Signature at Reigate Grange team members, residents and their loved ones united to conclude their Pride month celebrations which a BBQ which saw the home additionally set out its firm commitment to being an LGBTQ+ ally.
The Pride BBQ also marked the appointment of its Hospitality Services Manager, Penka Velikova as the home’s first LGBTQ+ ambassador.
In their role, Penka will lead year-round discussion sessions, film nights and coordinate activities featuring songs from LGBTQ+ artists. Additionally, they will lead training sessions for current and future care home recruits, all of which is designed to ensure Reigate Grange is an LGBTQ+ advocate and an inclusive environment.
Commenting on the home’s celebrations and their appointment, Penka Velikova, Hospitality Services Manager and LGBTQ+ Ambassador at Signature at Reigate Grange, said: “Everybody has the right to be accepted and included in one way or another, regardless of our gender or sexuality.
“But for LGBTQ+ individuals the fear of rejection, exclusion or discrimination is a lot greater as most of us face those on regular basis in our everyday lives. And that goes not just for employees but residents too.
“Feeling safe and being able to be myself at work, being able to express myself in the way I do gender and what my sexuality means for me has helped me to actually focus on my work, be as productive as I can be and love what I do with all of my heart.”
Velikova continued: “As an ambassador for the home, I am proud to work with current and future colleagues to ensure we continue to be an inclusive environment for residents, their loved ones and team members.”
Maggie Broderick, an LGBTQ+ Resident, at Signature at Reigate Grange, said: “Our home was full of colour and celebration throughout June! It was great fun, and it also set out an important message around why it is vital that we and wider society are inclusive.
“As the saying goes, ‘love is love’, and it should not discriminate.”