Posted on: 18 February 2022

Last Year, CNWL’s LGBT+ Staff Network (called Pride@CNWL) launched the Progress Flag badge for staff to wear as a visual expression of their and the Trust’s support for everyone within the LGBT+ community.

The Progress Flag adds five arrow-shaped lines to the six-coloured rainbow flag, which is widely recognised as the symbol of (LGBT+) communities. The flag includes black and brown stripes to represent marginalised LGBT+ communities of colour and those living with AIDS, along with pink, light blue and white, which are used on the Transgender Pride Flag.

CNWL was the first NHS Trust in the UK to launch a progress flag badge for their staff to wear following the successful launch of their standard rainbow flags in 2015.

Staff across the Trust asked for their badge and in turn took a pledge to support and stand up for patients and staff from the LGBT+ community in their service.

One year on from the successful launch, Pride@CNWL is launching Progress Flag lanyards to replace the standard rainbow ones.

Unlike denim, doubling up on wearing the progress flag is encouraged and always fashionable. But most importantly it adds and reconfirms the Trust’s position that every patient and staff - no matter their sexual orientation or gender - should be treated equally, feel safe in our care and their concerns understood and listened to.

Staff can trade in their old rainbow lanyards for new progress flag lanyards by contacting Pride@CNWL – See the staff Trustnet page for details.

Following feedback, staff have said they prefer wearing lanyards over badges, which means the progress flag badges won’t be restocked.


Below are messages from PRIDE@CNWL’s Staff Network on why they wear a progress lanyard.

Madi Fortune, Non Binary Lead for the network and Social Worker in Westminster, said:

“I wear my lanyard so that LGBTQIA+ patients and colleagues know that I will be a safe and understanding person they can approach to listen and support them. By wearing my lanyard I commit to keeping as knowledgeable as I can about my LGBTQIA+ siblings and how best to support our community. The importance of the new Progress lanyard is twofold – it differentiates the Pride rainbow from the rainbow that was adopted by the NHS in the start of the pandemic. And, it shows that I recognise the additional barriers that trans people and LGBTQIA+ people of colour can face in society.”

Anne Power, Staff Network Coordinator, said:

“By wearing my Progress Rainbow Lanyard I am able to be visible and supportive to the LGBT+ community.  This clear message of support enables people to be out at work and wholly themselves which is good for all our staff, carers and service users.”

Dr Leah Clatworthy, Bi Lead for the network and Clinical Lead of Milton Keynes Specialist Memory Service, said:

“I wear my rainbow lanyard to raise awareness of the LGBT+ community and hopefully show to service users and staff members that I am comfortable talking about LGBT+ issues.”

Ian Cole, Surrey lead for the network and Health Promotion Specialist, said

“It is a way of letting LGBTQ+ patients and staff members know that they can talk to me in confidence, but it also makes people ask me what it is for and I can then explain and raise awareness.”

Dr Christopher Whiteley, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, said

“Visibility, its one small but visible way to show service users and colleagues what we mean when we say LGBTQ+ people are supported and valued here in CNWL.  It helps me feel safer as a gay man in the Trust to see others showing their support wearing the lanyard.”


Read more:

Pride@CNWL delivers Progress Rainbow badges to CNWL’s Executive Team...

Launch of the Progress badge...