POLICE officers and firefighters are celebrating after their workplaces were named among the most gay-friendly in the UK.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Constabulary have been recognised as being in the top 100 employers for equality in the workplace nationwide.
And the fire service is celebrating after it was recognised as the North West’s most improved employer by Stonewall, which compiled the survey of the most lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) friendly employers, after it climbed 101 places to claim the 45th slot in this year’s equality index.
And Cheshire Constabulary has heralded its 58th ranking as a ‘great achievement’, saying it shows its hard work toward making the force a positive working environment free from discrimination.
Chief Fire Officer Paul Hancock of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service – which has its own LGBT employee network group, called Firepride – said: “I am delighted that our organisation has made it into Stonewall’s top 100 and am especially thrilled to be recognised as the North West’s Most Improved Employer.
“This is a significant achievement and reflects the hard work invested by our staff and volunteers.
“Our aim is always to deliver an excellent fire and rescue service, ensuring that the communities of Cheshire remain safe.
“I am certain that this is best achieved when our people feel supported and can be themselves at work.”
Inspector Gareth Woods, of Cheshire Constabulary’s communities unit, said: “We continue to do all we can to foster a positive, confident, safe and inclusive workplace for our employees, free from discrimination.
“The acknowledgement from Stonewall is evidence of the dedication and work undertaken by the LGBT Support Group, police officers and staff who are committed to making Cheshire Constabulary a workplace where individuals can pursue a career path without prejudice.”