Open@TUoS Allies

Rainbow lanyards are the most visible way the University brings together and works collaboratively with LGBT+ supporters and allies to progress LGBT+ equality.

Staff from all across the University tell us why they wear the rainbow lanyard, and what being an ally to LGBT+ staff and students means to them.


Rainbow - Keith Burnett

Professor Sir Keith Burnett FRS,
President and Vice-Chancellor

"I am very pleased to be part of this visible initiative to support our diverse community and to ensure LGBT+ staff and students know that they are welcome and supported at our University.

As a university we proudly welcome talented scholars from every background, culture and identity and treasure the vital impact we make together for good in the world."


Rainbow - Ruby Willows

Ruby Willows - Facilities Assistant

"Being someone whom identifies as non-binary and pansexual in such a mainstream world, it means a lot to feel so accepted at work for simply being myself. To me the Rainbow Lanyard represents acceptance and love to everyone both in and outside of our LGBT community. Any person whom needs support will see us wearing them and hopefully feel more comfortable to approach us with any questions or advice."


Rainbow - Angela Dennis

Angela Dennis - Security Patrol Officer

”I wear my rainbow lanyard with pride to promote my support around diversity and equality. Security Services are at the forefront of emergencies and incidents, and so wearing the lanyard gives me an opportunity to be approachable. The lanyard says I am someone who understands and that the University is front and centre as a supporting force with anything relating to the LGBT+ community, and a champion at welcoming diversity.”


Rainbow - Wyn Morgan

Professor Wyn Morgan - Vice-President for Education

"The rainbow lanyard is a way of visibly showing others in our University community that you believe in equality for LGBT+ colleagues and students. I am proud to wear mine and I hope to see other colleagues join Open@TUoS too."


Rainbow - Jonathan Millward

Jonathan Millward - Data Quality Administrator, University Health Service

"​I feel it is important to wear the rainbow lanyard to show support for, and to help build, a completely open, supportive and inclusive environment and culture. I am proud to wear my lanyard, and to consider myself an ally, to work towards this and to show my support for making TUoS a place where everyone is comfortable and supported in being themselves.”


Rainbow - Tracy Wray

Tracy Wray - Director of HR and Communications

"The rainbow lanyard is a visible commitment to LGBT+ equality. In order to get a lanyard, people have to join Open@TUoS and recognise what being an ally means. It's so important that colleagues can be themselves in the workplace and we all see the collective benefit that brings."


Rainbow - James Gregory

James Gregory - Senior Software Engineer, epiGenesys

"I'm proud to be part of Open@TUoS and be ally to those who need it - whether it's a pointer to a student who needs advice, a visible member of the LGBT+ community to those who work around campus, or as a contributor to our LGBT+ Staff Network. If being a visible ally helps just one person feel that little bit more comfortable around campus, I think I've done a great job."


Rainbow - Gill Valentine

Professor Gill Valentine - Provost & Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and Senior LGBT+ Champion

"The rainbow lanyard symbolises equality. Equality is a hugely important thing for me personally. I believe people should be accepted for whoever they are and should be able to bring their whole selves to work in a warm and welcoming environment."


Rainbow - SU Officers

Sheffield Students' Union Officers

"Open@TUoS is a great initiative, encouraging the values of openness, inclusivity and solidarity, which are core to the University of Sheffield community. It's vital that everyone not only shows their support by wearing a lanyard, but also stands up against bigotry and discrimination whenever they see it." - Kieran Maxwell - Sheffield Students' Union President.


Rainbow - Catrin Harland

Revd Dr Catrin Harland - The University Chaplaincy Centre

“As a Chaplain, it is fundamentally important to me to remember that all people are of immeasurable worth, in our diversity as well as in our shared humanity. I try to be an ally because of, not despite, my faith. It is frequently assumed that LGBT+ identity is incompatible with faith, and the words and actions of faith institutions have too often reinforced that, but in the Chaplaincy, no one is judged for who they are. I'm delighted to wear a rainbow lanyard as one visible symbol of this.”


Rainbow - Kate Rickard

Kate Rickard - Sport Development Manager, Sport Sheffield

“I'm proud to be an LGBT+ ally at the University of Sheffield and feel really passionate and committed to supporting all of the University community to feel comfortable, be themselves and feel included at work/study each and every day.”


Rainbow - Police Officers

PC Dickinson and PC Bakewell, South Yorkshire Police Officers

​"We wear the rainbow lanyard to show visible support to our LGBT+ students and colleagues and to send a clear message that we are supportive and approachable. We want to ensure that our entire University community feels safe bringing their whole selves to work and study, regardless gender identity / sexual orientation."


Rainbow - Nadia Fernandez

Nadia Fernandes - Demonstrator, Molecular Biology & Biotechnology

”A scientist is defined by many things; curiosity, creativity, sagacity - sexuality was never supposed to be one of them. I wear this rainbow lanyard for the discoverers and the discoveries lost to discrimination, and for those who are currently in danger of being dismissed from writing history."


Rainbow - Richard Yates

Richard Yates - Head of Security Services

“I wear the rainbow lanyard because I take pride in our University being absolutely inclusive of anyone. I believe that we need to maintain a culture of openness which encourages friends and colleges in the LGBT+ community to be who they wish to be. We must also continue to give out a clear message that any form of discrimination against LGBT+ people is not acceptable.”


Rainbow - Kennis Cho

Kennis Cho - HR Assistant

​”I am very proud to be an ally to LGBT+ staff and students at the University of Sheffield. My role in HR involves supporting staff and I know the University works very hard to promote LGBT+ inclusion. So I choose to wear the rainbow lanyard to let my colleagues know that I am approachable, and also because I believe that everyone should feel safe, included and can be themselves at work or study”.


Rainbow - Lucy Brooke

Lucy Brooke – Deputy Security Operations Manager

“I like to put my lanyard on and know that this helps me stand out as being a “safe” person to approach to discuss anything relating to the LGBT+ community. Being an ally is really important regardless of your own sexuality, as it shows that the University really is a supportive family to be a part of.”


Rainbow - Sarah Shahid

Sarah Shahid - Clerical Assistant, English Language Teaching Centre

"I am a Bi member of staff at the University and wear the lanyard because it's a highly visible statement about the University's commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, not only around campus but when you're walking around town. To me it means inclusion, acceptance and being part of a diverse network and community."


Rainbow - Ciara Woodcock

Ciara Woodcock - University Health Service

“I wear the rainbow lanyard because it is important to show support for the LGBT+ community, and to show that the University is a safe and inclusive place. Being an ally means doing everything you can to make sure people of every gender and sexuality are treated fairly.”


Rainbow - Patrick Lambe

Patrick Lambe - Campus Warden

“I wear my rainbow lanyard because I want to live and work in an equal and diverse environment that includes everyone. It is all of our responsibilities to achieve this, regardless of sexuality and gender. Being an ally is important to me for a lot of reasons, whether that be as someone to talk to or just the reassurance that the University of Sheffield is a safe place for all.”


Rainbow - HRET

Human Resources Executive Team

"The rainbow lanyard is a visible commitment to LGBT+ equality. In order to get a lanyard, people have to join Open@TUoS and recognise what being an ally means. It's so important that colleagues can be themselves in the workplace and we all see the collective benefit that brings."


Rainbow - Robert Cooke

Robert Cooke - Marketing Communications and Staff Engagement Officer, Faculty of Science

"There are many steps that we need to take before we have a society that's built on the strengths that diversity gives us. The rainbow lanyard is a way of saying that we recognise how far we still have to go, but that we're committed to taking this journey together."


Rainbow - Steve Goodrich

Steve Goodrich - Digital Content Coordinator, Corporate Communications

"Being an ally is about supporting any and every choice that somebody makes towards expressing their identity, which is something that fundamentally doesn't affect anybody else, and advocating their right to equal treatment in all walks of life. The rainbow lanyard is a simple and effective way of communicating that unconditional support."


Rainbow - Cathy Atkinson

Cathy Atkinson - Senior Data Quality Administrator, University Health Service

“I wear a rainbow lanyard to show my support for LGBT+ staff and students. I didn't hesitate to become a LGBT+ ally as I think it’s very important to value people whatever their sexuality and promote an environment where people can be themselves without fearing prejudice. I’m proud to work for an organisation that is in the Top 100 Workplaces for LGBT+ equality.”


Rainbow - Beatrice Taylor

Beatrice Taylor - Facilities Manager

​”I wear a Rainbow lanyard as a visual representation to demonstrate my attitude, approachability and inclusiveness of everyone, to everyone. Having young children I believe it's important to demonstrate these attitudes to enable everyone to be themselves and not face some of the prejudice people have, and still do face around LGBT+ issues. Although I feel very proud to work for an organisation with such a positive attitude around this, in an ideal world, we wouldn't even need to talk about it.”


Rainbow - Natalie Farrow

Natalie Farrow - Marketing Assistant, Corporate Communications

“Wearing the rainbow lanyard shows my support of this and my commitment to equality in my workplace. Though I don't identify as LGBT+ wearing the rainbow lanyard shows that I am aware of LGBT+ issues and that I am happy to support and listen to colleagues.”


Danni Kerr - Rainbow

Danni Kerr - ​Associate Teacher and PhD Candidate at the Sheffield School of Architecture

"​I love designing and teaching architecture, a field of creative endeavour that benefits from diverse perspectives - just like any other. On campus, I can be seen inhabiting my work and my studies; supporting and striving - just like anyone else."


Fran Carr - Rainbow

Fran Carr - Marketing Communications and Staff Engagement Officer, Faculty of Science

"For me the rainbow lanyard is more than supporting one campaign, it is a visible sign and commitment to the values it represents. Creating an environment that is free from prejudice, one that is fully inclusive and supportive, enabling everybody to reach their potential benefits everyone. Diversity brings creative solutions and a broader perspective. The #RainbowLanyard is an outward sign of what TUoS stands for and if our staff and students can take these values of equality and inclusivity with them wherever they go, then we may just have instilled the most important message of all."


If you would like to be featured as an ally on this page, please get in touch at hrequality@sheffield.ac.uk