In St Helens we are working to create a town where everybody is welcome regardless of disability, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. A simple choice to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, can make a huge difference to lives of people who face discrimination in their every day life. One kind act, one supportive word, one person willing to learn, can bring start a sequence of positive changes.

The Safer St Helens Partnership is asking everybody who works, lives or visits the town to be an ally to those who may experience discrimination, be that at home, in the workplace or out in public . Even though they do not belong to a specific group, an ally will make an effort to understand the struggles of another's circumstances. People from the different groups should also be an ally to each other.

Ally - someone who helps and supports other people who are part of a group that is treated badly or unfairly,  although they are not themselves a member of this group.

Being an ally doesn't mean that you identify with the experiences or injustices of the oppressed group, but it does mean that you will stand with them and for them in the face of discrimination.

How to be an ally

  1. Speak up in your own social circles - it starts with your own family and friends, it may feel uncomfortable at first, but you may just say something that changes the way others think about their choice of words that could be hurtful.
  2. Learn from your mistakes - nobody is perfect, what we thought was acceptable in the past has changed, it's OK as long as we learn from it.
  3. Amplify the voices of the minority groups, think how you use your social media or voice in work or social settings to represent them.
  4. Not just for show - don't support the groups for one day for kudos on social media, be consistant with your support.
  5. Mirror people's language they use to describe themselves. How they pronounce their name or what pronouns they use.
  6. Acknowledge religious or cultural holidays and life milestones.
  7. Encourage participation - support anybody who is feeling left out to speak up or become involved in an activity, work exercise or group and consider what barriers may be causing the problem.
  8. Accepting your privilege - we are not all created equal.


Accepting the reality of 'bias' privilege - This kind of 'privilege' is not linked to wealth or class.  Experiencing 'bias' privilege doesn't mean you are a bad person, or that you have not faced struggles in your life.  Most people who experience 'bias' privilege don't even know that it happens.  The experience of 'bias 'privilege' means that your circumstance, opportunities, and choices have not been disadvantaged, or made more difficult by stereotypical judgements about your abilities, merit and worth, not based on the facts about who you are as an individual, but based solely on widely held negative generalised opinions about aspects of your identity or personal characteristics.

For example,
  1. Not being recruited because an employer could not pronounce your name, even though you were the best candidate. 
  2. Being unable to acess to a venue because you are disabled. 
  3. Having a constant fear that your children will be abused because of their race or religion. 
  4. Not daring to hold hands with somebody you love in public for fear of abuse or attack.

One kind act, one supportive word, one person willing to learn and change, can start a sequence of positive changes that will make our town a better place to be for everybody.