In 2015 Unichef were the very first chef organisation to openly discuss Mental Health Issues (MHI) in our profession, before that so many suffered in silence.
In order to create that safe space for discussion we needed to learn and embrace all that was being said to us. We knew as a Union that we could never fully understand what is like to suffer from such conditions but we also knew that we needed to care and support our fellow chefs.
That culture of finding safe spaces become more and more an essential part of our work, and so too we learned about how to embrace more and more the various aspects of our chefs’ lives, from those that suffered with IBS, Strokes, Autism and Asthma. Over the years Unichef has reached out and embraced all aspects of the lives of working chefs.
We never pretend to “understand” but we have learned to embrace, support and care, and we could not have done this without creating such safe spaces in which to openly discuss these important issues and having those chefs brave enough to come forward and help us to do that, without judgement or fear.
Today we can now say that we are in such a position to bring forward that support and care for our LGBTQ+ community.
Unichef is a Community Union and it must always reflect and support that community in all aspects of our working lives and the LGBTQ+ community within our profession needs that safe space too and once again Unichef is leading the way for others to follow.
We know that there are many chefs who long for a more open attitude within catering and we must accept that our profession has failed so far in recognising and supporting LGBTQ+ chefs in their work.
Today, with the wonderful help of Director Designate for Diversity and Inclusion Nicola Till we can now move forward and create that forum of support for gay Chefs in the UK.The British Culinary industry is far behind the rest of the world in its openness and embracement of LGBTQ+ issues and today we take a giant leap in doing just that.
For the very first time that support system of care and compassion is there for the Chef LGBTQ+ community, we are there for you, ready and willing to listen and care.
Once again Unichef,The National Chefs Union is breaking down walls, breaking down those barriers and stigmas that haunt our profession, today we reach out, today we are Proud,very Proud.