FOOD from around the world, a poetry competition, LGBTQ+ awareness courses and other activities are being held for staff at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.

It is part of a dedicated week of activities, called the Festival of Learning and Inclusion, being held to show the Royal Bolton Hospital is committed to fairness and equality for all.

The hospital staff enjoyed balloon modelling workshops, flexing their creative muscles to encourage learning at work and held an opening fast, or Iftar, to share in the holy month of Ramadan that some hospital staff are observing.

The week is also being used to put the spotlight on the importance of learning and creating the opportunities for everyone at all levels and in all professions to thrive and be supported by Bolton FT to reach their full potential.

Rahila Ahmed, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, said: “We’ve put on a vibrant programme of events during the week, designed to encourage staff to take part, increase their learning and celebrate successes.

“Although the Trust is committed to making positive changes all year round, the EDHR week is a platform for the trust to highlight our work to creating an inclusive and fairer environment for our patients and staff.

“Equality, diversity and inclusion is everyone’s business and getting it right helps us to deliver effective care and attract and retain the best people to work for the organisation.

“This can only happen if we recognise, meet and value differences we have between groups – a one size fits all approach leaves people on the fringes and can easily exclude. The week’s activities will act as reminder of the importance of remaining consciously inclusive of the needs of people with protected characteristics in all realms of their work.”

Bolton FT held the Festival during Learning at Work Week and Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week this month.

Everyone is protected by the Equality Act of 2010 which identifies 9 protected characteristics. These are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

The Equality Act also requires public bodies (like local councils, hospitals, and publicly-funded service providers) to consider how their decisions and policies affect people with different protected characteristics to ensure they are not discriminatory directly or indirectly.

James Mawrey, director of workforce, at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, added: “Staff are our greatest asset. We want to give them the tools and the skills they need to develop to be able to continue to deliver their best for patients, their families, carers and the wider public, and that is all staff, not just doctors and nurses, but administrative staff, laboratory staff – the many roles that have a part to play in delivering quality patient care.”