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Lindsay While (she/her)


As Assistant Director (Student Wellbeing & Welfare) in Student & Library Services, Lindsay While talks about her commitment to developing effective, inclusive support services for students and her role as a proud LGBTQ+ ally within Team Teesside.

What do LGBTQ+ allies do?

We raise awareness, provide opportunities for educating others, challenge hate, promote a positive message and kindness, encourage understanding, listen and provide support to anyone who needs it to ensure they can be themselves.

Why did you decide to become an LGBTQ+ ally?

It is important for all of our students to feel part of a community and have a sense of belonging whilst they are studying with us. I am keen to do what I can to support students to be in an environment where they are able to be themselves and where we can challenge prejudice and promote kindness.

Everybody should be able to live a happy and healthy life so anything I am able to do to contribute towards this and provide students with what they need whilst they are here and beyond is important to me.

It's really important to have allies that are visible for students and staff who are part of the LGBTQ+ community so that they feel supported and so that they feel that sense of belonging here at Teesside.

Why does equality, diversity, and inclusion matter at Teesside University?

Everyone should have the opportunity to have the best experience possible during their studies and achieve their full potential. Fair and equal access to services supports achievement and promotes a healthy and thriving student community.

What do you do to show your support for LGBTQ+ colleagues and students in your role?

I support staff development in LGBTQ+ to promote inclusive practice in service delivery. Raising awareness and understanding of challenges faced within the LGBTQ+ community ensures the best possible support is provided for our students.

I provide opportunities for members of staff to attend training so that they are able to embed that inclusive practice into their work here. The training revolves around how to promote a positive message to improve understanding around LGBTQ+ and also challenging hate and prejudice.

Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking about becoming an LGBTQ+ ally?

LGBTQ+ allies make small changes to promote inclusivity such as using preferred pronouns, listening to understand rather than listening to respond, embedding inclusive practice into their work, accepting individuality and taking time to understand other people's experiences. Everyone can be an LGBTQ+ ally.

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