The Civil Service LGBT+ Network
How the Civil Service LGBT+ Network succeeded in delivering a virtual Pride during the coronavirus pandemic, creating a virtual world for people to continue celebrating Pride, accessing support and raising awareness on LGBT+ issues.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pride events across the country were cancelled and LGBT+ support was disrupted. The Civil Service LGBT+ Network swiftly adjusted to meet the safety and social distancing measures implemented by government. Having already planned for Pride events across the country, they quickly adapted to ensure that events continued virtually, so colleagues across the UK could receive support. The team of volunteers prioritised on mental health and well-being for LGBT+ people, ensuring that they did not feel isolated during lockdown. They also used this time to highlight the truth about why the community celebrates Pride and raised awareness by educating non-LGBT+ people on the power of allyship.
The network is made up of one chair and seven vice-chairs who volunteer their time. Moving Pride online required additional support, allowing network members to get involved. The team recruited 55 dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers, eager to deliver an exciting Pride event. Their support ensured that workloads were equally distributed, especially as Covid-19 became a priority for many colleagues who were required to manage those changes.
PrideON was created to accommodate the needs of civil servants, to celebrate Pride from home. The network adapted to moving online through a number of online systems including Zoom, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams, as well as through popular social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. All of which strengthened and increased membership numbers and reaching wider audiences across departmental LGBT+ and other networks.
With 676 civil servants signing up to PrideON events, the network successfully supported hundreds of LGBT+ civil servants and educated numerous non-LGBT+ colleagues.