Live Broadcasts: <>

Promotional Codes:
BSUB7H-3437046 for 5% off for 1 delegate
BSUB1O-3437046 for 10% off for 2+ delegates

Codes will expire at 9pm, Thursday 27th May 2021.

Pay online and receive a further 10% off.

Kind regards,


Heather Robson
Westminster Insight
t: 0345 647 9000

Against a backdrop of a rise in hate crimes, UNISON has launched new guidance on how LGBT+ members can be supported

Minutes of the Cymru Wales LGBT Self-Organised Group Meeting

May 17th, 2019 at Holiday Inn Cardiff.

Attendance: - Sharon Merryman-Rees, Ryan Williams, Pat Jones, Karl Whitehead

 Carol Merryman-Rees, Neil Kowalski-Davies, Aled Gustafson, Joy Coughlan, Lianne Silcox. Sian Stockham, Tanya Palmer, Stephen Stockham, Ian Horsburg.

Apologies: - Martin O’Sullivan Prismick, David Coleman, Martyn David. Richard Tanswell.

Regional Secretary

Before the meeting officially started Tanya Palmer explained that she was the acting Regional Secretary and she was here to support all the equality groups and try to help us in any way she could to be more involved with Unison.

Sian Stockham was invited along, and she told the group about her role as the National Committee representing Cymru / Wales and participated in meeting.

Confirmation of previous minutes: - confirmed by AG, CM-R

Guest Speakers: - Cymru/Wales Young Members Forum. Unfortunately, couldn’t attend. He sent a report about Respect Your Youth a charter for young workers in Wales and AG explained the report for the group.

Matters arising: - All Matters Arising on Agenda

Finance/Budgets:   RW reports LGBT £6666.50 LGBT, Mardi Gras £1811.00, GPF £8000 to spend balance to be given back if not spent. Letters have been sent to branches to ask for donations. We have received some donations already. It was explained that we must purchase everything via Unison suggested companies i.e. TC Branding Group. Anything bespoke must be agreed by Dominic McCaskill. 

Campaigns/Events & SOG LGBT Action Plan: - As a result of England Education Announcing schools don’t have to give same sex education.  It was suggested to write a motion to Regional Council about same sex education in schools in Wales for them to take to the Welsh Assembly because Wales have announced their curriculum to promote but not mandatory same sex education. 

IH suggested that we look at Alzheimer’s and dementia and how care is given to the LGBT+ community he has done some work under LGBT+ care will send email to RW.

 National Delegates Conference & National LGBT SOG WTUC: - National Delegates LGBT Conference 15-17 November in Bournemouth. Regional Reps for LGBT Conference three members of the group names were put forward Adele King, Carol Merryman-Rees, Neil Kowalski -Davies. Carol and Neil were chosen as reps for this year’s Conference. Motions need to be submitted by 27/7/19. So, we will be working on these outsides of meetings to try and get something submitted.  Dementia, Relationship Education and Gender-neutral toilets have also be suggested as motions added to the ones, we worked on at the last Development weekend.

Regional Council: - NTR

Pride Events: - Llantwit Major pride PJ to follow up, Llanelli Pride, AG to contact Rachael Middleton -James about this AG to report back. Abergavenny July 6th Sian and AG. TUC LGBT Conference July 4th. Merthyr Rising NW-D will be attending. Royal Welsh Show 22-25 July. Any volunteers please contact RW

 RW reported that he hasn’t had a response from Swansea local government branch / organiser about meeting up with us. They didn’t even contact us about the items we said we would provide for them for Swansea Pride.

Pride Cymru: - RW emailed the organisers they said that they were unaware of some of our concerns. PJ spoke to Pride committee about issues again they said they were unaware of them. We agreed to attend this year and see if there are similar problems this year then we will review it again. Freebies suggested to purchase are card holders, lanyards, silicone wrist bands, mugs, paper carrier bags, rainbow stress brains, cool bags.  

CM-R sourced prices and places to purchase a flag for the group with our Logo. Also provided samples for the group to see and it was agreed to purchase 6 light weight 10mx3m and 5mx3m flags with our logo and purple flags. 

Affiliations: - ILGA 

Reports from Branches: -

KW: - British Gas Branch are holding events for LGBT Pride History month. Also, a recruitment drive.

PJ: - Ymlaen have had elections within the branch and have some new officers in place. Also held an unconscious bias event which was very successful.

NK-D: - His branch is having a stall during LGBT History Month. He is vice chair of the Equality Liaison Committee  



 My notes are not very clear so I will be interested to see if anybody got anything to add to any other business please.


Next meeting time and place to be confirmed.

LGBT: UNISON guidance on Gender Recognition Act consultation
Government consultation closes on 18 October on act which enables transgender people to change their sex/gender on their birth certificate. The guide is intended to make responding to the government consultation on reforming the Act easier and to give information and guidance on some of the key issues.
Download the guide now



Speaking out for LGBT equality