As a proud Stonewall top 100 employer, the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) is dedicated to supporting and providing a safe place to not only our LGBT+ colleagues across the organisation, but also to our local community.

Here, Lee Cawley, Interim Diversity and Inclusion Project Co-ordinator, tells us about the day and the vital work the Pride Media Centre plays in supporting the LGBT+ community and its allies.

It was an honour to attend the Pride Media Centre in Gateshead at the end of July with Rachel Brown, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, to unveil our NHSBSA friendship triangle on their Pride Network Wall mosaic.

The Pride Network Wall, which is displayed at the front of the building, is sponsored by individuals, businesses and organisations who show their commitment to supporting equality and diversity. Each contribution goes towards developing their outreach work and supports LGBT+ businesses and entrepreneurs of the future.

The Pride Media Centre, which was previously a television studio home to various shows and broadcasters, has been transformed from a derelict shell into a thriving modern business and media hub for the LGBT+ community and their allies. The centre is also the base for the not-for-profit Pride Community Network charity, which both benefits from and supports the many initiatives which operate within the centre.

Initiatives include; Pride Radio, which broadcasts online and in the North East, Pride Radio Scotland which broadcasts overall radio formats, and Pride World Radio which broadcasts online to all over the world, even reaching countries where homosexuality is still illegal (some even with a death sentence), offering support and hope to LGBT+ communities in those countries.

The centre also offers office spaces, meeting rooms, a TV studio, a green screen studio and a 29 seat cinema which are available for companies, community groups and individuals to hire with the proceeds going back into the charity.

By far the most impressive and inspiring part of this project is the support available to young LGBT+ entrepreneurs, who have often faced barriers or been held back due to their sexual orientation. The centre provides these young people with free office space and training to develop and execute their business plan for 12 months.

Additionally, all enterprises operating within the centre are encouraged and expected to share their skills and knowledge to help each other grow. For example, a PR specialist will provide PR advice to the other enterprises or a social media expert will offer specialist advice on how to make the most of social media.

The centre is the very essence of what our Wellbeing and Inclusion work is aimed towards and we are proud to accompany other local organisations and businesses in supporting such inspiring work for the benefit of those less fortunate within the community.

What other ways can the NHSBSA show support?

The centre is looking for people who can share skills and advice with their young entrepreneurs through a ‘skills sharing’ volunteer opportunity. This is open to anyone who feels they have the knowledge skills in business, finance, media, marketing or any areas which could help the young people grow successful businesses. If you’d like to get involved, please get in touch with Rachel Brown or Lee Cawley

You can also download the Pride Radio app, with each download resulting in more sponsorship and advertising revenues which will be put straight back into the charity to help even more people, available on Apple Store and Google Play.

If you’d like to learn more about the Pride Media Centre, you can visit their website here.

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