Straight ally Simon shortlisted for LGBT award

One of Riverside’s leading voices for LGBT rights has been shortlisted for a national award.

Simon Allcock, Regional Operations Manager in Riverside’s South and Central division, has been named as one of the country’s top straight allies by the British LGBT Awards.

Simon Allcock, Regional Operations Manager and straight ally

Simon is part of a 300-strong network of ‘friends’, supporting Riverside’s LGBT staff group Spectrum.

But he has taken his role to the next level, actively encouraging colleagues to join Spectrum and Friends of Spectrum, contributing to Riverside’s Pride strategy and leading our attendance at the Sparkle Festival and the LGBT Foundation’s TransMCR housing event.

Simon said: “I’ve always believed in LGBT equal rights, but being a straight man I’d not really seen getting involved as a priority. 

“Once I started to get more involved, I was fascinated and shocked to realise that I had been seeing the issue through the blinkered eyes of the straight majority.  Prejudice, discrimination and even abuse are still real for LGBT people, even now.

“Speaking out about LGBT issues, even as a straight man, does have an impact on making Riverside a more inclusive place in which to work.”

John Glenton, Co-Chair of Spectrum and Executive Director for Riverside’s Care and Support division, added: “The support of straight allies like Simon really does help to make a difference.

“LGBT staff are reassured by such a strong support network from colleagues regardless of their sexual orientation and this recognition just goes to show how important that role is.”

The winners of the awards will be announced on Friday 12 May at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London.