Regional charter mark celebrates its twelfth successful year
‘Navajo’ the Lancashire wide project that addresses the needs of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans-gendered community celebrated its twelfth successful year with a very special awards ceremony.
Set up in 1999, ‘Navajo’ is best known for the Navajo Charter Mark - which is awarded to organisations across Lancashire who show that they have taken positive steps in welcoming Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) service users and staff, and to encompass LGBT issues within their organisation.
Organisations of any size, whether in the private, public or voluntary and community sector can apply for the Charter Mark if their application meets the required standard and over 25 new Charter Mark applicants will be received the prestigious award at a special ceremony which took place at the Lantern Centre in Preston’s Sharoe Green.
The Navajo network has steadily grown over the years and after this Years awards the current number of Navajo Charter Mark holders has risen to over 150.
From its beginnings in North West Lancashire, the Navajo Charter Mark has been rolled out across the rest of the county and new Charter Mark holders for this year included Preston City Council Communications, Preston City Council Training & Development, Preston Domestic Violence Services, Victim Support in Lancashire, Barnardo’s Bay 6 Project, Andrew Doyle Solicitors, Registration Services Preston, Lancashire Archives, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and the Libraries of East Lancashire to name but a few.
This years Navajo ‘Outstanding Contribution’ award was made to Mr Robert Mee organiser of Lancashire’s LGBT group ‘Out in the Bay’ to honour the tireless work Robert does to support his community.
Drew James Drake facilitator and member of the Navajo Charter Mark panel said, “Each organisation that acquires the Charter Mark produces an action plan detailing how it aims to improve even further the way it serves its LGBT service users, staff and volunteers. The organisation is then reviewed every two years to see how they are working towards improving their services.
Drew continues, “Navajo is not an individual organisation but a partnership project that works through the commitment and involvement of a number of organisations in our region including Age Concern Central Lancashire, The Probation Service Lancashire, Lancashire Constabulary, Lancashire NHS, many housing associations and various local councils within the region.
“Most importantly if you’re a member of the LGBT community and see the Navajo symbol displayed on the premises of an organisation, you can be assured that this organisation has been through a process to verify that it is committed to the well-being of its LGBT staff and service users”.
Navajo influences work in many statutory and voluntary/community sector agencies in Lancashire working alongside its members to create better services for the LGBT community in our region.
Anybody expressing an interest in or wishing to apply for the Charter Mark can do so by visiting www.navajoonline.org or write to Navajo c/o Drew James Drake LGBT Project Officer, Age Concern Central Lancashire, Stoneygate, Preston PR1 3XT