Skills for Care

My experience of co-producing the LGBTQ+ learning framework

27 Jun 2023

5 min read

Lawrence Roberts

  • Culture and diversity
  • Learning and development
  • Skills for Care

Lawrence Roberts, Pride in Ageing Manager at the LGBT Foundation shares his experience of co-producing the LGBTQ+ learning framework and his hopes for how it will be used in future.

I joined LGBT Foundation back in 2015 as the UK’s first-ever full time worker with a remit around LGBTQ+ communities and cancer, a ground-breaking project commissioned by Macmillan Cancer Support with The Christie NHS Foundation Trust. It was really eye opening to learn about inequity in cancer treatment, support, and prevention for LGBTQ+ communities, and it was with a group of LGBTQ+ people living with and affected by cancer that we embarked on work to create change and raise awareness.

In 2019 I launched LGBT Foundation’s first ever programme for over 50s, Pride in Ageing, which has at its heart an Advisory Group of people from older LGBTQ+ communities across Greater Manchester.


LGBTQ+ learning framework

The project began with an evidence review led by University of Strathclyde, and I led on the following stage which was a series of workshops with older LGBTQ+ people. The Pride in Ageing programme created a safe space for community members to exchange ideas about their aspirations for inclusive social care for LGBTQ+ communities and prioritise key areas. These workshops ensured the framework reflected a diversity of experience across LGBTQ+ communities, including those who are sometimes lesser heard such as trans communities and racially and ethnically minoritised people. The final framework combines the available evidence with the priorities raised at the workshops. Some of those who attended the sessions also joined a wider network of reviewers of a draft of the framework, to ensure that it reflected the discussions from the workshops accurately.

It’s always a privilege to work with our older LGBTQ+ communities, as they’ve been at the forefront of change through decades of unequal treatment – and they see social care as their next frontier. There was a lot of agreement on the main areas which the framework should focus on, as well as a consensus that trans communities would need their own section of the framework to address the unique issues they face. In addition to concerns and stories shared there was an incredibly positive energy running through our workshops, as well as a real appreciation for Skills for Care having commissioned an LGBTQ+ framework. This energy was carried through to the launch event which over 500 people attended – and there was a lot of appreciation at the launch as well for those from our communities who had given their time and thoughts to the process.

The framework exists to empower staff to help address an urgent inequity of care for LGBTQ+ communities, through applied knowledge and person-centred care. LGBTQ+ communities face the same challenges as the general population when it comes to ageing and care, however they also experience worse health inequalities (which have an impact on physical and mental health), as well as barriers to accessing social care, including fears of homophobia, biphobia, or transphobia.

LGBTQ+ older people may also be facing higher levels of isolation, and have a support network of peers of the same age who are unable to support them in the same way as an intergenerational network could, which makes it even more important that they can access a high standard of inclusive social care support.

The framework is a starting point when it comes to improving social care for LGBTQ+ communities and an invitation to join us to help create change. There are so many ways in which the framework could be useful - you may want to use it to guide a needs assessment for LGBTQ+ communities in your area, to build a training module, as part of appraisals, or for self-guided study. It can only make a considerable difference if it’s used and referenced by those in the social care workforce, so please do have a think about how it might be applicable for your work area.

Inclusivity is really important when it comes to LGBTQ+ issues, as is visibility – which this framework aims to achieve on both counts. The framework doesn’t cover LGBTQ+ staff specifically but it has created a groundswell of support within the sector from staff of all backgrounds who want to play their part in ensuring equitable care and working environments for LGBTQ+ communities. We’ve also had some feedback from LGBTQ+ staff working in social care who say they can finally see their own lived experience echoed in a social care improvement project and have shared with us the reassurance and confidence this has given them at work.

If you do use the framework and find it useful, please do consider sharing feedback with Skills for Care as this helps with future commissioning of similar work.


Pride month

Pride Month is always a busy month for speaking and training requests, which gives us a great chance to share with others what we do all throughout the year as an LGBTQ+ wellbeing charity. We’re also attending Prides across England; our Pride season actually started in April and runs right through to Autumn, so do look out for us spreading LGBTQ+ hope and joy at a Pride near you.


Find out more about the LGBTQ+ learning framework and the LGBT Foundation.

Ensuring a focus on equality, diversity and inclusion for your staff and the people you support can support a #PositiveWorkplaceCulture. Find out more about workplace culture with our spotlight page.

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