• Touchstone places at 20 in Stonewall list of Top Employers for LGBTQ+ people
  • Touchstone was also placed second in their sector and achieved a Gold Award for their commitment and efforts in continuing to be an LGBTQ+ employer.
  • Stonewall’s Top 100 employers List ranks organisations on their efforts and commitment to creating welcoming environments for their lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer staff.
  • Organisations are ranked by a set of standardised criteria, which includes ensuring HR policies are inclusive of LGBTQ+ people, as well as supporting and celebrating LGBTQ+ identities at work.

Touchstone works across communities to grow their confidence and capacity to demand the services and positive experiences they are entitled to has received an accolade for its commitment to inclusion of lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people in the workplace.

This year, Touchstone was placed in 20th place on Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers list. For the last twenty years, Stonewall, the world’s second-largest LGBTQ+ charity, has been supporting employers to create welcoming workplaces for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people.

According to the charity’s research, more than a third of LGBTQ+ staff (35 per cent) hide who they are at work, while one in five (18 per cent) have been the target of negative comments because they’re LGBTQ+.

Through their hard work and commitment to inclusion, including such interventions as mandatory LGB awareness training and Gender Identity training, Touchstone have moved from 44th place in 2020 to 20th place in 2022.

Liz Ward, Director of Programmes at Stonewall (she/her) said:

‘We’re delighted for Touchstone who’s incredible work towards LGBTQ+ inclusion this year has seen them land at 20th place in the Top 100. Every employer has a duty to make sure that their LGBTQ+ staff are free from discrimination at work, and our Top 100 list, alongside our Workplace Equality Index helps organisations reflect on their inclusion journey and celebrate best practice.

‘We spend much of our time at work, and our career can be a huge part of how we define ourselves. That’s why it’s vital that every single lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer person feels like they can be themselves in their workplace.’

Quenby Harley, Community Health Development Analyst and a member of Touchstone’s LGBTQ+ Staff Network Group (they/them) commented:

‘Working here there’s a sense that everyone from our CEO down has a shared goal. People throughout Touchstone are always working to make this a better and more inclusive organisation for staff and service users alike – and are prepared to speak out when we could be doing better. I’m proud to be a part of Touchstone, and to contribute to work around LGBT+ inclusion.’

 Arfan Hanif, Chief Executive Officer at Touchstone (he/him) said:

‘I am delighted that Touchstone are in the Top 20 of Stonewall’s 2022 ‘Top 100 Employers list’.  We also came 2nd in our ‘industry’ sector (Health & Social Care) and top it off we have also received a Gold Award for our work.  We at Touchstone strive to be a representative employer where all staff regardless of their identities feel safe, accepted and valued. We are proud that we are a representative and inclusive employer, with over a quarter of our staff LGB, 1 in 20 indicating trans/non-binary/other and half the Senior Leadership Team LGB.  We want all our staff to unlock their full potential and this is only possible in an accepting and compassionate work environment. Being on the Stonewall Top Employers list and best practice related to this will enable Touchstone to continuing being an inclusive employer and service provider’

The full Top 100 list this year can be found on the Stonewall website, as well as further information about the importance of LGBTQ+ inclusion, and more information on how the Top 100 list is created.

For any questions or interview requests please contact Fran Tredget via email on frant@touchstonesupport.org.uk


Stonewall is the UK’s leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality, working to create a world where every lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer person is free to be themselves – wherever they are.

It was founded in 1989 by a small group of people who wanted to break down barriers to equality. Stonewall continues to campaign on LGBT Equality, as well as work with employers and schools to create environments which allow LGBTQ+ people to thrive.

For more information on Stonewall’s work with organisations, through it’s Diversity Champions programme, and some of the press coverage during summer 2021 please see our FAQs here. To get involved visit us at www.stonewall.org.uk    Registered charity number 1101255