Cuppa and a chat
Anyone who has 'come out' to family, friends or even to themselves, has likely had to deal with difficult and often emotional challenges. Sometimes counselling can be very helpful to deal with important and specific issues. But sometimes all someone might want is a good cuppa and a chat with someone who might have experienced similar situations and challenges.
As every person is wonderful and unique, no-one can possibly know how an individual truly feels, but having someone who understands something of the challenges faced can be very comforting. Knowing that we are not alone, and that people don't just get by but actually flourish when they're allowed be their true selves, can be a very positive thing.
We would like to encourage anyone dealing with LGBT+ issues, for themselves or colleagues, to get in touch and see if sharing a cuppa with someone from our supportive network could help brighten someone's day a little.
You can't change the world with a cuppa, but it's a good start.
Code of conduct
To ensure that respectful and understanding professional relationships are created and supported here at Loughborough, we ask that the following code of conduct is adhered to. It is based on an adaptation of the Global Code of Conduct published by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council and their partner professional associations. Whilst there are certain expectations and guidance that will follow similar principals to mentoring and coaching, there is no assumption that the supporting buddy is teaching or guiding the new buddy, only different levels of experience which can be shared between the buddy relationship.
- The LGBT+ staff 'Cuppa and a chat' project at Loughborough University is a confidential activity in which both parties have a duty of care towards each other. The supporting person will only disclose information when explicitly agreed with the new person or when they believe there is a serious danger to that person or others if the information is withheld.
- Participation of both parties is voluntary. Either party may break off the relationship if they feel it is not working. Both parties share responsibility for the smooth winding down and proper ending of the relationship.
- The supporting person's role is to understand how the new person sees the world, and to be someone to listen to issues and help answer questions where they are deemed suitable, appropriate and supportive. The supprting person will not impose their own agenda, nor will they intrude into areas that the new person wishes to keep off limits.
- Supporting people will avoid knowingly discriminating on any grounds and will seek to enhance their own awareness of possible areas of discrimination. They will also be cognisant of the potential for unconscious bias and seek to ensure that they take a respectful and inclusive approach, which embraces and explores individual difference.
- The new person is not obliged to follow any suggestions offered by the supporting person; but the new person does have a responsibility to consider information imparted in as open a manner as possible.
- Both parties will respect each other’s time and other responsibilities, ensuring they do not impose beyond what is reasonable. Both parties will respect the position of third parties, such as line managers or team colleagues.
- The supporting person will be aware and operate within the limits of their experience and expertise.
- Both parties will be honest with each other about how the relationship is working.
- Supporting people will keep, store and dispose of appropriate and accurate records of their work with the new person, including electronic files and communications, in a manner that ensures confidentiality, security and privacy, and complies with all relevant laws and agreements that exist in their country regarding data protection and privacy.