'My 999 family have been a great source of support and motivation'

'My 999 family have been a great source of support and motivation'

EMAS is a people service – everything we do has an impact either on people inside the organisation and/or out in the communities we serve.

Jonny Holmes is a paramedic in Leicestershire and co-chair of our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Network. The group aim to provide support to LGBT colleagues and those who wish to seek information in how to best support LGBT friends or family members, and to foster an inclusive and educated workforce able to provide the best support to LGBT staff and patients.

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Co-Chair of the network Jonny Holmes talks about what it means to him.

“My name is Jonny and I am a Paramedic based at Coalville Ambulance Station in Leicestershire; I also happen to be gay. Not the most interesting quality about me but is possibly one of the most important. Growing up I was bullied horribly all throughout school, and it was not until after I left and started university that I actually felt accepted for who I was; only after this did I then begin to feel truly comfortable with my sexuality.

“I joined EMAS 10 years ago as an Emergency Care Support Worker before completing my technician training and finally registering as a Paramedic in 2010. My time so far with EMAS has been wonderful in terms of acceptance; my ‘999 family’ has been a great source of support and motivation. I was delighted three years ago to be asked to be on an LGBT Committee that would sit on a national level that has now grown into the National Ambulance LGBT network we have today.

“The journey to where I am now in terms of feeling confident with who I am was not an easy one and was certainly filled with pitfalls and rejection. I want the network to provide a safe environment within EMAS where people experiencing fear or rejection for who they are feel enabled to seek help, and where staff feel educated and confident enough to be able to provide support for colleagues and patients alike.

“Finally I want us to be proud of who we are, the work we do and the diverse workforce we have.”