• Lynn Longland, HR – a diverse workforce forms an environment of tolerance and teamwork

    Lynn Longland, Head of Human Resources

     

    Autism at Kingwood are very proud of our diverse workforce. Each and every staff member who has joined us was recruited for not only experience and qualifications but, more importantly, their value’s and insight into how they felt they could help autistic adults live an independent and full life.

    Our diverse workforce means that our organisation, colleagues and the people we support, can embrace different cultures, religions and race, learning so much from every individual. It also allows for people from all different backgrounds to become more adaptable and accepting of others and helps to form an environment of tolerance and teamwork.

    The month of Ramadan is one example of a religious festival that some of our staff team may be celebrating. It is on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, though the exact dates change every year because Islam uses a calendar based on the cycles of the Moon. This year it runs from 12th April – 12th May. Ramadan is celebrated by fasting between dawn and sunset, and it is common to have one meal just before sunrise and one directly after, and attending special services in Mosques.

    As an employer that supports all religious beliefs, we will always accommodate employees and make adjustments where possible. This can include arranging shifts to accommodate employees preferences, ensuring that an employee can finish work in time to break the fast at sunset, accommodating requests for annual leave and making colleagues aware that it is Ramadan and encouraging them to be supportive of their fasting colleagues, in particular by not offering them food or drink.

    Gelasius Taaru is a member of staff who works at our Transition Service and celebrates Ramadan and has outlined the Five Pillars which are the core beliefs and practices of Islam:

    –  Profession of Faith (shahada), Prayer (salat), lms (zakat), Fasting (sawm), Pilgrimage (hajj),

    Gelasius has also given us a helpful insight into the meaning of Ramadan from his perspective and  how the Team have been a great support. –

    “For me working during Ramadan can be hard. Ramadan is a chance to bring you closer to God and your religion, it’s meant to be a reminder of all you are grateful for because you’re deprived, but because you’re deprived, you can get grumpy quicker. You have to be disciplined not to let those emotions take over and you definitely can’t get grumpy with the People we support but when you’re on shift, with no food or drink, smelling food cooking or watching people eat, it really tests you. My team are always really supportive, they stay with a Person I am supporting whilst I pray, they had a take away at a team meeting last week and because I was fasting, they put some aside for me before they all ate. Ramadan is so important in Islam and having a supportive team helps massively.”

    Take Care and keep safe,

    Lynn

     

    Abi Cowley

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