About Congleton Pride
Congleton Pride’s ambition is for Congleton to be a safe and welcoming place for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Congleton Pride believes in an inclusive community, one which celebrates and affirms every person and does not discriminate. We will continue to challenge any person, organisation or institution which discriminates against people on grounds of gender reassignment, non-binary status, sexuality or the other LGBTQIA+ characteristics, economic power, ethnicity, age, sex, disability, mental health, neurodiversity, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief. We believe in a town and community which welcomes and serves all people without prejudice or favour.
Our policy sets out the high standards we expect of ourselves and those we work with. It describes efforts we will undertake to build a culture of respect within Congleton Pride and our community.
Who is responsible?
Everyone who works with Congleton Pride is expected to adhere to this Policy. The Congleton Pride Trustees are responsible for the content of this Policy and for upholding the behaviours it describes. Throughout the rest of this document, ‘we’ refers to the Trustees.
To secure the benefits of diversity we are building an inclusive organisation that actively recognises the contribution that people from different backgrounds make to everything we do.
Being truly inclusive is not just about welcoming different contributions. Inclusion also means actively tackling inequalities and advancing greater equality, as well as fostering good relations between different people. Inclusion means removing the barriers – physical, economic or social – that hold people back, so we build a community in which everyone feels a part.
Dealing with discrimination
Congleton Pride will not tolerate any form of discrimination against anyone within the organisation or in relation to its activities.
Any member, partner, supplier or member of the public who feels they have been discriminated against in contravention of this policy should report this to the Trustees. Discrimination and breaches of this policy will be dealt with quickly, sensitively and effectively using the methods outlined later in this document.
Types of discrimination
- Direct Discrimination is when you’re treated differently and worse than someone else for certain reasons relating to the characteristics. This can be because of who you are, who the person thinks you are, or who you are associated with.
- Indirect Discrimination is when there’s a policy, practice or rule which applies to everybody in the same way, but it places people who share your characteristic at a disadvantage, and there is not a good reason for it.
- Harassment Where you are subject to uninvited conduct that violates your dignity, in connection with a protected characteristic, or behaviour that creates a hostile, humiliating, degrading or similarly offensive environment in relation to a protected characteristic.
- Bullying may be defined as the abuse of position or power to coerce you by fear, oppression, persecution or threat. Bullies intend to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient. While harassment is often conducted in public, bullying is more likely to be behind closed doors.
- Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination is when you’re treated unfairly because you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or because you’ve recently given birth.
- Discrimination arising from disability is when you’re treated unfairly because of something connected to your disability.
- For example, if a member of the public was not allowed to bring their assistance dog to a Pride meeting this would be discrimination arising from disability.
- Failure to make reasonable adjustments for disability is a type of discrimination that arises when an organisation does not make changes needed to allow you to access their workplace or services
- Sexual harassment is defined specifically in the Equality Act 2010 as behaviour that has the effect of violating your dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment due to your sex
- For example, sexual comments or jokes, physical behaviour, including unwelcome sexual advances, touching and various forms of sexual assault, displaying pictures, photos or drawings of a sexual nature, sending emails with a sexual content
- Victimisation is when someone treats you badly or subjects you to a detriment because you complain about discrimination or help someone who has been the victim of discrimination.
Working with the public
All the people we serve must have an equal opportunity to receive and participate in our Pride events and services. We will treat everyone in a fair, inclusive and non-discriminatory way according to the values set out in this Policy. We will ensure that any personal characteristics do not prevent anyone within our remit from fully accessing our services, events and support.
Working with partners
Congleton Pride will only work with organisations that have similar standards and values to those outlined in this Policy, and will actively seek out those that do.
We will ask organisations to demonstrate their adherence to these values before signing contracts or starting work with them. This includes commercial organisations, charities, religious or public sector organisations, regardless of their proposed relationship with Congleton Pride. If these values cannot be clearly demonstrated Congleton Pride will not accept services or sponsorship of any kind from this organisation.
To demonstrate these values Congleton Pride expects to see:
- Documentation such as an organisational EDI Policy, set of Values, or Code of Conduct,
- Supporting evidence that these are being implemented such as social media posts, press releases/comment, behaviours of employees or associates.
Congleton Pride recognises that the leadership of an organisation does not always control the behaviour of its employees, contractors, contributors or supporters. If there is evidence that an organisation is associated with an individual who exhibits discriminatory, bullying or harassing behaviour or who expresses views in contravention of this policy, Congleton Pride expects the organisation to deal with this as follows:
- Confirm in writing to Congleton Pride that this individual does not represent the values of the organization.
- If it is feasible (e.g. if the individual is an employee), implement procedures to address the behaviour of the individual through disciplinary action, training or other measures as appropriate.
We believe that by mirroring the diversity of the community we seek to serve we will serve it better, so we would like our Trustees, committees and teams to be as diverse as possible.
We will do all we can to ensure that members with any particular characteristics will not be disadvantaged with regard to attending meetings, or participating in our activities. We will also encourage people from all backgrounds and especially underrepresented minorities and to join us, and ensure they have the opportunity to do so.
We commit to fulfilling both the letter and the spirit of this Policy. We commit to being a learning organisation about equality, diversity and inclusion, always ready to improve our practice, improve civility and respect, and to address new issues as they arise.
Making it happen
We expect all representatives of Congleton Pride to treat each other with respect and uphold the values of this Policy. We expect you to demonstrate respect by listening and paying attention to others, having consideration for other people’s feelings, showing appreciation and thanks, and being kind.
Any breach of this policy or discriminatory behaviour should be reported to the Trustees and will be dealt with as outlined below. The remainder of this document will focus on how Congleton Pride deals with harassment and bullying.
Dealing with discrimination, bullying and harrassment
Allegations of discrimination, bullying and harassment, within our organisation or between members of Congleton Pride and partners or members of the public, will be treated seriously. Investigations will be carried out promptly, sensitively and, as far as possible, confidentially.
False accusations can have a serious effect on innocent individuals. We all have a responsibility not to make false allegations. While we will assume that all complaints of discrimination, bullying and harassment are made in good faith, in the event that allegations are found to be malicious or vexatious the person raising the complaint may be subject to eviction from our group or activities.
What type of treatment amounts to bullying or harassment?
‘Bullying’ or ‘harassment’ are phrases that apply to treatment from one person (or a group of people) to another that is unwanted and that has the effect of violating that person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for that person.
Examples of bullying and harassment include:
- Physical conduct ranging from unwelcome touching to serious assault
- Unwelcome sexual advances; threats for rejecting sexual advances
- Demeaning comments about a person’s appearance
- Verbal abuse or offensive comments, including jokes or pranks
- Unwanted nicknames, especially related to a person’s sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age, race or disability
- Spreading malicious rumours or insulting someone
- Lewd, obcene or suggestive comments or gestures
- Deliberate exclusion from conversations, activities or social activities.
- Physical abuse such as hitting, pushing or jostling
- Subjecting a person to humiliation or ridicule, belittling their efforts in front of others
Bullying and harassment can occur through verbal and face to face interactions, but can also take place through sharing inappropriate or offensive content in writing or via email and other electronic communications and media.
It is important to recognise that conduct which one person may find acceptable, another may find totally unacceptable and behaviour could be harassment when the person had not intended to offend. We all have the right to determine what offends us. Some behaviour will be clear to any reasonable person that it is likely to offend – for example sexual touching. Other examples may be less clear in advance however you should be aware that harassment will occur if behaviour continues after the recipient has advised you that the behaviour is unacceptable to them.
Harassment can also occur where the unwanted behaviour relates to a perceived characteristic (such as offensive jokes or comments based on the assumption someone is gay, even if they are not) or due to their association with someone else (such as harassment related to their partner having a disability for example).
Discrimination is any behaviour which disadvantages someone due to a particular characteristic, even if it does not fall under the definitions of bullying or harassment.
All Pride members and partners must treat others with respect and appropriate sensitivity and should feel able to challenge behaviour that they find offensive even if it is not directed at them.
how should discrimination, bullying and harassment be reported?
What you should do if you feel you are being discriminated against, bullied or harassed:
If you are being discriminated against, bullied or harassed by someone with whom you come into contact during your association with Congleton Pride, please report this to the Congleton Pride Trustees. You can do this in person or using email, by Facebook message to @CongletonPride, or through our contact page.
Any such report will be taken seriously, and we will investigate the complaint in consultation with you.
What you should do if you witness an incident you believe to be discrimination, harassment or bullying:
If you witness such behaviour, you should report the incident in confidence to the Trustees. Such reports will be taken seriously and will be treated in strict confidence as far as it is possible to do so.
You may be able to deal with it yourself by explaining clearly to the perpetrator(s) that their behaviour is unacceptable, contrary to Congleton Pride’s policy and must stop. Alternatively, you may wish to ask the Trustees or a Pride colleague to put this on your behalf or to be with you when confronting the perpetrator(s).
If the above approach does not work or if you do not want to try to resolve the situation in this way, you should raise the issue with one of the Trustees. This Trustee (or another appropriate person) will discuss with you the option of trying to resolve the situation informally by telling the alleged perpetrator, with out prejudicing the matter, that:
- There has been a complaint that their behaviour is having an adverse effect on a member of the Pride community
- Such behaviour is contrary to our policy
- The continuation of such behaviour could lead to removal from Pride activities
It may be possible for this conversation to take place with the alleged perpetrator without revealing your name, if this is what you want. The person dealing with it will also stress that the conversation is confidential.
If your complaint is resolved informally, the alleged perpetrator(s) will not usually be subject to sanctions.
Raising a formal complaint
If informal resolution is unsuccessful or inappropriate, you can make a formal complaint about bullying and harassment to the Congleton Pride Trustees. You should raise your complaint to any Trustee in the first instance, and this will initiate an emergency Trustee meeting.
How will we investigate?
The Trustees will appoint someone to investigate your complaint. You will need to co-operate with the investigation and provide the following details (if not already provided):
- The name of the alleged perpetrator(s)
- The nature of the harassment or bullying
- The dates and times the harassment or bullying occurred
- The names of any witnesses
- Any action taken by you to resolve the matter informally
The alleged perpetrator(s) would normally need to be told your name and the details of your grievance in order for the issue to be investigated properly.
Investigations will be carried out promptly (without unreasonable delay), sensitively and, as far as possible, confidentially. When carrying out any investigations, we will ensure that individuals’ personal data is handled in accordance with Congleton Pride’s Data Protection Policy.
Our investigation will be fair and without prejudice, and if necessary (for example, if a Trustee or someone close to them is involved), we will invite an independent person to investigate on our behalf. The Trustees will consider how to protect your health and wellbeing whilst the investigation is taking place and discuss this with you. Such measures may include excluding the alleged perpetrator from activities on a temporary basis. Depending on the nature of the allegations, the Investigator may want to meet with you to better understand your compliant.
What will happen next?
After the investigation, the Trustees will meet with you to consider the complaint and the findings of the investigation. At the meeting you may be accompanied by a fellow Pride member or anyone of your choosing.
A formal complaint may ultimately lead to a demand from the Trustees that the perpetrator takes certain actions, such as
- Undergo training to modify behaviour
It may also lead to action against the perpetrator(s), such as
- Ejection from the Pride team
- No future admission to ticketed Pride events
If the behaviour in the complaint may be criminal, the Trustees will support the victim to report it to the Police if they wish to. Congleton Pride is a Hate Crime Reporting Centre and the Trustees will work with one of our trained Reporting Centre representatives to ensure that the Police report is submitted correctly.
Following the conclusion of the investigation the Trustees will write to you to inform you of the decision and the action taken.