Diversity and Inclusion



Our Faith & Belief (FaB) and RESPECT Employee Networks are spaces where we come together for an hour to discuss issues, celebrate achievements and plan activities.

About Faith & Belief (FaB) Employee Network
Promoting understanding and good relations between all religions and beliefs while raising awareness of the barriers in the workplace to those observing a faith or belief system.

About RESPECT (Race & Ethnicity) Employee Network
A safe place for members to discuss topics, share best practices, experiences and concerns, celebrate events and raise awareness on race, culture and ethnicity matters.

For further information on how to join our FaB Employee Network and/or RESPECT Employee Network or if you need support, help and advice, please see the DEI team’s contact details below.

February 2024

13 February
Shrove Tuesday (Christian)
National Pancake Day
The day before Ash Wednesday is observed in Christian countries worldwide through participating in confession and absolution rituals. This ritual includes burning the previous year’s Holy Week palms, finalising one’s Lenten sacrifice, and the very popular practice of eating pancakes and other sweets. This opportunity to feast and indulge was practised in preparation for 40 days of fasting during Lent.

“Wishing you a wonderful Pancake Day and a fulfilling Lent – from everyone at the MPA.”

14 February
Ash Wednesday
Lent begins (Christian)
The last day of feasting or indulging in rich foods that one might give up as a sacrifice for the upcoming 40 days of the Lenten season. Some Christians conduct a full fast or bread and water fast during Ash Wednesday until sunset on Good Friday. Others prefer to continue fasting through to Lent.

“Wishing you a Happy Ash Wednesday – from everyone at the MPA.”

14 February
Vasant Panchami (Hindu)
Celebrated on the 5th day of Magh by the Hindu calendar. This year it falls on 14 February. The festival is also known as ‘Sarasvati Puja’ and marks the beginning of Spring. Indians living in the subcontinent and all over the world jubilantly observe this holiday in different ways depending on the religious sect and region. Saraswati is the Goddess of arts, science, music, and knowledge in Hinduism.

“Vasant Panchami Mubarak – from everyone at the MPA”

15 February
Nirvana Day and Parinirvana Day (Buddhist)
This Buddhist Festival commemorates Buddha’s death at 80 when he attained Nirvana the state at which all desires and afflictions are gone, and when the cycle of death and rebirth ends. This day is also known as the Mahayana Buddhist holiday – Parinirvana Day celebrated in East Asia, Vietnam and the Philippines. This observance is a great way to contemplate impermanence, rejoice in the example of the Buddha’s life and reflect on the precious opportunity that our own life journeys present us with.

“Wishing you a Happy Nirvana Parinirvana Day – from everyone at the MPA.”

25 February
Lailat al Bara’ah (Islam)
On the 14th of Sha’ban, the 8th month of the Muslim calendar and two weeks before Ramadan commences, Muslims seek forgiveness for their sins. Many Muslims believe that it is on this night that a person’s destiny is fixed by Allah for the coming year, and the night is often spent in prayer, asking for forgiveness and God’s guidance. Some Muslims fast during the daytime in preparation for the night. In certain parts of the world, Muslims visit the graves of relatives, and the giving of charity is also traditional. In many places, the night is marked with fireworks displays.

“Shab e barat Mubarak – from everyone at the MPA”

For further information, please contact the DEI Team:
Helen Choudhury
Head of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion
MPA Champion for Menopause
Mental Health First Aider
[email protected]

For religious support, help and advice, please contact the following organisations:


Support and Helplines in the UK

LGBT+ and religion


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