No Bystanders

Local organisations in Forth Valley are pledging their support for a new campaign, which highlights the damaging effect discriminatory language can have in the workplace.

The ‘No Bystanders’ campaign is the brainchild of Stonewall Scotland, a charity which works to achieve equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in schools, the community and workplaces.

Organisers are calling on individuals and organisations to commit to challenge bullying and discrimination wherever they see it, and stand up for fairness and kindness.

Research by the charity has shown that 99 per cent of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people hear phrases like “That’s so gay” being used in a derogatory manner on a daily basis, with 97 per cent hearing phrases like “poof” or “dyke” being used in school playgrounds.

Representatives from NHS Forth Valley, Clackmannanshire Council, Falkirk Council, Forth Valley College and Police Scotland Forth Valley Division have signed up to show that we are organisations committed to tackling discrimination in its many forms, including homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

NHS Forth Valley’s Equality and Diversity Manager Lynn Waddell said: “This promotes our continuing zero tolerance approach to discrimination, so that staff can see the support from their colleagues who have made both a personal and professional commitment to challenging bullying and unfair treatment.”

Colin Macfarlane, Director of Stonewall Scotland, said: “Stonewall Scotland is delighted that NHS Forth Valley, along with community partner organisations, have today pledged not to be a bystander and stand up against all forms of discrimination.  By publicly making this commitment they are sending out a strong and powerful signal that they will work to ensure the people of Forth Valley feel safe and secure at work, at home, at school and in their communities. We know that the impact of bullying can have a devastating impact on people’s mental health and that the effects can last a lifetime.  By signing this pledge, Forth Valley have committed to stamping out bullying and harassment and we look forward to working with them to help them achieve this aim.”

The associated social media campaign ‘#NoBystanders’ is also being supported by public sector colleagues in a bid to encourage others to ‘take the pledge’ and sign up to end discrimination. You can take the pledge at http://nobystanders.org.uk/ .

In Forth Valley, public sector partners are members of the Multi Agency Hate Response Strategy (MAHRS) group and deal with all reported hate crimes. For further information on the MAHRS Group go to www.stophateincentralscotland.org.uk.

If you wish to report any Hate Incident or Hate Crime you can contact the police on 101 or via www.scotland.police.uk