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Pareto director launches LGBT+ microsite to offer support

The successful LGBT+ in FM group has stepped up to provide community support during the coronavirus crisis.

A new microsite, a personal message to all supporters and a range of online events are all part of a new plan from the LGBT+ in FM group, which aims to ensure that the no one in the community feels isolated or unsupported during the coronavirus lockdown.

“There can be no doubt that life as we know it has changed as we all get used to ‘the new normal’,” says a letter to all those who have expressed an interest in being part of the group. “It is a worrying time for us all – we are concerned about the health of loved ones or even our own wellbeing. Many of us will be getting used to new ways of working, while some may be anxious about job security. Others may feel trapped, isolated or missing social interaction.

“More than ever we need to support each other and feel connected, which is why we wanted to reach out to everyone who has previously supported LGBT+ in FM.”

A group of members from the steering committee have been meeting online to discuss ways to provide support. They include Gemma Williams, ISS UK marketing manager, Samantha West, Vinci’s sector commercial director, Nia Bezuidenhout, deployment manager at Sodexo, Sharon Slinger, director, Constructing Rainbows and Colin Kimber, associate director at Pareto FM.

The new microsite provides an overview of the support available. The team point to the need to reach those from the 200,000 LGBT+ who work at the facilities management frontline and are encouraging all to get in touch. While pointing out that they are not professional counsellors and do have day jobs, the group says: “Even if it’s just to say ‘hi’ or have a chat, we are a group of supportive individuals and we are all ears.” They encourage visiting the new microsite and sharing links and social media posts across personal networks and FM organisations.

One of the key challenges for the group is how to replicate their success at Pride – for the last couple of years the LGBT+ in FM has fielded a huge crowd, bringing people together from multiple organisations. “Like the rest of the country,” they say, “we’ve had to put many of our plans for the next few months on hold. However, we’re cooking up a few ideas to support the LGBT+ in FM community so look out for these. And if you have any ideas, we’d love to hear them.”

Signing off, they send “love and solidarity in lockdown”.

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