stonewallCheshire FRS chief Paul Hancock has followed up his Service's placement in the top quarter of Stonewall's list of LGBT-friendly employers by picking up an individual honour asthe charity's 'North West Senior Champion'.

CFO Hancock received his award in recognition of his visible leadership around the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and wider equality agenda, which helped ensure Cheshire was one of just three fire and rescue services making it into the 2014 Stonewall Top 100.

After receiving his award, CFO Hancock said: "I have always been clear that I want all my staff to be able to come to work, be themselves and give their all. I am hugely proud to receive this award which shows that we are taking the right steps to open up the culture and get the best out of all our people."

The Workplace Equality Index has been in place for ten years and provides an audit for workplace culture. It is seen as the definitive benchmark for LGBT employers who are ranked by completing an evidenced assessment. Almost 400 organisations entered this year's index including some of the world's biggest firms