18th October 2021
By Emilia Lodge
The City Of Liverpool College had the pleasure of hosting the Navajo Awards on Friday 1st October. An afternoon in celebration of the LGBTIQA+ community, the awards recognise the commitment of organisations and individuals who advocate for equality and strive to ensure that no one feels ashamed to be themselves.
Since 2012, The Navajo Merseyside Consultative Partnership has been awarding companies the Navajo Charter Mark, signifying their efforts in creating an inclusive environment for the LGBTIQA+ community. The City Of Liverpool College is proudly one of these organisations to achieve Navajo standards. We spoke to another Navajo Charter Mark holder, Paula Hulme, representing Barnardo’s Action with Young Carers Liverpool: ‘We wanted Navajo to assess our services to make sure that we were LGBTQIA+ friendly, that we had the right resources and training for our work with young people.’
This year, Barnardo’s presented the Next Generation Award. Described as ‘recognising tomorrow’s change makers, today’, it was awarded to Alexander Sallery. He spoke of accepting more than just an award as he learnt to also accept himself and now, through his volunteer work with Navajo, helps others do the same.
‘With my body finally beginning to feel like my own, and knowing I was supported by a community that was like myself, I wanted to spend my time giving something back.’
From the New Generation Award to University of Chester’s plans to develop their LGBTQIA+ student support, the ceremony proved it vital that young people feel seen and accepted.
Navajo chairperson, Tony Griffin said: ‘I’m a trans man and when I was young, I felt I was on my own. Trans wasn’t even conceived as a word when I was growing up. So to young people, I say hang on in there because there are people out there like you. You may think you’re alone but you’re not.’