THE Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is moving closer to the top of LGBT charity Stonewall's prestigious Top 100 Employers list for 2019.

The Service has jumped another place from their 2018 fourth place to number three on the list and is the highest performing public sector organisation in the UK.

Cllr Bob Rudd, the chairman of Cheshire Fire Authority, said: “Residents can be assured that the services we provide, be it emergency response, safe and well visits or youth work, are delivered in a way that’s inclusive of the wonderfully diverse communities we serve.

“No one from the LGBT community should hesitate to engage with our staff or volunteers and the Service’s third position on the Stonewall Top 100 list provides that reassurance.”

This is the seventh consecutive year the service has featured in the Top 100, which assesses organisations ranging from local authorities to international investment banks against criteria including engagement with staff and communities, training and leadership.

Darren Towers, Stonewall’s Executive Director, said: “Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and all those who have made this year’s Top 100 Employers list are making a huge difference to workplaces, services and communities across the UK.

“LGBT-inclusive employers play a crucial role in changing society by using their power and influence to protect and support LGBT people.

“More than a third of LGBT staff (35 per cent) still hide their identity at work for fear of discrimination; that has an impact on productivity, wellbeing and more and shows we still have lots to do.”