Liberate is the Channel Islands’ equality and diversity charity. We have branches in Jersey and Guernsey, serving islanders in both Bailiwicks.
If you want to find out more about what is happening in Guernsey, please follow this link.
Liberate was formed in February 2014 in Guernsey and in August 2014 in Jersey in order to steer the Channel Islands’ response to the change in UK legislation that brought in equal marriage, ensuring that the islands’ LGBT+ voice was heard by its governments. 2017 saw the introduction of same-sex marriage legislation in Guernsey. In February 2018, the long-awaited legislation was finally passed in Jersey and, later in the year, Alderney.
Since our formation, we have been involved in consultations with the States of Jersey and Guernsey on various pieces of legislation including anti-discrimination law. Together with our partner organisation Trans* Jersey, we worked to learn from and improve on the UK’s Equality Act in Jersey. As a result, Jersey’s sex discrimination legislation, which came into force in September 2015, included recognition of intersex as a protected characteristic and protections for all people who are of non-binary gender, not just those who are under medical supervision to transition.
In September 2015, Liberate was responsible for delivering the first ever Pride to be held in the Channel Islands. Hosted by Jersey, over 3,000 people took part. Liberate built on these numbers in September 2016 with the first pan-island Pride taking place in Guernsey and Jersey.
Video made by Jersey residents to celebrate Pride 2015:
September 2016 also saw the first ever Channel Islands Equality & Diversity Awards. These were presented by Liberate and judged by an independent diversity panel. The response to the awards by the business community was extremely positive and the second awards evening was held in March 2018.
Liberate launched a new DIFERA employer accreditation scheme in May 2017 that demonstrates to employees (past, present and future), to clients and suppliers that an organisation places Diversity, Inclusion, Fairness, Equality, Respect and Acceptance at the heart of what it does.
In 2018, Liberate was given the residual funds from the Jersey AIDS Relief Group in order to continue to support islanders living with HIV and work to stop the spread of the virus. In 2019, Liberate revealed the results of its research into HIV in the Channel Islands and the work that still needs to be done by government and charities.
On 13 December 2018, Liberate changed from being a charitable association to a company limited by guarantee (registered charity number: 98).
In December 2019, Liberate launched its Accès scheme for organisations to demonstrate to employees and customers that they have made the reasonable adjustments needed to welcome people with disabilities to their workplace.
In April 2020, Liberate launched its counselling service in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was immediately (and temporarily) re-purposed to assist anyone in Jersey who needed some mental health support to cope with the crisis.