The NEAS Pride team – Marianne Walton (emergency preparedness resilience response manager and Proud@NEAS staff network vice chair), Mark Johns (engagement, diversity and engagement manager),Loveness Scott (positive action officer), Emily Grant (contracting manager and Proud@NEAS staff network vice chair), Yeshentha Naidoo (equality, diversion and inclusion officer), and Emma Burrow (research assistant and Proud@NEAS staff network vice chair)

NEAS transports the celebration to staff working during UK Pride festival

Vehicles proudly displaying rainbow colours ahead of this weekend's event

Staff at the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) will be bringing the celebration to crews who cannot attend this weekend’s UK Pride event in Newcastle.

Two vehicles have been rebranded with the rainbow colours of Pride to mark the Northern Pride festival, which is hosting this year’s UK Pride.

One is an ambulance which will be on the Town Moor for the two-day event and the other is an equipment stock van, which will be working across the North East region supporting emergency care and patient transport crews who are on duty during the weekend.

John Marshall, vice-chair of NEAS said: “This weekend is an important opportunity to celebrate the rights of LGBTQ+ people. Having a branded vehicle working across the region to support our staff will bring a touch of Pride and celebration to those who cannot make it to attend the festival.

“This event helps us all to recognise some people still face a struggle against hate, homophobia and ridicule; and reminds us of the importance to take a stand against intolerance and celebrate the contribution the LGBTQ+ community make to our society.”

NEAS has achieved gold status in the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion framework for its continued commitment and progress in improving LGBTQ+ employee and patients’ experiences. The Trust has also been shortlisted in the national PINK News Awards 2022 in the public sector category.

Off-duty staff across the region will be involved in the weekend-long UK Pride event, kicking off with an approximately 15 employees taking part in the 5k run on Friday evening.

NEAS will join forces with Northumbria Police, Northumbria PCC, Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service and Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals on Saturday morning to host the Pride breakfast at Newcastle Civic Centre, which will also feature ambulance staff in the Blue Light Choir, singing to an audience of an expected 500 people. 

Up to 70 staff, supported by the Proud@NEAS staff network, are expected to take part in the parade on Saturday, marching alongside other NHS Trusts and emergency services partners.

A branded ambulance and stall will be on Town Moor all weekend along with staff available to answer questions on the service, talk about apprenticeships, vacancies and volunteering opportunities, and advising on the different services we provide for patients; as well as collecting feedback about LGBTQ+ experiences of using NEAS.

Mark Johns, equality diversity and inclusion manager at NEAS added: “We want people to bring their authentic self to work and be welcomed into a positive culture that respects and values them for who they are. If this sounds like a place you want to work, come and speak with us over the weekend.”

Note: not all NEAS staff attending the festival are clinically trained to assist patients. Medical cover for the event has been commissioned by the event organisers and assigned to Excel Medical Solutions. All accidents and injuries must be reported to the event management team so that medical staff at the event can respond and keep a proper record of treatment.

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