Important information about COVID-19 please click here to find out more.

Recite Me
Contact us via Facebook
Find out more about MY NORTH STAR

North Star welcomes residents of Darlington Housing Association - Find out more

 

On 26th March 2021, Hart Gables announced the winners of the 2021 LGBT Alliance Awards during a virtual ceremony on their social media platforms.

North Star are proud to announce that we have been awarded the “Creating LGBT Inclusion and Accessibility in the Workplace” award.

This award was presented due to numerous examples of innovation and policy, that has contributed to greater diversity and equality in sexual orientation and gender identity within the workplace.

North Star values the strength that comes with difference and the positive contribution that diversity brings to staff and tenant communities.

We believe:

  • Difference is welcomed and embraced
  • Diversity brings creative and diverse solutions
  • Sameness breeds sameness
  • Diversity leads to more creative teams and increased productivity of the organisation
  • Diversity is an action, inclusivity is cultural and belonging is a feeling
  • Work ethics improve when people feel like they belong somewhere
  • Diversity generates better customer insight
  • We continue to show commitment to LGBT staff and tenants throughout the work we do, positively promoting Inclusivity, Equality and Diversity.

Over the last 18 -24 months North Star has shown commitment to LGBTQ staff and tenants in the following ways:

In conjunction with Hart Gables, we have written a Transitioning in the Workplace policy and have scheduled awareness sessions for staff this year

We have reviewed all policies (including the introduction of sexual harassment and domestic abuse workplace policies). Objectively reviewed by Stonewall. The feedback is that every policy is inclusive and that we are at the forefront of good practice

We distribute an anonymous staff demographics questionnaire, which was objectively critiqued by Hart Gables and Stonewall to ensure that the questions were inclusive and that we used the correct terminology, because words matter! We use this data to better inform us of organisational requirements to ensure that we remain an inclusive employer.

In conjunction with Hart Gables we have delivered LGBTQ awareness sessions to all staff, Board members and involved tenants

  • Our CEO was a keynote speaker at the 24Housing Diversity in housing Conference.
  • North Star were asked to participate in a promotional video for Hart Gables LGBT Advance Training and Consultancy which now features on their website: lgbtadvance.org.uk  The link to this video is also available here: Video link
  • We deliver Unconscious Bias training to all staff and Board and are working with Inclusive Employers to deliver this training this year.
  • North Star introduced rainbow lanyards for all staff and visitors to visibly identify that we are an LGBTQ inclusive workforce.
  • We have developed an online calendar of events for staff that is inclusive of LGBTQ awareness days/months.
  • We promote LGBTQ awareness days to staff via new stories on the intranet.
  • Frontline staff have attended Mental Health First Aid training.
  • We have an inclusive statement on all of our adverts:.
  • “We are keen to reflect the communities we serve and would welcome applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and experience”.
  • We are LGBTQ Allies.
  • We are members of Stonewall.
  • We are members of the Rainbow Alliance.
  • In 2019 North Star set up an Inclusion Group. This is made up of a group of North Star staff who have passion and drive for promoting inclusivity in the workplace. The group meet regularly to discuss all aspects of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion with the aim to make positive changes where needed and promote the quality work that North Star does.
  • North Star are avid supporters of the Make a Stand campaign, raising awareness of domestic abuse both in and out of the workplace. We have 6 dedicated Domestic Abuse Champions who have all received DA awareness training.
  • North Star attended Durham Pride in 2019. We were the only Housing Association to attend and will be attending again this year.
  • North star were finalists in the “Inspirational Workplace” category at the North East LGBTQ Awards 2019.  https://www.northstarhg.co.uk/about-north-star/news/lgbtq-awards-event/
  • Staff from the Inclusion Group attended the Tackling Homophobia in North East Football Conference at the Stadium of Light in November 2019.

Quotes 

It really was an excellent session Jack and Kay @HartGables thank you! 

North Star Board Member tweet after attending the LGBT awareness session 

Just had the most engaging and enlightening #LGBT awareness session @NorthStarHG superbly delivered by Andy and Jack @HartGables.  Some of the best conversations, let alone training, I’ve had in eons TY both 

Executive Director of Customers tweet after attending the LGBT awareness session 

I really enjoy being part of the Inclusion Group.  It’s great to work with a group of like minded people and I can see how much change North Star has implemented over the last couple of years.  The lanyards have been an all round hit and really show that staff do support the LGBT community.  When we are recognised for the great work North Star does as an inclusive employer it really is fantastic! 

Inclusion Group member 

It’s lovely to see a social landlord getting involved in this type of event – I will look out for houses with you coming up in the future 

Durham Pride attendee 

 I’ve felt people have felt that they can be more open about their sexuality since I’ve been wearing it 

Staff member view on North Star lanyard