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Women at Women in fire event sat in fire engine

We are very proud of the work and commitment from our established Staff Forums.

We actively support staff who wish to set one up to support an underrepresented characteristic and group.

Here we share areas of work and improvements our Forums have started to make over the past year.

LGBTQ+ Staff Forum

Our staff stood infront of our Pride fire engine for Pride in Hull event

The aim of this forum is to:

"Work in partnership with the Service to create a safe inclusive environment that encourages a culture of respect and equality for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation/gender re-assignment."

The forum offers support and advice for group members and to the organisation.

In support of their aim, the forum has:

  • Actively and passionately supported the Service attendance and participation in this year’s local events for Pride in Hull, Grimsby and Cleethorpes, Goole, and Bridlington
  • Actively promoted the forum by the production and distribution of posters advertising their aims and objectives to help educate staff and attract more members
  • Researched and recommended to the Service that it adopts the NFCC (National Fire Chiefs Council) Gender Diversity toolkit
  • Proactively supported Corporate Communications and Events Team with the campaigns calendar of events such as Lesbian Visibility day and Pride month and local events
  • Made contact with other local LGBTQ+ groups and forums within the Humber area and regionally across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

Voices for Women Staff Forum

group photo of women at Women in the Fire Service weekend

The vision for the Voices for Women staff forum is:

“To provide a safe space for women working at HFRS and to discuss issues, gain support, and to make recommendations for change."

In support of their vision, the forum has:

  • Proactively run development, awareness and engagement events on the impacts of agile working, imposter syndrome, International Women’s Day, the cost of living, and the power of staff forums in celebration of Staff Networking Day
  • Refreshed their terms of reference, changed their group name from Women’s Development Network to Voices for Women and proactively produced communications about the benefits of the forum to expand their membership (especially for operational women), and promoted topic based sessions that are open to all staff
  • Actively commented on policies and procedures, and raised concerns on the impact of COVID-19 and post-pandemic on women

Voices for Disability Staff Forum

The Voices for Disability was established to offer membership to staff who recognise themselves as having a disability or act as a carer to someone who has a disability. The purpose of the group is to provide members with an opportunity to discuss experiences, share ideas, and increase the disability awareness of staff, managers and leaders throughout the organisation.

Recognising there are many disabilities, some are obvious, and others are hidden. They can affect us mentally, physically or both. What is important is how we and others understand and appreciate each other.

Their vision is:

“To support, encourage and enable HFRS to break down the barriers associated with disability.”

In support of their vision, the forum has:

  • Conducted evidenced based research into neurodiversity and a social model for disability from which they produced a report for consideration by relevant Heads of Function in the People Directorate. This has led to an agreement to produce a reasonable adjustment policy and individual passport approach for the Service
  • Actively communicated its vision and purpose through communication channels and developed a SharePoint page for staff
  • Produced case studies of lived experiences, such as, ‘living with ME’ developed by a member of staff. This success story was included in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report (2021). This active promotion and education has seen an increase in the group membership and many individuals seeking the group’s advice and guidance
  • In light of these achievements, the group was shortlisted for an award in the 2021 Reward and Recognition Awards evening
ME and ME photo of staff member with her living experience of ME an support at work

Positive Attraction Campaigns

Rookie red working on the dexterity test

We remain committed to addressing all areas of underrepresentation within the workforce and to broadening the workforce profile. We want to encourage people of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs, who share our values and want to make a difference in the community to consider working for us.

In the recent recruitment campaign, we contacted people from underrepresented groups who completed an expression of interest form, and from this five Rookie Red cohorts were formed (4 more than in the 2018 recruitment campaign); this has contributed to the successful On-Call and Full-Time firefighter and recruitment outcomes.

We have begun to address these gaps through sustained positive attraction. The statistics show that we are incrementally attracting more women and ethnic minority men and women to apply for Full-Time firefighter recruitment.

Year of campaign Ethnic Minority Male Female
2018 5.9% 86.8% 12.7%
2021/22 6.7% 83.2% 15.3%

Women in Fire Service UK Training and Development Weekend

The weekend event provides operational and non-operational staff (men and women) opportunities to learn new skills, invest in their development and discover their true potential.

Our staff feedback on their experience:

"That I can be brave even when my knees are knocking and I can hear my own heartbeat in my ears, and that I have to put trust in others to achieve my goals."

"Meeting new people and finding out their experiences within the service and how to overcome issues. I also met my online mentor who I have spoken to over zoom numerous times but never met in person."

firefighter stood proud at women in fire service event