Flying the rainbow flag: Napo’s LGBT history month roadshows

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Flying the rainbow flag: Napo’s LGBT history month roadshows

In February Napo joined forces with PiPP (Pride in Prisons and Probation) and the legacy staff network LAGIP (Lesbian and Gay in Probation) to fly the rainbow flag and raise visibility of LGBT issues for staff and service users in the probation service as part of our LGBT History month celebrations.
Working together we held a series of roadshows around the country in Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham and finishing at Napo’s Offices in London.
The aim of these events was to:

  • to create a safe place for people working in probation to come together and network
  • to identify what we can do collectively alongside allies to take forward LGBT issues
  • to hear from senior leaders in the probation service about what they are doing as individuals and employers to support those who identify as LGBT+.
    Throughout the series of roadshows, we heard from a range of excellent speakers including Nick Hall, CRC Chief for the Northern Sodexo CRCs; Roz Hamilton, Deputy Director for the NPS in the North West and many many more excellent contributions from a number of different organisations.
    In addition, we included space for practical sessions, and our colleagues from PiPP facilitated two workshops. The first to identify what support LGBT staff would like to receive, and the second to identify how we can tailor probation for LGBT service users. Nic Turner acting chair of PiPP and her PiPP colleagues Gwenn Amy Froggart and Alice Pennicott ran these workshops. As a result, delegates highlighted a number of issues that we in our respective organisations will work towards delivering going forward.

Peace, Reconciliation and Activism
The theme of this year’s LGBT History Month was “Peace, Reconciliation and Activism”. It provided a platform to highlight the activism that Napo has engaged with over the years to progress LGBT equality.
Napo understands the central role that activism has as an agent of change. It requires a few people to commit their time and energy to organise and act which in turn gives confidence to others to follow and join in and make a stand to make change happen.
Napo working alongside LAGIP has a proud history of campaigning on LGBT equality. For example, we have taken a lead on the decriminalisation of homosexuality, equalising the age of consent and working towards repealing Section 28 introduced by the Thatcher government that made it a crime to promote homosexuality in schools.
LAGIP started as a self-organised group that was set up by a few key activists at a Napo AGM in the early 70s. Over the years Napo started to take a more formal role in LAGIP and eventually provided funds for LAGIP to hold an AGM. Then in 2002 the National Probation Service formally recognised LAGIP as the Staff Association for LGBT employees.
Although LAGIP no longer exists, I’m happy to say it’s great that we continue to have a really close working relationship with the successor staff network PiPP.
Napo has a long and proud history fighting for equality and I want to make sure that we continue that tradition and remain at the forefront of LGBT equality. These roadshows I hope will be the start of reclaiming our history and building on our proud history in the future.
If you would like to get active in Napo on LGBT issue or simply would like to join our LGBT email network please contact me on, or sign up via Napo mailing lists

Ranjit Singh
National Official

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