Our work so far

We aim to transform the experience of our donors and employees at work, creating a more inclusive, diverse and equitable environment.

Our network is actively supporting gender and sexual minorities with different projects and activities across our organisation.

I’m so proud of all the work that we do to make sure we are an inclusive organisation. This includes the little things like the rainbow lanyard which we display every day, to making a public gesture like marching at Pride.

Helen Gillan

Helen Gillan (pronouns: she/her)
Director of Quality

Celebrating key moments

Key moments of the year are important for our network. We are always supporting activities in observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights.

LGBT+ History Month provides role models, builds community, and represents a civil rights statement about the contributions of the LGBT+ community.

In 2023, as part of our LGBT+ History Month celebrations, we partnered with Glamazon and Dentsu. We registered almost 200 new donors, diversifying our donor base and increasing awareness not only about our recent FAIR changes but also about equity, diversity and inclusion.

Stonewall awards

In 2022, NHS Blood and Transplant received a Silver Award for its commitment to inclusion of lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people in the workplace from Stonewall, the world’s second-largest LGBT+ charity.

In 2023, our organisation was announced as one of the UK’s top 100 LGBTQ+ employers as part of Stonewall’ Workplace Equality Index. We also received the Gold Award, Stonewall’s top rating for those employers who maintain the highest standard of LGBTQ+ inclusivity at work.

Gender identity for our donors

From June 2021, all donors are now asked the same gender-neutral questions before donation as part of our Donor Safety Check, in line with FAIR (For the Assessment of Individualised Risk) steering group’s recommendations and the latest scientific evidence.

We also ask a person's gender identity when they register to give blood, and give the option to select a gender neutral title (Mx). It is important for us to refer to our donors with the correct pronouns in an effort to be inclusive, equitable and diverse. 

Gender neutral changes for staff

Staff can now add their preferred pronouns to their work name badge.

Staff are also encouraged to add their pronouns to their email signatures, to support LGBT+ colleagues and hopefully lead to more widespread sharing of pronouns across the organisation.

We have introduced gender neutral toilets at our Barnsley centre, and are currently piloting a switch to gender neutral toilets in other centres across the country.

Raising awareness in Birmingham

In 2022 we displayed a giant marketing banner in the centre of Birmingham to support Pride week.

We hoped to increase awareness of our work to make blood donation more inclusive, as well as supporting the LGBT+ community.

We also partnered with Birmingham Pride in 2022 and marched for the first time in the parade

Find out more about partnering with Pride

LGBT+ clothing

Since 2021 we have been producing bespoke LGBT+ t-shirts and baseball caps. 

This is so our network members and supporting staff can spread the word about NHS Blood and Transplant and our network at LGBT+ events such as Freshers Fairs, Prides, and LGBT+ History month events.

This initiative also helps promote blood, organ and stem cell donation within the LGBT+ community.

LGBT+ Ally programme

In 2019 the LGBT+ Ally programme was established.

Over 270 allies across the organisation have attended a one-day workshop to understand core LGBT+ issues, confidentiality, how to be an emotional supporter and how to signpost people to further support and information.

Many of our allies do not identify as LGBT+.

In September 2021 we hosted our first trans and non-binary inclusion workshop. This focused on trans and non-binary identities, experiences and how we can promote an inclusive environment for our colleagues, donors and patients.

LGBT+ Ally lanyard

In 2018 we designed and launched an LGBT+ Ally lanyard.

Over 3,000 of our 5,600 colleagues (approximately 55%) visibly stand against discrimination by wearing the lanyard.

Being part of the network enables me to give back and to support individuals within our community both inside and outside of our organisation.

Helen Gillan

Den Hudson (pronouns: they/them)
Non-Binary Officer