The organisations we support
At Emerald Life, we're committed to becoming a valued part of the community. And our partnerships with forward-thinking organisations that promote equality are a crucial part of this.
There are several organisations that we're proud to call our partners – Positive East, Stonewall, the Albert Kennedy Trust, Diversity Role Models, and Human Dignity Trust. As well as offering each of these organisations financial support, we have a partnership with each that extends well beyond that. For example, we run a paid intern programme with the Albert Kennedy Trust – enabling young, homeless LGBT adults to gain experience and confidence by working in our office. Further, with Stonewall, we're currently exploring the roll-out of a diversity and inclusion training programme for commercial organisations.
You'll find out a little more about each of our partners below.
Stonewall – campaigners for LGBT equality
Britain's leading charity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans equality, Stonewall’s ultimate aim is to create a world in which everyone is accepted – without exception. It's no surprise that Emerald is very proud to have a close working relationship with Stonewall. Our founder, Steve Wardlaw, is a Stonewall Ambassador and was also, with his husband Ian, was one of the spokespeople for Stonewall’s campaign for civil partnerships. The organisation has already played an important role in supporting the inception of Emerald Life – and its vision.
Since it was founded in 1989, Stonewall has fought tirelessly to change laws affecting gay, lesbian, and bisexual people in the UK. Some of the charity's proudest moments are:
- Lifting the ban on gay people serving openly in the military (2000)
- Equalising the age of consent for gay men (2001)
- Equality Act (2010)
- Same-sex marriage (2013)
After a six-month consultation with over 700 trans people, Stonewall expanded its offering to became a trans-inclusive charity in 2015. Stonewall now looks to work with the government to reform laws that specifically affect the rights of the trans community.
Despite Stonewall's successes to date, the LGBT community still faces prejudice and persecution on a daily basis. Stonewall knows it still has much work to do to make sure stats like the ones below disappear.
- 75,000 young people were bullied for being gay last year. 21,000 of those young people attempted suicide
- 1 in 6 lesbian, gay or bisexual people have been a victim of hate crime in the last three years
- 1 in 5 patient-facing healthcare staff have heard colleagues use transphobic slurs like ‘she-male’ and ‘tranny’
- Overseas, over 1,700 trans people have been killed in the last seven years
- It’s illegal to be gay in 75 countries. In 10 of those, being gay is still punishable by death
Stonewall’s work will not stop until all people, everywhere, are free to be themselves without fear of persecution. Find our more about them here and support them on Twitter here.
The Albert Kennedy Trust – supporting young LGBT people
Established in 1989, the Albert Kennedy Trust exists to support young, homeless members of the LGBT community. The organization’s mission is to ensure that all lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans young people are able to live in accepting, supportive and caring homes. AKT does this by providing a range of services to meet the individual needs of those who would otherwise find themselves homeless or in a hostile environment. AKT's key milestones so far include:
- Providing appropriate homes through supported lodgings, fostering and other specialist housing schemes – in 2014, AKT provided nearly 8,000 nights off the street
- Enabling young people to manage independent living successfully – in 2013, AKT provided over 1,800 hours of mentoring
- Improving attitudes within society towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans young people
- Answering over 2,000 calls for support across three cities (London, Manchester and Newcastle) every year
- Launching the Purple Door Project which has already provided over 1,790 nights of accommodation for young LGBT people in need since opening in July 2015
But the Albert Kennedy Trust is acutely aware that much still needs to be done to improve a situation in which:
- Around 1 in 4 people living on the street in this country identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans
- 85% of young people face some level of rejection by their parents, just for being brave enough to come out and be who they are
- More than two thirds of young men AKT have spoken to have been offered sex or been forced to offer sex to get a bed for the night
Our partnership with the Albert Kennedy Trust includes our paid intern programme. This lets LGBT young people experience working in an office environment free from prejudice and gain the skills and confidence they need to succeed in their careers. Get in touch to learn more about it.
Find out more about the Albert Kennedy Trust here and keep up with them on Twitter here.
Diversity Role Models – against LGBT bullying in school
Diversity Role Models actively seeks to prevent homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic bullying in UK schools. By educating young people about these issues from an early age, Diversity Role Models challenges negative stereotypes and stops the misuse of language by young members of society.
Their workshops feature positive role models – either LGBT or straight – speaking directly to young people about their experiences. So far, their work has taken them to over 170 schools and reached over 38,000 young people. Young people are given greater understanding of the impact of discrimination, and are empowered to bring about change themselves to end homophobic and gender-based bullying. In evaluations at the end of workshops, resounding 97% of students say they have learnt about the issues which LGBT people face, and 72% say they would challenge people's homophobic, biphobic or transphobic behaviour.
Here's an example of how supporting Diversity Role Models could positively affect our young generations:
- £50 pays to train two role models to go into schools
- £25 pays for materials for workshops in one school
- £10 pays for three young people to attend our workshops
- £5 pays to recruit five schools and book workshops
Learn more about Diversity Role Models programme support here, and follow them on Twitter here.
Human Dignity Trust – against the criminalisation of homosexuality
Human Dignity Trust is an organisation focused on facilitating test-case litigation in places that continue to criminalise homosexuality. Laws that make it illegal for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people to be themselves put these individuals out of the protection of the law and so create a climate of fear and violence.
The Human Dignity Trust supports local activists and their lawyers to uphold international human rights law, including a person's right to dignity, equality and privacy. And at any one time, HDT aims to have between 5 and 10 cases raised before national courts and international tribunals.
Their technical legal assistance is free, and available to anyone challenging the criminalisation of homosexuality through the courts. HDT's work is endorsed by many of the world's leading human rights lawyers and jurists. Emerald is working with HDT on advice for LGBT travellers.
Go to the Human Dignity Trust website to find out more about the organisation.
WOFFF - Women Over Fifty Film Festival
The Women Over 50 Film Festival celebrates the work of older women on both sides of the camera. WOFFF looks to them to drive stories – as film-makers and performers – and they invite you to become part of Women Over 50 Film Festival family.
WOFFF's next festival is 14 – 17 September 2017
. The festival launches on Thursday 14 September
at Picturehouse Duke of York’s
, followed by two days of films, Q&As, talks and workshops at The Sallis Benney Theatre
in the University of Brighton on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September
. More festival details and ticket information here