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'Our staff networks make us a better place to work'

Date: 11 May 2022

Time: 08:00

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust’s Chief People Officer has marked National Day for Staff Networks – Wednesday 11 May – by praising the Trust’s staff networks and those who lead and support them. 

Caroline Haynes said SCFT’s four staff networks - Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), Disability and Wellbeing, Religion and Belief, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) – and those involved in them made SCFT a better place to work. 

“As we celebrate Staff Networks’ Day, I want to thank those who lead or support our networks,” she said. 

“Over the last few years, we have implemented changes as a direct result of their feedback, challenge and engagement; they make us a better place to work.” 

The annual National Day for Staff Networks celebrates the huge contribution that networks make to the life and work of staff at organisations across the country. 

SCFT's staff networks make a positive difference to the lives of staff every single day, which is reflected in a poem written by Dawn Matthews, Co-Chair of the Trust’s Disability and Wellbeing Network and an Education and Organisational Development Practitioner: 

I am same just different

Difference is existence
Inclusion begs insistence
Identity versus infinity-
Diversity, monotony 

I am ME come find me
Indignity a memory
Meet me, judge me-
Only I will frame me 

Get the ways I live by
I am me, walk with me
Exist in Kindness-
Be decisive, Know me 

Laugh aloud and show me
Smile and understand me
I am same just different-
Just be, and be proud of me 

I have no other face
(I may not have your pace)
There may be day’s I’m quiet-
That might just be my diet! 

Treasured and beloved,
All my friends accept me
I’m no different don’t dispute me-
Label or desert me 

While the world is stalling
Respect must be our calling
Take the bricks out one by one-
Escape the bias, bang the drum 

We can leave the stigma
In the place where it belongs
Forget the hateful faces-
Together we are strong 

On this our special Networks Day
You and me and them and us-
We can meet to make a difference
To carve a better way

SCFT’s staff networks aim to inspire a sense of belonging, and the Trust’s recently published 2021 NHS Staff Survey results indicate that they are all doing a good job.

SCFT is among the highest scoring NHS community trusts in the country for being a compassionate and inclusive place to work, and questions relating to compassionate culture and diversity, and equality and inclusion, are the highest scoring of the Trust’s results.