Today we are shining a light on Bethany Gallagher, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and Staff Network Coordinator, who was nominated by Manisha Panesar. Manisha said:

“Bethany is an integral part of the EDI team and coordinating staff networks. She empowers colleagues to be involved in initiatives to celebrate their individuality. She organises events across the Trust to mark or highlight cultural/awareness days – an opportunity for all of our workforce to be a part of inclusive events and have a sense of belonging. She regularly supports colleagues to access support offered within the Trust, but also third sector agencies – ensuring their wellbeing is supported as best as possible.”

Bethany was asked about her role at the Trust, what is important to her, who inspires her and what EDI means to her. Bethany said:

“I am the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Staff Network Coordinator for the Trust, I have been working here for around six months – but my colleagues may know me as the person who sends lots of emails! I graduated from university in 2022 with a degree in History and Sociology, I wrote my dissertation on imperial legacies in modern society and immediately I knew I wanted to work in EDI to tackle the pertinent issues raised.

The most important things to me are my family, my boyfriend Jeevan, and his gorgeous dog Kobe! My spare time is often taken up by cooking and baking – especially huge chocolate cakes (which never last long in our house!) – and walking Kobe around our local parks. My biggest inspiration is my wonderful mum, who passed away last year after a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis: her perseverance and strength inspire me every day and each piece of work I do is to make her proud.

Equality, diversity, and inclusion are not just words to me, it can’t be performative and shallow. I truly believe everyone deserves to feel included, everyone deserves to feel like their personal characteristics are celebrated and everyone should feel like society is equitable for all. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, which is why I believe we all need to commit to advocating for this every single day. I believe that hate is born out of ignorance, and so I’m passionate about encouraging all people to educate themselves about those around us – you may realise you have more in common than you think!”