Leadership principles: signatories’ statements

Please see below the statements from some of the signatories of ACEVO and IoF’s racial diversity principles for civil society leaders. This page will be updated regularly, when new signatories join or send us updates about their work on racial diversity, equality and inclusion. 

Also read: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/About-Us/workplace-diversity

We know there is a problem with race in the economy. We know that there is a problem with racial diversity within the social sector. We also know that the boards at the top 100 UK charities are less diverse than the companies listed on the FTSE 100.

As a sector that is trying to achieve social change, this lack of diversity undermines our mission to bring about fairness and equity within society. Ultimately, if we do not hold ourselves to account, we are in no position to challenge society to improve.

The leaders within our sector have a duty to lead the charge and model both positive behaviour and the establishment of tangible action plans. At Turn2us, both our Board of Trustees and senior leadership team are committed to working with our colleagues throughout the charity – and the partners we collaborate with – to do just that.

From my part, I believe that when I catch myself acting on my unconscious bias, I should call myself out. I should hold myself to account with regards to learning about racial bias; and make sure there are champions and leadership for equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within our organisation. 

How we measure these action plans and their effectiveness is a contentious issue. Targets can be useful but they can also be seen as tokenistic. What we want to do is ensure we represent the people for whom we exist. We know that a disproportionate number of minority ethnic groups face financial hardship and that they make up a large number of the people who come to us for support. It, therefore, makes sense that our staff team is representative.  Likewise, the same applies to our Board; and accountability for this should always start here.

An intersectional approach to tackling diversity

One of the things I’ve noticed when talking to others about race, is that people can want to steer away from the conversation. This is often done in one of two ways: by doubting the experiences of people of colour; or to dilute the race issue by bringing in other issues such as gender and disability.

At Turn2us, we are committed to building diversity and inclusion at every level and have adopted an intersectional approach to tackling racism. If we look at racism in isolation then we ignore the intersectional nature of exclusion in relation to other characteristics.

We are working to tackle diversity and inclusion through human resources and recruitment. Language plays an important role in ensuring our services and organisational culture is accessible and impactful. We also apply a number of key principles:  

  • Recruit for potential not perfection
  • Recruit to complement the team
  • Recruitment practice should always itself be diverse

We want to view our staff as the sum of many parts rather than a single entity and we want to recruit to build a diverse group of talented people, collectively working towards a shared vision; and this comes back to our main purpose as a charity. In order to achieve our purpose and the social impact for which our organisation is designed, we need to be an inclusive organisation, with an inclusive culture.

If you recruit for perfection, there’s a greater risk that the teams will be a cohort of people with privileged backgrounds and career paths. If you go for potential, there’s a greater chance we will find teams with more varied and richer life experiences.

The value and success of our services are dependent upon the people for whom we exist.  It’s for this reason that co-design is such a fundamental part of our new purpose and strategy.  We value the ability to draw from one’s lived experience so we can develop our work: how can I, from a position of affluence, have the rich insight into what is needed for our programme position? Everything we do needs to be contextualised in terms of our programming and purpose. This includes collaboration with partners who are experts in the fields that we are not.

A diverse staff team that is representative of the people for whom we exist is a good start. But diversity in itself and in isolation is not enough. If you only achieve diversity and don’t pay attention to inclusion and physiological safety, things will be worse, rather than improved.  People need a safe environment in which to work; to have uncomfortable conversations; to challenge; and to feel safe and validated in taking the risk to share something. Culture and leadership are crucial to this.

As a leader in the charity sector and CEO of the British Red Cross, I am personally committed to increasing diversity. While action-based strategies and solutions are crucial to enable change, it is vital that we all understand our own unconscious bias that may be impacting our decisions and behaviour. I’m always telling my team to bring their whole selves to work – that means I must do it too.

I recently went to see The Book of Mormon, the long-running comedy musical, where ‘all American’ white Mormon missionaries go to Uganda to try to convert black Africans to their cause. I found the portrayal of the incompetent, proselytising Mormons belly-achingly funny and the ‘ironic’ portrayal of the FGM-practicing, disease-ridden Africans offensive. When I shared this perspective with friends, they said: “so you don’t mind being disparaging about Mormons, but you do about Africans?” Ouch! Does that mean I am not fully inclusive or am I just lacking a sense of humour? I don’t know.

All around us, the interpretation of our personal values are being tested. Cultural appropriation, power imbalance, structural inequalities. These are complex issues that are in part about understanding who you are, the privilege you may unknowingly hold and the power or opportunity this may give you. It’s about understanding personal responsibility, making a difference and taking action as an ally in the workplace. It can be exhausting for people of colour to continually have to share their experiences of racial injustice, only for it to be disregarded.

This and more is explored in the brilliant Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. It captures the way the playing field is tilted at each stage of the educational and career development ladder against people of colour, meaning that the pool of people at each step is smaller than it should be. We need to understand what this means and be prepared to drive the change that tilts the playing field back again.

Over the last five years at the British Red Cross, we have been working systematically to try to make our organisation both more diverse and more inclusive. Not only does this make our workplace a better place to be – we know a more inclusive team brings diversity of thinking, enabling us to make smarter decisions, bring about more positive change in society and, crucially, be better equipped to support people in crisis

We started by commissioning research with our own staff and volunteers to understand their experience at the British Red Cross. This enabled us to develop a meaningful inclusion and diversity strategy. It flagged to us some things we wanted to change.

We invested in internal diversity networks and are developing a new mentoring programme. We trained managers to spot unconscious bias and to challenge this behaviour in yourself and others. We introduced a name-blind application process and are adopting equality impact assessments across our work. We have seen some success in meeting our internal target of increasing the number of BAME staff from 8% (2016) to 12% (2019). There is still much to do.

The real test is creating a culture of inclusion in which everyone feels they belong and that their ideas are valued. Where a diverse group of people are able to bring their whole selves to work, not just the bits you think people want to see. And it’s not just about race, it’s gender and disability, introversion and extroversion. It’s all the parts of a person that make their contribution in the workplace unique. Do they all get an equal chance to contribute in this noisy world? I doubt it.





Last updated 21/01/2020

Since signing up to the principles Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin has undertaken unconscious bias training for staff and trustees. We have also reviewed our membership and directly written to a number of BME and other minority organisations, who we wish to engage with, to invite them to join us as members. We believe it is important to start with our grass roots membership and build from there. We are currently following this up with direct contact.

We have also written a new communications plan which has within it a clear priority for communication and engagement with BME and other minority groups. As part of the plan we will be looking at the images we use in our comms to ensure they reflect the individuals we want to attract into the organisation.

We have reviewed all our recruitment processes to ensure they are as accessible and welcoming as possible

Last updated 18/02/2020

ActionAid UK welcomes the joint initiative of ACEVO and Institute of Fundraising in promoting diversity and the particular focus on improving racial diversity. As a global federation committed to principles of social justice, we consider this as fundamentally important to our mission. We recognise and value racial diversity because it reflects the true values of British society, provides very different perspectives in decision making, enables us to connect better with other members of our global federation – and very importantly, it is the right thing to do. For us, racial diversity, and for that matter, all issues of diversity, be it on matters of gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability or other forms of diversity are seen through the lens of feminist principles that enable us to understand and dismantle issues of power and privilege that have enabled a system of patriarchy to prevail for centuries. We have therefore made commitments to improve diversity and inclusion through our Diversity and Inclusion Framework, Diversity and Inclusion Policy and our commitment to Feminist Principles and Behaviours that seek to ensure that we remain committed to and are accountable for improving diversity, and making our workplace more inclusive. This is now reflected in how we recruit, who we recruit, how we support colleagues from under-represented backgrounds, how we embed processes to create safe spaces where people from diverse backgrounds can flourish without feeling the need to conform to the majority ‘type’, and in demonstrating sensitivity and empathy. And this is equally applicable to staff as it is to trustees. We recognise that this is challenging and that issues of diversity and inclusion are inter-sectional. But it is the right thing to do and hence are committed to not just improving diversity and inclusion, but also in measuring how we do by getting better data and insights from our HR data base and staff engagement surveys, for instance. Given that we are still on a journey, we are also very committed to learn from experiences of those from within and outside the sector so that we can continue on this path of improvement.

Click to download Touchstone’s Diversity Action Plan (January 2020) and Inclusion and Diversity Handbook (December 2019). 


Last updated 15/04/2020

ACOSVO is fully committed to the ACEVO and Institute of Fundraising’s diversity leadership principles. As leaders in this sector it is our responsibility to embrace and prioritise increasing diversity at every level and create a more equitable and inclusive workplace that values diversity of thought and experience.

Since signing up to the principles ACOSVO has set up an Equalities Advisory Group to consider and advise on how we might improve diversity and accessibility for all sector leaders (and future leaders). We have made specific reference to diversity and inclusion in our strategy and values, and have set up a number of special interest groups including women & young leaders to allow members to connect and provide opportunities for peer to peer networking and best practice sharing.

Going forward we are committed to embracing change, learning, and while we appreciate this may challenge us and not always be comfortable, we look forward to helping create a more inclusive and innovative voluntary sector.

At Barrow Cadbury Trust we take diversity seriously.  The Trust has a long history of campaigning for equalities, focussing primarily but not exclusively on gender and racial justice.  We ‘equalities lens’ everything we do, at times of course imperfectly.  Our board has committed the Trust to the new foundations’ 3 year DEI initiative which began work this month.

We are one of the founding members of the Funders for Race Equality Alliance, a network of some 25 foundations that are working together with three objectives: to increase understanding of and focus on race equality by funders; provide more and better funding to address race inequality; and increase minority representation in foundation leadership and governance.  The network meets regularly to hear from experts from the sector, and to learn about new developments among its members.  It works closely with the Coalition for Race Equality, its sister network of race equality organisations, and is currently developing an audit tool which its members will be using to analyse the amount of funding going to the BAME sector as a baseline for action.  It will shortly be carrying out a mapping exercise to better understand the size, shape and needs of the sector.

In a separate initiative we have been working with AB Charitable Trust to convene funders wishing to work together to reduce disproportionality in the criminal justice system.  We have been encouraged by the appetite of our colleagues for this work and with them are exploring a number of areas for action.  It’s early days, and we know how challenging joint working can be, but from the workshops we’ve held its clear there is a desire to tackle the structural injustices which put barriers in the way of too many people from minority backgrounds.

Another area where we’re seeking to improve diversity is in the social investment sector.  The Connect Fund, which we deliver on behalf of the Access Foundation, provides funding to strengthen the social investment market so it better meets the needs of charities and social enterprises.  Some years ago, before the Connect Fund was established, we funded a report from the Young Foundation “The Sky’s the Limit”, which explored the potential for, and barriers to, a gender lens approach to social investment. We’re pleased to have been able to draw a direct line from that report to discussions about gender diversity in the social investment sector, to pledges on female representation. 

And the Connect Fund hasn’t just been focussing on gender diversity: improving diversity in the sector is one of its eight themes. In their recent interim report, our evaluators npc noted that “there is greater awareness of the need for increased diversity in the social investment sector… the Connect Fund has increased the profile of diversity as an important issue for the sector, and got more people talking”.  Grants to Disability Rights UK, to the LGBT Consortium and to Black South West Network, among others, have ensured that the needs of particular sectors and those they seek to support are better understood. And the recently published Young Foundation report “Nothing About Us Without Us”, co-funded by us and Big Society Capital, explores how to ensure insights from lived experience are considered in social investment.

So what about our own house?  Although the Trust falls far below the threshold at which organisations must publish their pay gaps, we think we all should.  Our most recent figures (March 2019 annual report) demonstrate the diversity within our team: women make up 13 of our 18 staff, while 8 people have a BAME background.  Women are on average paid marginally more than men (by 3.6% mean, 0% median), though there is a greater disparity when we look at ethnicity, with BAME staff being paid 14.7% less (mean) but 4.6% higher (median) than their white counterparts.  This is because BAME staff are concentrated in the middle pay bands which we hope makes a contribution to the sector’s leadership pipeline. Nevertheless, there is clearly more work to be done for continuous improvement.  

While we’re pleased with the level of diversity in the Trust staff team, we are not complacent. Diversity means much more than recruiting a mixed workforce; it must inform every aspect of our work.  We aim to create a working culture in which every single trustee and member of staff buys into our shared value base and is able to relate it directly to their own life as well as their work. This means ‘walking our talk’, particularly as a leadership team and as custodians of valuable social justice resources.

There is much to be done to improve diversity and inclusion in the charity sector – the place in our society where it should be strongest.  Through using all our assets – our team, our funding and our investments as active shareholders – we aim to continually improve our own practice and extend the influence we have to improve diversity and equality.

[1] We recognise the inadequacies of the phraseology of “Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic” sector but use it here in the absence of agreed alternative terminology. The alliance uses the term in its broad sense, to include people with shared minority cultures, religions and lived realities (for example Muslims and Jewish people, Gypsy, Roma and Travellers etc.)

BCT Executive Team

Feb 2020


Last updated 15/04/2020

Our progress against the diversity leadership principles:

We have started implementing work against the diversity leadership principles and made some progress.

For example, our Board of Trustees recently completed a benchmarking review against the Charity Governance Code in December 2019, and one of the outcomes was that we have identified the need to increase the diversity of our Board.  During the next round of trustee recruitment happening in the next few months one of our key priorities will be diversity.

We have started rolling out diversity, inclusion and equality training for our staff team recently. Also, we are actively looking at our communications too and asking how inclusive are they (e.g. images we use on our website) and taking steps to be more inclusive.  We will also be looking at ways to develop the diversity of our volunteering team moving forward and when organising our National Conferences a priority will be putting together a panel of diverse speakers.

Last updated 25/02/2020

See also: annual report, page 52

I’m really committed to making Age UK Lancashire a more diverse organisation from Trustees down and across the whole organisation in who we employ and the customers that we work with. We have a way to go, but are doing somethings to raise awareness and improve our approach.

I’ve run sessions on unconscious bias with managers and posted on our internal communications about our commitment – see below. We recently undertook a Digiboard governance review, which highlighted some areas that we could make improvements and I’ll be working with our Trustees on an action plan. 

Unconscious Bias

Continuing our focus and our pledge recently about diversity, another thing that we looked at yesterday at GMT was unconscious bias – there’s a link below to a video that we watched, which highlights an example of it and reasons that it can happen.

It’s something that I’m keen that we are mindful of, so that we avoid it wherever possible.

For me, this links to 2 of our organisations values;

  • Trustworthy – we have to trust one another to have these conversations and to challenge our own thinking. I certainly needed the managers to trust me yesterday when I took them through an exercise and conversation about this topic.
  • Team Working – this value talks about recognising the value of everyone – to do this with meaning requires that we are open to the contribution of everyone without bias in our thinking and that we work together, supporting one another as we are mindful of potential bias and ensuring diversity at Age UK Lancashire.

In 2018 the Recording Clerk signed up to Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) and Institute of Fundraising (IoF)’s eight leadership principles to improve diversity and inclusion in the charity sector. The Recording Clerk is the Britain Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)’s equivalent of a CEO.

The Recording Clerk and senior leadership team received unconscious bias training and championed the introduction of inclusive workplace training for all staff in 2018. Working with our staff representative body, inclusive workplace training was developed and rolled out over 2019. 86% of staff have completed the training and we will achieve 100% over 2020. Staff were invited to provide feedback during training, which the provider collated. We are currently reviewing the feedback and recommendations in order to implement an action plan during 2020 to address the issues raised. During 2019 we have looked at other organisational learning opportunities, and partnered with British Dyslexia Association to run lunch and learn session for managers on dyslexia and neurodiversity. We are developing an equality and inclusion page on our staff intranet, on which BYM’s equality data will be placed and relevant documents on inclusion. We are researching courses on unconscious bias recruitment for managers, with the aim of delivering this training in 2021. We continue our rolling programme of disability awareness training.

In order to set meaningful targets for diversity that reflect the participants, donors, beneficiaries and the population of the areas that BYM operates in, we  have worked to understand how our stakeholder groups are constituted. In 2018, we survey Friends serving on committees or groups that oversee central work. These surveys will be carried out at periodic intervals going forward. We also started a Diversity and Inclusion Project to learn more about diversity and inclusion among Quaker communities in Britain with the aim of informing BYM’s work towards further development in terms of structures and membership. We also looked at our nominations processes to increase diversity among Friends serving on committees or groups. In 2019, we started reporting on the diversity of our Trustees, complementing the reporting on diversity among staff and volunteers. BYM’s Diversity and Inclusion Project conducted a survey between November 2018 and March 2019 as a means of gathering information on how diverse Quakers are at this point in time. We are currently consulting on an inclusion and diversity strategy with staff; it sets targets for staff diversity and includes the commitment of resources.

We supported staff to set up BAME and Neurodiversity Networks in 2018. The BAME group ran a programme of activities for colleagues during Black History month in 2019. As part of tour decentralisation organisational change strand, a cross-organisational group is taking forward work on how BYM can improve on inclusion of staff regardless of where they are based. In 2020, our representative staff group is also planning to engage colleagues on the topic of inclusion. We are also initiating a project to articulate our culture, commitments and behaviours, so the diverse and talent group that makes up our staff work collectively towards a shared vision.

We have been reviewing our recruitment practices. In 2019 we tackled unconscious bias in recruitment by removing names from application forms. We are developing reports to show diversity and inclusion at recruitment, during employment and at leaving, so that trends are visible and action taken. We plan to review the language used in our recruitment materials and job descriptions, so that we are recruiting for potential, rather than perfection.

In terms of our programme work, we value lived experience and seek opportunities for people to draw on their lived experience and to bring insights to our organisation that can develop the work, for example in our work alongside refugees, in East Africa and with younger people.

Last updated 27/02/2020

OCAY signed up to ACEVO Institute of Fundraising’s diversity leadership principles because we recognised that we needed to ensure that our organisation reflected the growing diversity of the residents of the city in which we operated. As an organisation, we were not collecting diversity monitoring data for clients, volunteers or staff and so we had a lot of work to do to help us to understand the groups that were underrepresented.

As a first step, we have reviewed our staff and volunteer recruitment policies and commenced collecting diversity monitoring information for staff, volunteers and clients. By the end of this financial year, we will have a baseline with which to compare our organisation with others in the sector and the city. This will enable us to better identify those sections of the community who are not using the service or represented in our staff and volunteer team.

The diversity leadership principles have given us a framework within which we can work to improve our diversity and make our service more accessible to all sections of the community

Last updated 26/02/2020

1. Vision

We envisage that by attracting, developing and retaining the broadest group of talented people that not only will we secure the very best advantage through our people to create the world for which we strive but RNIB itself will be a place where all can strive.

2. Purpose and position statement

  • To ensure that all staff and volunteers feel that they are able to be their authentic selves at work and contribute to their fullest extent.
  • To celebrate the value of diversity and difference in organisational culture, decision making and in increasing the impact and reach of our strategy.
  • To be a leader in this field and to be externally respected and looked to for leadership in this area.
  • To build on our internal representation and diversity of thought to better deliver on our strategy externally.

3. Objectives

Objective 1: To promote the strategy and increase awareness, engagement and leadership in this area.

A D&I strategy comes down to people. Having senior and governance level buy-in and visible support and leadership is therefore critical to achieving all other objectives. It is underpinned by a positive working culture and behaviours.

Staff engagement will be delivered in collaboration with the brand and marketing team. This will be to ensure that internal messaging is heavily aligned to our external messaging around seeing differently and seeing the person rather than the sight loss.

Objective 2: To inform Equality, Diversity & Inclusion interventions and priorities through an on-going data-led approach and staff and volunteer engagement.

This work has been informed by the information currently available to us. To increase our confidence in the priorities for this work, we need a greater level of data collection to inform action planning. To improve levels of disclosure, we need to build trust and confidence through objective 1 and for people to understand how valuable the data is in enabling us to drive this work forwards and to prioritise the right areas. This also includes qualitative feedback on level of trust and people feeling able to disclose.

Objective 3: To be trusted by our staff and volunteers in providing good practice in accessibility as well as being able to provide positive examples to other organisations to redress discrimination due to disability from sight loss

Objective 4: To redress the gender, sight loss and racial or ethnic under representation in senior leadership and governance roles.

Given compelling data, and significant feedback received on this through staff and volunteer focus groups, we are clear that work on this area needs to be prioritised.

Objective 5: To achieve D&I training compliance at or near 100% across RNIB.

Whilst this is more of enabler, given our starting point, this has been set as an explicit objective in the short term. Currently, there is no training on Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at RNIB whereas

ordinarily it is a mandatory course and often required early during induction in view of its aim to pre-empt discrimination, including through calling out or avoiding altogether micro-aggression and other inappropriate behaviour. Given that this drives the delivery of many other objectives, it should remain an explicit objective at this time.

Last updated 23/01/2020

Getting on Board has been working hard to develop practical approaches which can improve the diversity of boards of trustees. In our 2017 research, 90% of charities reported that they recruited most of their trustees through word-of-mouth and existing networks. This leads directly to chronic board diversity problems with men outnumbering women 2:1; the average trustee being 57; and people of colour representing just 6% of trustees (against 14% of the wider population). It is of course common sense that if you recruit by “asking around” from a trustee base which is whiter, older and more male than wider society, those that are recruited are most likely to be from similar groups. Our solution is to promote trusteeship to people who may not have considered it before, and to teach charities how to recruit trustees openly and professionally based on expertise developed and tested with our charity partners. Following our Trustee Recruitment Pathways programme which concluded in 2019, 100% of the charities who advertised recruited trustees; 68% of participating charities felt they were better equipped to deal with the challenges facing their charity than before; and 65% of charities felt their board was more diverse now (not all of them needed to improve board diversity).

Last updated 15/04/2020

How we currently involve Londoners with protected characteristics or facing other disadvantages.

In terms of ethnic background, Cockpit’s community of makers is much more diverse (21% BAME) than the craft sector as a whole (4% BAME).  Over 80% of Cockpit business owners are female.

Since 2010 we have run a business start-up programme aimed at young people aged 25 or under, who are under- or unemployed. This programme, relaunched in a more accessible format in 2019 as ‘Make It!’, offers two years of free studio space and intensive business support.  In total 20% of our studio space is supported by bursaries and Awards. In addition, we have addressed socioeconomic barriers through offering employment in the core Cockpit team through the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries Programme.

Committed to opening up careers routes for diverse young people, Cockpit is a founder-member of the Department for Education’s Craft Apprenticeship Trailblazer and we Chair the industry development panel for the new T-Level (Technical Level) in craft and design.

We are currently growing our careers and community outreach programmes aimed at young people, including hosting Year 10 and 11 students from local schools at our studios as part of the national Discover! Creative Careers initiative.

We are experienced in monitoring and evaluating participation in our programmes, having produced an annual impact report, The Cockpit Effect, since 2009.

How we plan to further work with Londoners with protected characteristics or facing other disadvantages.

This project will create new cultural and community facilities that are open and welcoming to Londoners in our immediate local area who are facing socioeconomic disadvantage.

Creekside Deptford is in the 20% most deprived neighbourhoods in the country, and in the highest decile of income deprivation affecting older people (LSOA Lewisham 039E, Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019).

By forging connections with local organisations (Creekside Residents Association, schools, local Assemblies, Deptford Neighbourhood Action, Youth First) and engaging local people in co-design, we aim to create ‘low-threshold’ spaces, including spaces available at low-cost to community groups. We will develop, test, and deliver a programme that opens up knowledge of, and access to, creative careers to local young people.

By working locally, we expect our community programmes specifically to benefit Londoners of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds: 46% of Lewisham residents are BAME, rising to just over 76% among school children.

Cockpit’s community of craft studio holders is ethnically diverse: 21% BAME (compared to just 4% in craft as a whole). Over 80% of current studio holders are women (compared with 47% in craft as a whole). We aim to maintain and grow the diversity of our resident community through targeted outreach and partnerships, and expanded studio provision and business incubation programmes, including bursaries for free studios and business training.

How we work to improve social integration in the local community.

Our project specifically aims to improve social integration in Creekside, Deptford. Currently in the 20% most deprived neighbourhoods in the country, the area is changing rapidly with new residential development at Kent Wharf and Sun Wharf but lacks spaces that are inclusive of people from all backgrounds (deptfordischanging.wordpress.com/2019/11/ ).

The new community and cultural facilities that our project will deliver are intended as welcoming spaces where people from different backgrounds can meet and interact: older, established residents attending a workshop; creative practitioners taking part in business development workshops; new residents visiting the café; young people attending a careers day.

The education spaces will be offered at low-cost to community groups and the café will be run by an independent operator, ideally another social enterprise.

Our own activities and events programme will be developed to involve groups facing greatest barriers, as well as draw on the ability of craft to explore and exchange different cultural traditions. DCMS data shows that craft can be more accessible, and involves more participants nationally, than other art forms and has rising numbers of BAME participants up by 70.3% between 2014/15 and 2017/18 to 17.2%.

During the design phase, by using a co-design approach and working closely with local community groups, existing and new residents, we will embed social integration into the project from the start.

How does your organisation’s work connect with London’s diverse communities and ensure access and inclusion?

We work with over 40 partners each year and strive through all aspects of our work – programme design, networks, language, imagery and approach – to reduce barriers to access.

Our business incubation, studios and shared equipment are made available to those who would not otherwise be able to afford it through bursaries: 20% is offered free of charge.

With support of Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries we have expanded our approach to diverse recruitment – specifically addressing socioeconomic barriers to working in the creative industries – resulting in permanent employment at Cockpit.

In addition, since 2010 we have run a two-year business start-up programme aimed at young people aged 25 or under who are under- or unemployed, creating opportunities for over 30 makers to date. Several participants from previous cohorts have stayed on permanently at Cockpit; others have gone on to set up independent studios elsewhere.  This programme was relaunched in 2019 as ‘Make It!’ with a more open and accessible application process.

In Deptford, we are working with organisations such as LEAN (Lewisham Education Arts Network) and Deptford Neighbourhood Action to involve more local and diverse communities in our work.    We recognise that we are currently relatively self-contained, opening to the public only two weekends a year.  We are committed to further opening up access, making our work more visible and ensuring inclusion. This project will enable us to meet those ambitions.

Our statement

Cockpit is committed to inclusion, diversity and equality in governance and in all our activities, recognising that diversity improves performance and fuels creativity and innovation. We have an inclusive culture where all aspects of diversity are seen as key to our success.


Make It – Programme for ages 16-26

We encourage applications from those who are underrepresented in craft including non-graduates, disabled, D/deaf and neurodiverse people, LGBTQ+ people, and people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds. We also welcome applicants from a range of educational backgrounds as we do not require a minimum formal qualification for this programme.


Recruitment of Trustees

Diversitys drive creativity and business success

Cockpit is committed to inclusion, diversity and equality in governance and in all our activities, recognising that diversity improves performance and fuels creativity and innovation. We have an inclusive culture where all aspects of diversity are seen as key to our success.  We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and to improve diversity on our board, we encourage applications from BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) and disabled candidates.

Last updated 14/02/2020

After our Staff Meeting in Dec 2018 looking at Equalities and Diversity we prioritised a focus on strengthening our response to two protected characteristics: 1. Race and Ethnicity and 2. Disability. Since then these have been the main focus of our Equality and Diversity Working Group where we have developed an E&D Impact Plan which highlights the work we have to do and the progress. This working group has CEO as Chair and a Board member present. This plan sits under our High Level Delivery Plan which sits within our 5-Year Strategic Plan.

We have so far:

  • Delivered all RISE mandatory basic Equal Opps Training
  • Improved the content of our website – languages, images, information
  • Developed BAMER Poster and leaflet translated into 5 top languages spoken in the area.
  • Updated our Equal Opps and Diversity Policy
  • Recruited two BAMER focussed workers to deliver community and case work to reach those from BAMER communities
  • Reviewed our Board representation to check if it reflects the local area
  • Reviewed client stats to check if reflects the area and identified some BAMER Communities that are under-represented. Targeted these through community work.


We have scheduled a mandatory training session on Unconscious Bias and Inclusive Practice at RISE in April/May 2020.

Session Aims

To help participants to:

  • Understand the meaning and importance of ED&I in the workplace;
  • Explore the concept of unconscious bias at an individual and organisational level;
  • To feel confident in identifying positive or poor attitudes and behaviours in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion – and to model positive attitudes and behaviours in harmony with their role and the values and aspirations of Rise;

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the workshop participants will have greater awareness of:

  • The distinction between Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and why each is important and supports the others; and the implications of this for inclusive leadership;
  • The role of unconscious bias and stereotype anxiety in sustaining power imbalances and inequality/exclusion
  • The importance of personal awareness and personal responsibility for inclusive leadership in addressing power dynamics in systems to affect positive change within Rise and alongside partner organisations.

On the radar

  • We are reviewing our recruitment practice.
  • We have supported the set-up of a BAMER Workers group but this has not yet happened
  • We have bid for a new BAMER Community project
  • We are recruiting new Board members likely in the summer 2020
  • We are updating our values

Charity Leadership and Diversity Deficit

Laura Sercombe GFS CEO

At GFS we have a long history in recognising and addressing the well-documented gender inequalities that exist and persist for girls and women – almost 150 years. We feel confident to talk about this, develop our thinking, policy and practice.

As a third sector organisation, we have been troubled by the issues brought to public attention by organisations such a Charity So White and have publicly supported the campaign in the same way that we have publicly made a statement about George Floyd. We have made a commitment to doing more; digging deeper into our policy, practice with an ambition to developing our knowledge and embedding that in all we do.

However, I don’t want to ‘tick a box’ and I don’t want us to be part of the social media echo chamber. I want us to be authentic and honest and true. We need to make a statement and acknowledge that there we have a racial justice problem but we need to then make it part of our DNA. Our statement needs to be something that can be traced back in what we do.

Personally and professionally I have started by being committed to learning more. I have signed up to the ACEVO eight principles to address diversity deficit in charity leadership as I believe that they will support the learning and I can hold myself accountable to them. We will be having more conversations at work about what we can do to ensure the organisation we work for is on the journey of improvement in all that we do for staff, volunteers and the girls we support.

Finally, we will be finding a way to measure this journey in a meaningful way to improve racial justice in the charity we work and the sector we are part of.

We wanted to sign up to ACEVO’s diversity leadership principles both in recognition of our part in the third sector’s collective responsibility to encourage and improve leadership diversity, as well as the need for our own organisation to reflect the differences in, and diversity of, the girls we support in West Sussex.

When we first formed as a charity, we had a very diverse board of trustees, highly representative of the young women on our programmes. Of course, as trustees outside responsibilities change, they move on, so when we start the board recruitment process again in the summer, ensuring that we keep to the high standard we set right at the beginning will be one of our key aims.

We work with a wide range of vulnerable girls, from all backgrounds and ethnicities, although this has not always been explicit in our reporting. We will commit to making this implicit from now on by collecting additional monitoring data regarding the girls, our volunteers, and our staff to demonstrate how inclusive we are currently, and identify areas in which we can do better.  

The mission of The Juno Project is to improve the welfare and world opportunities for vulnerable young women in our county. We role model. If we don’t reflect that in our own organisation, it is difficult to see how the girls would recognise that potential in themselves.

We pledge to change this today, and to carry on improving and encouraging, so that we have an even more diverse board, team, and volunteer base.

Dementia UK believes passionately in everyone receiving excellent dementia care, and that ethnicity should not be a barrier to this. We are committed to providing an inclusive, welcoming workplace for our volunteers and staff and ensuring that the voices of people who are Black, Asian and of all ethnicities and backgrounds play a central role in our organisation. This has always been the case – but the global outcry against racism and structural inequality of the last few weeks has inspired us to share with you our plans for promoting equality in our charity:

  • We are embedding the Mayor of London’s Good Work Standard into our People Strategy, including the recommendation to have formal representation from Black and Ethnic Minority communities at Dementia UK
  • We will ensure that we consider Sexual Orientation, Age, Gender, Disability and Marital Status in our employees and volunteers so that we look at Equality and Diversity in a holistic way
  • We plan to carry out a Diversity Audit so that we can start to look at this area more effectively, and so this in turn can help to inform how we approach diversity and equality in all aspects of our People Strategy including Recruitment, Leadership and Development and Success Planning
  • We plan to develop dedicated Admiral Nurses for currently underserved communities, including people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups within the UK

We listen, learn and collaborate

We are empowering, supportive and respectful

We act with integrity, transparency and accountability

We encourage creativity and innovation


We acknowledge that there is a deficit of ethnic minority representation within the overall structure of UK charities. On a local basis, specifically within the boroughs of Guildford and Waverley which we serve, our representative staff numbers are equal to the Guildford population and above those of Waverley. Likewise, within our Trustee group ethnic minority representation is above the local averages. However, within our client base we are slightly below the representative numbers of the Guildford population and further below those in Waverley. However, access is open to everyone, with the only criteria being the presence of a mental health problem.

Within all levels of recruitment, we look to match the individual against the needs of the role as reflected within the job description, this being the primary criteria. Hereafter, we will look to increase applications by advertising through local journals and medial which is specifically aimed at people from an ethnically diverse background.

Staff cohesion is key and any prejudice whilst not tolerated, would always be approached through a method of education and align with our discrimination policies.

Moving forward more work will be undertaken, specifically with those members of staff who are from an ethnically diverse group to understand what more can be achieved in order to address any imbalance in staffing levels. Also for the organisation not to rest there but to surpass representative numbers drawn from the local population.

Supporting ACEVO and Institute of Fundraising’s diversity leadership principles.

Since its inception in 2001, Ignite Trust has been committed to the principles of equality and diversity. As Executive Director, I am fully committed to promoting and delivering such values to best serve the organisation and the young people whom we work with.

Through our work we see how vital it is to have mentors and role models that young people can identify with, as well as learn from. We apply this principle to our recruitment practices and development opportunities, to ensure that our staff will be a diverse representation of our clients and community.

I am fully committed to equip all staff with the skills, resources and opportunities to grow and develop, to fulfil their full potential.

Ignite supports the ACEVO and Institute of Fundraising’s diversity leadership principles.


As a charity leader, I am acutely aware of the lack of racial diversity at leadership and Board levels, and that this picture is replicated across all areas of the public sector. I am committed to addressing this through the adoption of the ACEVO Diversity Principles in my own organisation – Sheffield Futures – as well as actively supporting positive change in the wider sector.

In order to achieve this, we are currently reviewing our Equality & Diversity policies and procedures; we are consulting with staff; we are investing in further training and development for all staff; and we have agreed an organisational Cohesion Plan which aims to address diversity issues within our workforce, as well as ensuring that our services are easily accessible and appropriate for all.

On a personal level, I am committed to listening and learning, and then to action. I am taking up opportunities locally and nationally to take part in training, in discussions forums; and in positive activity

In recent weeks, the inequalities experienced by BAME people globally and in the UK have become more starkly apparent in both the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on BAME people in the UK; and in the shocking murder of George Floyd by a police officer in the US and the global response through the Black Lives Matters movement. This has highlighted deep issues of racism and inequality in the UK across a wide range of systems and institutions including the police; education; employment; and health. I am committed to addressing inequalities in our own services, and in supporting the wider call for change locally and nationally, and we will achieve this through the implementation of our Cohesion Plan with clear and stretching targets and timescales.

When I was appointed CEO of NAVCA in 2017, one of the first commitments I made to myself was that I would never host an event that did not have a visibly diverse line up of speakers. I didn’t know many people in the sector at that point, and I certainly didn’t know many BAME people in the sector, so I had to go out and look, hard, for people to invite.  

Our conference five months later had one Black speaker (I invited five, four of whom were unavailable) and nine white ones. 

In 2018 we had five Black or Asian speakers out of a total of twenty. 

We didn’t have a conference in 2019 – we were planning instead to hold it in May 2020. Coronavirus put paid to that, for the time being, but when we do next have the chance to host that sort of event my goal will be to have a minimum of one third of our speakers be Black, Asian or Minoritised Ethnic.  My ambition is to one day host a conference with a fully diverse panel of speakers.

Just as important to me is that we don’t pigeonhole our BAME guest speakers.  We don’t invite them so that they can educate our delegates on race or inclusion or diversity.  We invite them, as with all our speakers, because they are highly informed, passionate and provocative about their particular subject areas – whether that’s digital technology or health and wellbeing or building communities – and because they are great speakers. 

Another commitment I made was that when asked to speak at an event as part of a panel, my first question would be about the diversity of the speaker line-up.  Most of the events I am asked to speak at are held by NAVCA members, and often I am the only guest speaker – so the question doesn’t arise too often.  But I have held to that commitment when I’ve been invited to speak at bigger events or those organised by external organisations, and many times I’ve suggested that the organisers could find someone better qualified than me to speak on their chosen topic if they look out into the BAME community. 

The lesson I learned from my commitment to inviting diverse speakers is that as a white person you may not see them standing right in front of you waiting to be asked, but if you bother to look just a little bit outside your easy and convenient network there are some fantastic voices to be heard. And to be honest, I’d rather hear those voices than my own or someone like me. 

So I also tell organisers of events with all white panels that no, I’ll not be buying a ticket, thank you. Make it a more interesting line-up next time and I’ll think about it.

For years I’ve had a personal commitment to making space for other women to speak when I have the privilege of airtime in a meeting (and for many more years I’ve known what it is like not to be given that airtime when in a roomful of men!)

In the same way I strive now to ensure that there is equal airtime given to BAME colleagues in the room.  And when there are no BAME colleagues in the room – as is tragically so often still the case – I am becoming increasingly comfortable raising the challenge and asking why not. 

I’ve learned from speaking with and listening to Black colleagues that when I fail to speak up – for fear of getting it wrong or of offending them – I actually just leave them to carry the burden alone.  I wouldn’t leave a friend to carry a heavy load by themselves, even if I occasionally tripped over my own feet while trying to help.  So I’m learning to put my own comfort to one side in order to be a better, more effective, ally.

But.  There is a big but.  These are things I can do easily.  They are about my behaviours.  I can do more on that score, and most importantly perhaps I can keep learning and developing and growing, but that’s simply a matter of choice.

While it is important as a leader to be prepared to take these positions, and while I know from some of the feedback I’ve had that I have at least sometimes caused someone else to consider their own white privilege and think differently about what they are doing, there is one very obvious area in which I have so, very much, more to do.

I am CEO of what is currently an all white organisation.  It’s a small organisation to be sure – just eight staff altogether, two of them part time.  But, currently, all white.  And, currently, an all white Board of Trustees.

There may be all sorts of historic, constitutional and systemic reasons for that, including the fact that the majority of our Trustees are elected from within our membership and that as a small team we have no real scope for creating development roles. 

But while I’m happy to acknowledge those reasons I cannot to allow them to be excuses.  Apart from anything else, it has not always been like that – we have had BAME Trustees and staff in the past, and while our membership network is still predominantly white we have an increasing number of BAME-led member organisations. 

So I need to understand what needs to change in order for us to become more diverse again, and to build onwards from that point. 

In 2019, prior to an important phase of recruitment to senior roles, I introduced a blind recruitment process that ensured that no personal details were known to the selection panel until final interview stage.  Since 2017 we have been committed to ‘no degree required’ recruitment and there is no role currently within our structure that requires a degree in any subject, because we know that access to higher education is one of the barriers for so many from marginalised communities. We asked as many networks as we could to share our vacancies (we have a minimal budget for recruitment so were more limited than we might have been in advertising them), and I introduced diversity monitoring of our recruitment for the first time.

For the first role we recruited 85% of our applicants were white, 15% were Asian and we had no Black applicants at all.  For the second role 93% of our applicants were white. 

Because both roles were senior and needed a good level of experience the lack of diversity across the sector as a whole over many years will have had some impact on that.  But, as with the speaker panels, I suspect we just need to look harder and be better at getting our invitations out to more diverse candidates.  

Every year we hold Trustee elections, with all nominations made by our members, and until our constitution changed last year we also held elections for our Chair every three years. In the years I have been at the helm there has never been a BAME nomination for Trustee. In our last Chair election process we had one white candidate and one Asian candidate.  It was a very close vote, and the white candidate was elected by a very small majority.

Again, I suspect we need to do better at encouraging more diverse candidates to put themselves forward when we hold our elections.  I know there are some BAME representatives within our membership that would make fantastic Trustees – I want to understand better why they are not choosing to stand.

More than that though:  I also need to understand what needs to change so that any BAME member of staff or BAME Trustee will feel supported and able to thrive when they join us.  One of the key points for me in the Voice4Change/ACEVO ‘Home Truths’ report was that opening up recruitment to a more diverse range of candidates is of little value if once they join your organisation they are unable to succeed because of systemic racism.

That is a harder nut to crack. Clearly, as an all-white organisation none of us is best placed to understand what needs to be put in place – or taken away – to build a truly anti-racist working environment.  Neither do I want to place that burden on the first BAME candidate to join this team.

So I am thinking about how we can commit some budget to pay for some BAME-led expertise or facilitation to help us move forward on this agenda in a meaningful and effective way.

Two other points I want to mention: 

As CEO of the national body for local infrastructure bodies I am acutely aware that I and my organisation have a key role to play in helping our members work through this agenda as well, and that by doing so we can really influence the largest part of our sector – the hundreds of thousands of small, local VCSEs across the country. 

But I am even more acutely aware that many of our members are way ahead of us on this work; they are closely aligned with BAME communities and BAME-led charities and voluntary organisations in their areas, they have far more diversity within their own organisations than we do, and they have knowledge and experience and history of trying to make this change happen. 

So I am committed to learning from them, and to supporting others in our network to learn from them as well.

Secondly, I am one of a number of CEOs of national infrastructure organisations who have in recent months, particularly in the light of COVID-19, come together to work collaboratively on a range of issues that impact on the sector as a whole.

We have jointly committed to taking action on racism in our sector, and specifically to acting on the recommendations made for the whole sector in the ‘Home Truths’ report.

I will be playing an active role in making that work happen, I will be holding my colleagues to account for their commitment to do so and I will be expecting them to do the same for me.

It’s time to make some new history for our sector, and our actions will speak louder than any words.

We wanted to sign up to ACEVO’s diversity leadership principles because recent events have challenged many of us to do more, to speak up, to challenge, to be more overt and active in naming racism where we see it. I can think of examples where I haven’t been brave or confident enough to do so in the past and am sure I’m not alone. 

Maudsley Charity is the largest NHS mental health charity in the UK. We support patients and carers, clinical care teams and scientists who are working towards the common goal of improving mental health. We fund the people and projects striving to improve care, support recovery and prevent mental illness.

When someone becomes ill, the effect on them, their friends and family can be life-changing. It can happen to any of us. The consequences of mental ill-health are far-reaching – affecting employment, relationships, finances and even life expectancy.

Communities experiencing social disadvantage and systematic racism suffer as a consequence higher rates of mental illness and are admitted in much higher numbers than white counterparts to inpatient facilities. This is a complex multi-faceted and intersectional issue but the stark reality is that while mental illness affects everyone, Black and other people of colour are often hit hardest.  

We have done some important work in supporting teams and organisations who want to shift some of the health inequalities in our local communities. Our community and connection programme is explicit in its intent to specifically support communities who face marginalization and disadvantage. 

But I know we can and should do more – this will be particularly important given the additional disproportionate impact COVID19 is having on Black and people of colour. We intend to have conversations with our partners with a shared ambition for change. 

Within our Charity, I want to ensure we have both the structural system and processes and the culture that will allow all our staff now and in the future to talk about issues of race and inequality, to challenge ignorance or racism and to have recourse to address it formally. We will have this firmly in mind as we formalise our HR policies. We are working to tackle diversity and inclusion through human resources and recruitment of our staff and trustees. We will revisit our charity values and what they mean in practice. We will monitor ourselves to ensure that how we allocate funding and support reflects the diversity of the communities we serve. We will seek new ways to be openly informed by a range of voices and perspectives, including those of our beneficiaries, on what we do and how.

We are wholly committed to the ACEVO diversity leadership principles. We recognise that we need to do more to ensure we are promoting and achieving diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) across all levels of our organisation. The current political climate has acted as a catalyst for reflection and taking action to make sure we are knowledgeable and as diverse as the beneficiaries we support. At The Children’s Trust, a number of our beneficiaries are BAME. We aspire to reflect this across our trustees, staff and volunteers.

I have been vocal in my support of the campaigns pushing to diversify the charity sector. I have actively encouraged conversations with other CEO’s across Surrey and have called for them to also sign up to ACEVO’s principles. The collective support will have a greater impact on actioning these principles as real change happens when others come together. 

At a local level, we are setting up a working group made up of staff across the organisation. The group will focus on creating initiatives and delivering transparency in our representation of all groups. As a first step, we will begin by collecting stronger diversity data, which will enable us to create a formal plan of action and decide how we measure our expected outcomes. The results of the working group’s analysis will be taken to the Board of Trustees for agreement, emphasising our commitment at all levels of the organisation.

We want to make certain that this commitment is not simply a tick-box exercise; that going forward, we continue to place DEI at the forefront of our conversations and decision making. Through this, we will achieve a more diverse and inclusive workforce and embrace the changes within the charity sector, with our beneficiaries remaining at the heart of our thinking.

Following the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis a few weeks ago and the Black Lives Matter movement that ensued, I felt it was important for Mary Frances Trust (MFT) to show and reiterate our full support to the black community worldwide, and in our community of Surrey in particular.

We understand and share their anxiety, anger and pain, and our thoughts go to the families of all victims of racism. As the CEO of Mary Frances Trust, I wanted to take this opportunity to review and express our public and personal positions on this issue.

As a mental health and emotional wellbeing charity in Surrey, our purpose is to serve and support our local community to the highest standards, so everyone receiving our support can lead a fulfilling emotional life regardless of their background, wealth or mental health history. We encourage everyone – our staff, volunteers and clients alike – to actively support each other through difficult times by showing compassion and kindness to each other. We passionately believe in our core values of inclusion, mutual respect, equality, diversity and connection. We take time and care to educate our staff, Trustees and volunteers by regularly providing Equality & Diversity training to discuss, challenge and address any un-equality issues, secret biases and systemic racism we encounter within ourselves, our charity or externally.

We believe that a community is stronger and richer when all of its members can find a place and happiness within it. We want to keep playing an active part in ensuring that all people in Surrey are treated equally and fairly in terms of opportunities and inclusion, as we can all benefit from a multi-cultural society. Racism and prejudice have no place within our organisation.

At Mary Frances Trust, it has been part of our strategy for a few years to reach out to the Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community so they can be better served by and represented within our organisation. While we have made some progress, we know we have much more to do to become a truly representative organisation where all communities can truly see themselves reflected in us at every level, from the clients we support, to our staff, volunteers and Board of Trustees.

As a charity leader, I have recently signed up to the ACEVO principles to address the diversity deficit in charity leadership as I believe part of my role is also to challenge the status quo and lead by example inside and outside the organisation I manage.

This is what I am committing to. As a leader I will:

1. Acknowledge that there is a problem with racial diversity in the charity sector and commit to working to change that.
2. Recognise the important role leaders have in creating change by modelling positive behaviour and taking action.
3. Learn about racial bias and how it impacts leadership decisions.
4. Commit to setting permanent and minimum targets for diversity that reflects the participants, donors, beneficiaries and the population of the area that my charity operates in.
5. Commit to action and invest resources, where necessary, in order to improve racial diversity in my charity.
6. View staff as the sum of many parts rather than a single entity and recruit to build a diverse group of talented people collectively working towards a shared vision.
7. Recruit for potential, not perfection.
8. Value lived experience, the ability to draw from one’s lived experience and to bring insights to an organisation that can develop its work.

I know this is just the beginning of the transformational journey I am willing to take on behalf of my organisation. I invite all of you to help me achieve these goals by challenging me and MFT when we are not truly diverse and inclusive.

The British Dietetic Association is the professional body and trade union for over 10,000 dietitians, nutritionists and students working in the UK. It is the only professional body and trade union for registered healthcare professionals working in the food, nutrition and related clinical fields.

As a Trade Union we are affiliated with the TUC and work with our sister unions on challenging inequality and promoting diversity. As part of our Trade Union activity we have an executive committee to run the union which has reserved places for BAME and LGBT+ members, as well as members with disabilities. Representation that reflects our membership and the community we serve is important to us. We also commit to working on equalities as part of a recent restructure of our executive committee. More about our Trade Union can be found here

In response to the recent news concerning the Black Lives Matter movement, the BDA issued this statement. However the recent news has sparked a growing interest in our work as a professional body and trade union to be more inclusive and many members from BAME communities have come forward to ask the BDA how they can help influence strategy and policy. We are creating a network of all interested members to gather ideas and views over the next few months which will:

  • Address the lack of diversity within the profession
  • Address how the BDA can do more to campaign on equalities issues
  • Address how the BDA takes into account diversity and equality within our own leadership structure and strategy

We also have two innovative programmes of leadership development for members interested in taking on leadership roles as clinicians as well as within the profession, but who do not have previous leadership roles or who would like to develop further. We will be engaging with members on those programmes to ask for their ideas and input into how we can be more inclusive and also how we can support them as Future Leaders to be more empowered and aware about the need for inclusivity. Our aim in the long term is to create group of members, as leaders, who better represent the diversity of both the profession and our community.

As an employer we are proud of the diversity of our workforce. However we could do more. We continue to monitor recruitment strategies to ensure we do not discriminate and we plan to promote ourselves to all members of the community by offering an increasingly flexible work place and staff benefits which support anyone who faces challenges in the work place, such as through disability, parenting responsibilities or health needs. We commit to staff retention and development by supporting staff to grow personally and professionally, delivering a wide range of educational resources on discrimination and inequality as well as ensuring staff have a safe space to raise any issue of concern.



Addressing inequality is at the heart of my leadership with Action for M.E. People with M.E. face significant ignorance, injustice and neglect and our purpose is to end this. At a very personal level, a commitment to addressing equalities and increasing diversity has been central to my career including delivering training for a number of organisations and local authorities. However, there is so much more that I should, and can, do, and this is why I signed up to ACEVO’s Diversity Principles.

I know, from my own experience, what impact racism can have; of how women are treated differently; and of the challenges of being a younger female leader. But these experiences are amplified in so many ways for many others and it is incumbent on us all to take action. Every year, we support thousands of children and adults with M.E. and yet, I am ashamed to say that we have failed to challenge the reasons why people from BAME communities are not accessing healthcare services, and our own. I can give lots of reasons why we haven’t done this but that simply is not good enough. As we reach the end of our current organisational strategy, it is essential that I, as CEO, and we, as Action for M.E., do more. We will work together to develop an Inclusion and Diversity Strategy that goes beyond the achievements we have made in other areas of increasing diversity and really start to tackle some of the barriers that exist, not just ‘out there’ but ‘in here’ too.

We are a small charity with big ambition and now is the time to apply that ambition more effectively. One of my colleagues emailed me recently to say: “With racial inequalities (and race and health inequalities in particular) in the news at the moment, this has caused me to reflect and look at organisations that I’m part of which may be in a position to effect change. So I’m taking you up on the invite you made in a team meeting about sending you ideas and comments.” I am lucky to have such committed, passionate colleagues to work alongside and I welcome the opportunity to gain insight and wisdom from them and from the children, adults and families with M.E. that we are here to support. We’ve gone a long way to create a culture of inclusion but we still have further to go.

I am very pleased to sign up to the ACEVO & Institute of Fundraising Diversity Leadership Principles. As a leader of a small charity, you can feel very ‘close to the action’ and it can be easy to become complacent and believe your organisation is diverse and inclusive. I think we are an inclusive organisation and I think we are a diverse organisation, but how do I know that for sure? This is a great opportunity for me to question myself and I hope that through these commitments I will be able to say with much more confidence that we are an inclusive and diverse organisation.

What are we going to do?

  • Over the next 12 months, Emmaus Oxford will review diversity & inclusion in the workplace and carry out a survey of all our employees, volunteers & beneficiaries.
  • We will engage with minority groups within the organisation to learn what it really feels like to be involved in Emmaus Oxford and find out if we actually are as inclusive & diverse as I like to think we are.
  • We will ensure that Diversity and Inclusion are included in our Strategic plan
  • We recognise that our board is not as diverse we would like and are already working on this and this work will continue over the next 12 months
  • We will report on diversity within the staff team
  • We will ensure that inclusion and diversity are included in staff development plans and training needs

As a charity based on inclusion, we must be explicit about our commitment to increasing diversity at Guide Dogs. We recruit, work with, and provide services to people whatever their age, disability, gender identity, nationality, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marital/civil partnership status, pregnancy/maternity. Yet we must acknowledge where we lack diversity, and where a lack of inclusion forms a barrier towards achieving greater diversity in our Guide Dogs Family.

We are developing new action plans to enhance and support inclusion within the Guide Dogs Family across protected characteristics, starting with disability and race. We will work across our people, our services, and our external interactions, to listen, to learn, and take action to improve. First and foremost, we will support and safeguard our people (workforce, volunteers, service users and supporters), and create conditions at Guide Dogs which allow and encourage people from underrepresented and marginalised groups to engage with, to stay and to thrive with us.


Diversity is about recognising, respecting and valuing people’s differences, and enabling them to contribute and realise their full potential within an inclusive culture. The term ‘diversity’ includes the nine protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010 (age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation) as well as different backgrounds, life experiences, career paths and diversity of thought.


MAG’s Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Steering Group will:

  • Support the development of a new, long-term, sustainable and effective strategy on equality, diversity and inclusion, in line with MAG’s Strategic Plan and specifically Aim 3.2 and 3.3; initially focusing on overseeing the development of an Action Plan to strengthen our approach and practice; taking into account the contexts of our operations.
  • Monitor the progress, of the aforementioned strategy and action plan, regularly reporting back to stakeholders to ensure accountability.
  • Decide how best to invest resources to most effectively support MAGs D&I work
  • Help define and support reflection on, and promotion of, diverse and inclusive practice across MAG, in recognition of the benefits that diversity brings
  • Oversee the development of guidance, resources and tools on anti-discriminatory practice and creating an environment in which diversity and inclusion are actively supported.
  • Ensure that the Leadership Team, Board of Trustees and wider staffing population understand their responsibilities in relation to Diversity and Inclusion
  • Ensure that organisational communication about equality and diversity is effective, appropriate and raises awareness about our obligations and progress.

Our response to Black Lives Matter can be found here: https://www.maginternational.org/whats-happening/MAGs-response-black-lives-matter/


nia aims to recruit the best possible women to provide, manage and administer our services. We ensure that the Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers reflect the range of skills and experience required and the diversity of the communities in which we work. We believe that our service benefits from diversity and that this allows the contribution of the broadest possible range of ideas and experiences.

nia recognises that a diverse staff and leadership team, is an essential foundation for delivering services that promote equality and inclusion. Our website includes information about and photos of our board and senior leadership team , providing an immediate and tangible visual statement out our commitment to diversity and inclusion in leadership.

nia sets diversity targets on representation in terms of race, sexuality, age ranges and disability; our targets are based on the diversity of London’s population to ensure that diversity does not fall below the average for London and the communities that we serve. We have set the following targets

  • Ethnicity: Asian, not less than 18%; Black, not less than 13%; Mixed/other, not less than 9%; white, not more than 60 %.
  • Age: 18 – 29 years-old, approximately 32%; 30-44 years-old, approximately 38%; 45-59 years-old, 24%; 60-64 years-old approximately 6%.
  • Sexuality: Lesbian/bi-sexual not less than 5%
  • Disability: not less than 2% of employees with a disability that does not prevent them from being able to work.

The composition of service users, staff, applicants for employment and trustees is monitored. A report of the findings is presented to the Board of Trustees annually and an action plan is developed to address any areas of under-representation or other issues identified.

We recognise that in working with women from marginalised communities, our reputation can be one of our greatest assets. Women recommend our services to other family members and friends because they know we provide a good quality and fair service and critically, that they can trust us.  At the same time, no one agency can deal effectively and safely with all the effects of violence against women and girls and we are proud to work in partnership with specialist Black and minoritized led and for women’s organisation.

We test for a good understanding of equality and diversity issues through recruitment at application and interview stages and address equality and diversity in every new employee’s induction.  Equality and diversity issues are addressed in all supervisions and team and full-staff meetings. The organisation provides equality and diversity training for all staff, which includes addressing unconscious bias.  

nia recognises that discrimination can affect every area of a woman’s life including safety, access to money, housing, justice, education, employment; and rights to care for children, remain in the country, to be believed and not judged when abuse is disclosed.  In addition, some women face additional discrimination and disadvantage by belonging to certain groups and/or communities.  We design services with inclusivity as a central feature, as provision of services from an ‘us and them’ position can only reinforce disadvantage and distance. For example, we ensure that we do not consider some of the women who access our services ‘mainstream’ and others ‘other’ and thereby inadvertently create a service that does not feel equally welcoming to all. We work to address harmful practices and rather than harmful cultural practices whilst training staff about harmful practices in a cultural context and working with difference without judgment, both within and outside so-called majority experiences. We make sure staff know what to ask and are confident in their use of appropriate language. We provide support to those who do not understand written or spoken English, using interpretation services when required. We will not focus our attention on those who may be considered community leaders as this could reinforce other forms of discrimination and disadvantage, especially to women.

Through service delivery we

  • Challenge all incidents of discriminatory and oppressive behaviour or practices to promote equality in service delivery.
  • Ensure that services are made available to and accessible by all women and children approaching the organisation.
  • Offer support, advice and advocacy to women and children that is relevant, tailored and appropriate to the specific needs of the individual.
  • Ensure regular consultation with women and children service users to review service delivery and other organisational practices
  • Develop an ethos of continual improvement where through training, discussion and reflective practice we learn and develop services to meet the needs of the women we serve.


Central to our aims at Versus Arthritis is to provide a voice with and for the millions of people suffering from pain, fatigue and isolation due to arthritis and related conditions. We aspire to be an inclusive and diverse organisation but recognise that we have work to do before we can say we are truly living up to this aspiration. I am committed to increasing diversity and that’s why we have signed up to the leadership principles for civil society leaders.
We are working with our employees, volunteers, partners and people with arthritis to collectively discuss, agree and prioritise the meaningful systemic changes we need to make together. While we do that we are not standing still and I have committed to some immediate actions including establishing and supporting our diversity networks/groups, starting with forming a ‘safe space’ for colleagues who are from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. Our Board approved our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Plan and we are creating a new role of Diversity and Inclusion Manager to drive an action plan to bring this to life. Other areas we are actively considering include developing training for all Versus Arthritis leaders to learn about racial bias, prioritising having the right data to help us make informed decisions, which includes improving our diversity monitoring and reporting for employees and volunteers, establishing and publishing diversity and inclusion targets and understanding and publishing our ethnicity pay gap alongside our gender pay gap in 2021. However, crucially we want to engage our employees, particularly those from BAME communities in discussing if these are the priorities and what else they see as being important for delivering change.
Versus Arthritis values perseverance when we know this is the right thing to do. Creating a more inclusive and diverse sector is the right thing to do and I am committed to making that happen together.

The Centre for Mental Health is a values led organization and in my role as Chief Executive I have and will continue to herald a focus on equality and justice. You can find out more about our commitment to Equality on our website here: https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/commission-equality-mental-health

We also host the Equally Well UK Collaborative which is focused on creating parity between physical and Mental Health. https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/equally-well

Since June 2020 we have also initiated an internal Equality Task Group. Our first workstreams include, an organisation wide review of governance, systems, policies through an anti racism lens. The development of a co-produced Anti-Racism statement. This will be available at the beginning of August 2020.

Recent tragic events in the United States, and the disproportionate number of Black, Asian
and other Ethnic Minority deaths as a result of coronavirus closer to home in the UK, have
motivated the team here at Alzheimer’s Society to clarify where we stand on issues of race,
diversity and inclusion. Although this has taken a little while to publish, I am extremely
grateful to a range of colleagues from Black, Asian and other Minority Ethnic backgrounds
for supporting me to get this statement right.

Kate Lee, CEO, Alzheimer’s Society
July 2020

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Alzheimer’s Society – What you can expect of us.

At Alzheimer’s Society we believe everyone with dementia has the right to live their life the
way they want to live it, whether living with the diagnosis or supporting someone affected by
dementia. Core to that belief is that everyone has the right to be the person they are, to live
without fear or prejudice regardless of race, age, gender, sexual orientation or a disability,
like dementia. Everyone should be able to make a full contribution to society the way they
want to make it, and live in a world which demonstrates respect and values diversity. It is
vital that in everything Alzheimer’s Society does, it walks that talk.

However, our commitment goes further than simply creating an inclusive and diverse team of
volunteers and staff, culturally appropriate services and ensuring dementia support is fairly
available to all. We want to understand what institutional discrimination looks like,
behaviours and causes that can be deep-rooted within an organisation, and proactively work
to remove them if and where they exist.

Eight principles govern how we are approaching all our diversity and inclusion work; these
may change or develop over time:

1. We will be publicly accountable and transparent about our progress.
2. We will focus initially on the recruitment, retention and development of a diverse and
inclusive workforce which we believe to be the route to sustainable and permanent
3. We will set ourselves goals and targets and regularly review progress with our team
and, just as importantly, in our services and who we reach with dementia support.
4. We will ensure our policies and actions back up what we stand for.
5. We will analyse data from surveys and evaluations to look specifically at minority
groups and respond accordingly; this includes data on staff, volunteers, those who
access our services and our supporters.
6. We will proactively seek out opinions of those who may be (or perceive themselves
to be) overlooked and report on any appropriate actions needed.
7. We will ensure our whole workforce is supported in making informed and inclusive
decisions regarding equality, diversity and embraces living the values of respect and
8. Our leaders at all levels will front our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive
organisation and be held to account for doing so.

What does this mean for race equality at Alzheimer’s Society?

Alzheimer’s Society believes all racism and abuse of privilege is wrong. We are committed to
creating a fair and inclusive organisation and tackling any form of racism within our
organisation, including our staff, our volunteers and our activities, as well as challenging the
impact of racism within the wider dementia arena. This includes institutional racism or
unconscious bias, where unknowingly we may have created barriers to Black, Asian or other
Minority Ethnic Groups being treated equally.

We do not want this approach to be tokenistic; it is time to give voice and power to those
who have not had it for centuries. This will be a journey for us, one we are up for. Black,
Asian and other Minority Ethnic (BAME) Communities have rarely had proper dementia
support; it is time to change that, and that change starts with us becoming comfortable with
challenging ourselves. We know that now is the time to act – the time for talking is over. We
are committing as a starting point to the following challenges from the ACEVO Home Truths
Report, as these fit with our own principles:

1. Integrate explicit race equity goals into charitable work and focus activities
2. Co-design internal EDI targets with BAME staff and report on them externally in our
Trustee Report and Accounts.
3. Publish ethnicity pay gap data.
4. Review attraction activity, recruitment criteria and processes, ensuring that values
and including lived experience are promoted in alignment with our organisation’s
5. Invest in supporting and safeguarding BAME and other diversity groups, including
reviewing external and internal complaints procedures.
6. Ensure all staff surveys and data can be analysed so that we can understand the
nuances for our BAME team members and other diverse groups.
7. Review and develop effective training offers to ensure inclusivity of all groups in all
that we do.
8. Regularly review the equality impact audits of our work and proactively move to make
our services and other activities more accessible and culturally sensitive.
9. We will consciously consider how we represent the views, voices and images of
those from BAME backgrounds but also ensure that this is inherent in our work, not a
token gesture.

And as CEOs and senior leaders we will:

10. Learn more about racism and current anti-racist thinking; this will be built into
personal objectives.
11. Regularly hold ourselves to account and be held to account by our BAME staff
through formal BAME forums and our Employee Forum (our minutes will
demonstrate this).
12. Take responsibility for learning how racism is manifest in our organisation.
13. Jointly, with the Chair, lead on and be held responsible and accountable for progress
on EDI targets.
14. Proactively ensure BAME and other diversity voices are heard in forums and task
groups across our organisation and that comprehensive training and mentoring is
used that enables managers to understand what is required to properly ‘hear’ often
‘drowned out’ voices. This is relevant to staff and volunteers but, as importantly,
those living with a dementia diagnosis from BAME communities and their carers.
15. Despite a challenging funding environment, we will be innovative in how we might
encourage more BAME initiatives such as the mentoring and sponsorship of BAME
staff. We will identify talent within this staff group and proactively track progress
against peers.
16. Proactively contribute to the efforts of other organisations within the dementia sector
who want to join us in tackling racism.

This is a statement of intent. It isn’t our plan. We are working on that now and over the
coming months, with our amazing staff team. Details of more aspirational goals,
targets and approaches will be communicated soon.

We have discussed the Black Lives Matter campaign within the organisation and what we can do to respond to the issues raised. We are working towards implementing the diversity principles.

We know that our organisation does not reflect the diversity of Wales. As a result we are going to set diversity targets in order to improve racial diversity in our organisation. We have a number of job vacancies currently and we will take additional steps to ensure we attract candidates from communities that are under-represented in our team. We will organise training for our colleagues on diversity and about tackling discrimination.

We will consider how we could set diversity targets for our programme delivery so that we ensure we work with people and communities that reflect the population of Wales. We will review our communications to consider how we can do more to promote diversity in our communications and how we can better promote our services to black and minority ethnic people and other under-represented groups.

I am privileged to be leading a new charity created through sector collaboration to help ensure those affected by national disasters are able to get the help they need quickly and effectively.  Trust, transparency, compassion, collaboration, innovation – are just some of the National Emergencies Trust’s (NET) core values – and we cannot live any of them unless equity, diversity and inclusion are central to everything we do.  

This is particularly important because much of the learning that shaped NET highlighted the importance of support reaching the most marginalised groups who often more disproportionately impacted during an emergency. For this to happen, NET needs to be actively anti-racist. Not just inwardly, within our own behaviours, but addressing the structural and systemic racism within the sector. It is the combination of the two that will improve the structures and systems for everyone.

Just nine months after the launch of NET, we find ourselves not only in the midst of our first Appeal; but an Appeal of a shape and scale that we were never set up for. The Coronavirus Appeal has raised many tens of millions of pounds and is distributing funds at speed to communities all over the UK. It’s very different from the single event disaster, often localised and relatively short-term but no less distressing for those involved, that we had planned for.

So we are conceiving, building, testing and learning at speed. Everything from our core operating model and distribution partnerships, to our donor and stakeholder engagement; to our people management and our culture. We have had to adapt our model over and over, often mid-way through activities, to make sure that the needs of those facing significant challenges are being met. 

I am very proud of what is being achieved by NET, and under such extraordinary circumstances. But I am also very mindful of the key lessons we need to learn from as we continue to respond to needs up and down the country. We are learning new ways to transform our principles into our practices. And that includes our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion; not just internally but through our distribution networks too.

Our team has catapulted from just two to (at the Appeal’s peak) more than one hundred people in just a matter of weeks. In the face of this pace and team-fluidity, it has been essential to bring in dedicated new roles and responsibilities to ensure that a focus on fairness remains a constant.

As well as recruiting a Head of EDI, and instigating diversity training for all of our people – permanent staff members, contractors and volunteers – we have created an Equity Scrutiny Group, which is now embedded into our core governance. As its name suggests, its role is to champion equity, and its remit extends from Appeal fund decision-making to recruitment and people practices. It provides valuable challenge at every level of our decision-making.

Beyond what we can directly control, we are also seeking ways to create stronger, fairer funding networks for the future, so that structural inequalities can be tackled, something we fundamentally believe in. We have allocated dedicated funds to improving the infrastructure around Black, Asian and Minoritised Ethnic (BAME) led charities, for instance, where there has been historic and highly detrimental under-investment.  We will take the same approach wherever we see inequality existing and we will ensure our partners take it as seriously as we do. 

For NET, this work is a vital part of ensuring that help is available as quickly as possible to everyone that needs it in any future emergency.  But our hope is also that by doing this now we can also play our part in creating a stronger network during non-crisis times as well. 

We know we have much more work to do, and that we won’t achieve it all during this particular pandemic. There are many other measures we know we need to take. But we have proved that we are open to challenge and that we can learn – and deliver – fast through this first Appeal. It is with equal drive that we will continue to seek and embed new ways to live our values; and ultimately play our part in creating a fairer sector for the future.

The very first words of our mission statement are ‘Our vision is for an equal society . . .’. Tackling unequal access to, and through, arts and culture are right at the heart of why Curious Minds exists. We recognise that our work is far from done, and acknowledge we have a long way to go with specific regards to ethnic and racial diversity.  Until the day comes when the wonderfully diverse communities of the North West are representatively embedded in our workforce, our programmes and our sector, we will continue our effort to do more and better.

We know that our sector, and the sectors we work with and alongside are not representatively ethnically diverse. We acknowledge that, whilst our programmes reach far and wide, our own permanent staff team is not ethnically diverse. Whilst we have taken positive actions and reviewed procedures to address this, we know that we haven’t done enough until our staff team reflects the ethnicity of the area we serve. 

We also know that children and young people’s access to arts and culture remains unequal. The urgent need to address systemic wrongs that cause inequality and lack of opportunity drives all our work, both as a charity and the NW Bridge organisation. We recognise that, whilst many opportunities are technically available to all, perception is a powerful barrier, which requires pro-activity to overcome.

We know we have a unique ability to lead and influence change across the arts and culture sector and take that responsibility seriously.  Our aim is to achieve justice through creative practice.

Curious Minds’ staff and Trustees recognise and accept a dual role:

  1. Internally:

a. by creating, implementing and monitoring organisational policies and procedures that promote equality, diversity and inclusion, enabling us to engage deeply in anti-racist work, and

b. by doing more to be a visibly anti-racist organisation, ensuring those who work with us and for us are in no doubt about our values and expectations, and

c. by examining our organisational structure, our work environment and the ways we may be inadvertently perpetuating problems through who we represent, who we invite to the table, who we partner with and where our resources and energy is directed.

2. Externally:

a. by working in partnership with others to remove the barriers that prevent some CYP from experiencing the joy arts, culture and creativity bring, and

b. by championing diverse practice in cultural and creative education as integral to creating a better, richer and more dynamic arts and cultural offer for children and young people which, in turn, creates a more tolerant, accepting and understanding society, and

c. by harnessing the power of arts and culture as a vehicle to enable children and young people to create change in their lives, and in society.

In order to address ethnic and racial diversity specifically, our Anti-Racism Task Group is assembling, setting a brief for and facilitating an external team who will be 80% BAME. They will challenge us, hold us to account, and support us to continually work towards becoming the representative organisation we strive to be.

Now more than ever organisations, not only charities, need to be acutely aware of the lack of EDI in most facets of our societies across the world. Globally, daily, we are made increasingly aware of the many injustices either brushed under the carpet, negated or simply not understood.

As CEO of QVT, a Disability Confident Committed and Mindful Employer, my role is to be led by my team in establishing an environment of inclusion, diversity & equality for all. Our aim is to ensure that the services QVT provide are of high quality and that they are delivered in a comfortable, caring, compassionate and safe environment not only for the people who use our services but crucially, for those who provide the services. QVT recognises that learning from the experiences of our Staff and Clients is essential, if we are to deliver on our aspirations.

My commitment to the equality agenda has promoted cultural and ethnicity diversity amongst staffing at Quo Vadis Trust that reflect our Client base who we provide supported housing for. More so, it is the promotion of Community Sustainment and working with our Clients to reintegrate them into their local communities on their journey to independence that delivers on the equality agenda. All too often our Clients at QVT have to face stigma and judgement regarding their mental health. Such lack of equality and opportunity impede on our Clients’ wellbeing and will have been a factor as to why they entered our services for supported housing in the first place.

Our staff and clients originate from every walk of life; ethnically, culturally, in age, gender and personal circumstances too. Our supported services will continue to ensure that those who are isolated and ostracised from our communities, have a chance to be reintegrated and to feel a sense of pride in that belonging. We are passionate about restoring our clients’ integrity, work hard to ensure that their needs are met, extend their boundaries, raise their standards, strengthen their family connections and engagement, and deepen their community, while also facilitating them to feel well protected. It is through the dedication and commitment of QVT’s Staff, Volunteers & indeed Clients, that we are able to sustain our business. I am enormously grateful to our people and pledge to embed, develop and sustain equity, diversity and inclusion into the fabric of our strategy.

QVT is:

  1. A Disability Confident Committed Employer
  2. A Mindful Employer
  3. Initiating blind recruitment with all personal details redacted
  4. Researching an EDI professional to undertake an independent review of EDI at QVT
  5. Having an EDI keynote speaker for our annual all-staff meet up in early August
  6. In the process of reviewing our EDI P&P and undertook a staff EDI analysis for our July 2020 board meetup
  7. Committed to ensuring we have work-life balance. We send out a medical questionnaire to staff twice a year to establish any new / worsened disabilities or medical conditions so that we can consider reasonable adjustments.
  8. Committed to tackling systemic inequalities in recruitment by being proactive in creating opportunities for people from under-represented groups. With this in mind, we welcome applications from all ethnic backgrounds, religions, gender identifications, and sexual orientations, and from anyone who considers themselves to have a disability.

VSO welcomes the initiative by ACEVO to challenge the UK charity sector on diversity in leadership and to promote change. Our work globally addresses issues of diversity, inclusion, equality and anti-discrimination to create a fair world for everyone. VSO recognises the intersectionality of vulnerability and that race cuts across class, caste, gender, disability, age and other vulnerabilities. It is complex and has different connotation in different contexts which we are aware of.

VSO’s Social Inclusion and Gender model is to dismantle this ideology of superiority and inferiority, and the power dynamics that lie behind it. This has been at the core of our internal social inclusion and gender training, to challenge assumptions and prejudices to bring about a transformative change within our organisation. It is provided an opportunity for all of us at VSO, and our partners, to reflect and acknowledge that we all have power and privileges, and then to take affirmative action to change this disparity, injustice and inequality.

We have also been addressing diversity, inclusion, and anti-discrimination through:

  • our programming: the introduction of our core approaches of social inclusion and gender, social accountability and resilience, which examine at the systemic causes of marginalisation and injustice, has been a fundamental shift in our work
  • our leadership: challenging power and hierarchy by adopting a distributed leadership model and shifting the balance of VSO leadership to the Global South. All of our programmatic leadership now sits with colleagues from the Global South.
  • our governance: ensuring our Board better reflects the diversity of our stakeholders and brings deeper insight and experience to bear in delivering our mission.

Whilst we continue to challenge discrimination, we need to be honest that this is a journey, and there is always more we can do. We will:

  • Work more strategically and systematically, both internally and externally, to put accountable mechanisms and policies in place
  • Continue to hold a zero-tolerance approach to racism and explore where barriers to inclusion exist within our organisation
  • Highlight the effects of racism and its implications as we continue to build and roll out our online training curriculum on social inclusion and gender
  • Collect evidence of oppression and discrimination based on race, focusing on the issue through our Social Exclusion and Gender Analysis (SEGA) and other contextual analyses
  • Create platforms for people, particularly youth, to speak out so that they can lead and tackle systemic barriers and discriminatory practices, including in our internal practice
  • Review our global Code of Conduct to see if there is anything that can be improved
  • Continue to review our recruitment practice to ensure we are identifying and removing barriers to inclusion and gender equality.

As an organisation, one of our key principles is to be reflective in our practice. This means challenging ourselves on discrimination and constantly looking for ways to meet our vision of a fair world for everyone.

At Garden Organic, we are proud of our inclusive and supportive working environment. However, we acknowledge that there is always more that can be done to increase diversity within our organisation, the horticulture industry and the wider charitable sector.

We have had a number of discussions and reviews at senior management and board level, prompted by the Black Lives Matter movement, and we believe there are a number of actions we can take, both short and long term, to improve diversity amongst our team, our members and supporters, and our project beneficiaries.

  1. The first step is to understand where we are now. Through surveys of our staff, volunteers and members, we will establish how diverse our organisation is, to give us a benchmark to measure improvement against.
  2. We will carry out a review of our recruitment processes – including recruitment for our Board of Trustees. Our local city, Coventry, is rich in cultural diversity. We need to make sure that diversity is reflected within the individuals who apply for and are successfully appointed to roles within the organisation. We will look to see if there are any subconscious barriers to applicants from Black and Minority Ethnic groups and, if so, how we overcome these as a matter of priority.
  3. We will provide training to our team, from in-depth training with our management staff on how to identify and eliminate racism or discrimination on any grounds within our organisation, to awareness-raising training with the wider team. This training will form part of our standard induction process and will be carried out periodically.
  4. We will engage with our counterparts at aligned organisations within the horticultural industry to establish a way we can work collaboratively to encourage more diversity within our sector. By working together we can have a greater impact on lasting change, and can share and learn from each other’s successes and failures.

As organic gardeners, we know that a garden’s strength lies in its diversity and in the deep interdependence between all the different flora and fauna nurtured within it. The same applies to our community of employees, volunteers, members and supporters and we take our responsibility to encourage and support this diversity very seriously.

This is a critical moment for society that demands bold action from all of us. The scale of the challenge to tackle racial inequality is huge but we are passionate in our
determination to secure change – both for our organisation and the young people we serve.

The primary purpose of the EY Foundation is to support young people who face barriers to succeeding in the workplace. With over 80% of the young people we work
with from Black, Asian or ethnic minority communities, our team and Board need to reflect the young people we support.

In 2019, we made diversity and inclusion a strategic priority, with a focus on race. We will build on the action already taken to accelerate meaningful change. This
includes moving away from placing people from different ethnic backgrounds into one category, to more effectively address the specific issues facing each group. We
acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers, but we will continue to work with young people, employers and other partners to evolve our approach and contribute
to building a fairer and more equal society.

Today we publish these eleven commitments and in the coming months and years we will publish our progress against them.

1. We will continue to create and celebrate an inclusive culture through regular race equality awareness, education and training. This will include running a diversity of thought workshop with the team, Board and Youth Advisory Board (YAB) in 2020 and building and training a network of authentic allies, including all young people on our programmes.
2. By 2025, we commit to take all lawful steps to achieve 50% of our team and leadership team will come from Black, Asian or ethnic minority communities. Specifically, it is our objective that 30% of our team and leadership team will come from the Black community.
3. By 2025, we commit that 50% of our Trustees and Patrons will come from Black, Asian or ethnic minority communities. Specifically, 30% will come from the Black
4. By 2025, we commit that 50% of our Board in key positions of influence will be from Black, Asian or ethnic minority communities. Specifically, 30% will come
from the Black community. Influencing positions include: Chair, Treasurer, Chairs of sub-committees, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Safeguarding Lead, Chair and
Co-Chair of the YAB.
5. We will continue to ensure young people from Black, Asian or ethnic minority communities are at the heart of all our work. One way we will do this is to conduct
a survey of Black young people to better understand access to employment opportunities and the challenges they face. This will be funded by EY and used to
help guide further action.
6. Starting in 2021, we will work with EY to give at least 30% of Black young people on our programmes a place with EY on work experience. For the next five years,
we will work with EY in partnership to offer entry into EY school leaver pathways to at least 30% of Black young alumni of the Smart Futures and Our Future
7. From 2020, we will incorporate race equality measures into the way we evaluate our impact and our long-term targets in support of young people.
8. From 2020, review our HR policies and reward and recognition processes to ensure they deliver racial equality.
9. When available, and where appropriate, we will publish our race and gender pay gap statistics
10. From 2021, we will define – and then measure – the data we need to understand the ethnic background of our employer partners and volunteers.
11. From 2020, we will disaggregate statistics when reporting on our organisation, for those from Black, Asian or ethnic minority communities to demonstrate increased transparency. We will avoid using the BAME category as
far as practically possible when we scrutinise the experience of our team, young people, partners and supporters we work with.

The 2025 targets are concurrent with the EY Foundation’s new strategy and recognises the importance of making a long-term commitment to achieve significant
impact. Our targets will be monitored quarterly and reviewed annually at Board and Youth Advisory Board Level, with Ambassadors and Patrons and at EY Foundation Leadership Team meetings. Progress will also be scrutinised by our diversity and inclusion working groups.

We call on our staff, young people, volunteers, fundraisers, employer partners, funders and other supporters to help us achieve these commitments.

Maryanne Matthews, EY Foundation CEO
Patrick Dunne, EY Foundation Chair
Joseph Watson, YAB Chair and Fahima Akther, YAB Vice-Chair


One of our core values is that ‘we value difference’. We strive to live by this value every day and in all that we do; but we recognise it’s not enough and it’s time for us to up our game even further. We are ambitious in name and this should include ambition in equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI). We must do and want to do much more. It is part of our core purpose to be an organisation that champions and supports diversity. Race is an integral part of this that needs far greater attention. We serve and work with people from all backgrounds and we are motivated and energised by the opportunity to improve outcomes for everybody within our charity, education sectors and wider society.  

We understand that to achieve meaningful and lasting change around equality and diversity we need a proactive and comprehensive approach that:

  • Is embedded throughout our organisation and strategy,
  • Is championed by our Board and leadership
  • Takes into account people’s views and experiences and the external context.
  • Must result in a range of actions that deliver clear and measurable benefits, that are reviewed, appraised and reported to our key stakeholders.

Below we have described some of the things we have done to date to address equality, diversity and inclusion and what we plan to do next. This action plan will be replaced by a full strategy.

Governance and leadership championing change

We are clear that the Board and leadership of this charity is accountable for this change. We can delegate some responsibilities and seek support, but we must champion this issue and drive change.

What we do now:

  • We champion our values including ‘we value difference’ throughout our organisation and ensure that equality and diversity is taken into account in our plans, policies and ways of working.
  • We carry out regular reviews of our board’s performance, supported by independent consultants, against the Code of Governance, which includes equality and diversity.
  • We have an organisation-wide EDI Group
  • We have worked to ensure our recruitment at Board, Governor and Executive levels is open and inclusive. We have always worked hard to ensure that there are people with lived experience of autism[1] on our Board and Governing Bodies and we have historically had good diversity in other areas. More recently we have not achieved this, and recognise this a weakness that we must address, especially around race.

What we will do next:

  • Our Executive Leadership Team (ELT) will lead the EDI strategy with input and support from the EDI Group.
  • We will develop a comprehensive EDI strategy that assesses and evidences our starting point, includes the full scope of the organisation’s work, has clear action plans, timescales and stretching and measurable targets for the leadership and board to monitor and review.
  • Consciously focus on all areas of diversity.
  • Ensure our Boards and senior leaders have routine training and development around equality and diversity issues, including specifically about race, and seek expert advice where we lack it.
  • Ensure any future trustee, governor and leadership recruitment focuses on increasing the pool and appointment of diverse candidates at all senior levels in the organisation.
  • Ensure that EDI is on the Board and Executive agendas at every meeting.
  • Listen, learn from others, collaborate, be open to challenge and make change happen.

Diversifying and developing our people

We are committed to an inclusive working environment in which everyone feels they belong without having to conform. We want our people to know that their contribution matters and that they can perform to their full potential, regardless of their background, identity or circumstances. We have fair policies in place. We are committed to creating a more fair and compassionate culture within our organisation in which everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

What we do now:

  • We have open and accessible recruitment processes, with training for all recruiting managers.
  • We are accredited under the Disability Confident scheme at leadership level and a member of the organisation Purple[2].
  • We provide equalities training for all staff on induction.
  • We invest in in-house and external leadership and management development training for existing and future managers, in good supervision, and learning and development programmes.
  • We run a cross-organisational Staff Council that inputs into plans and policies and identifies and champions staff ideas and issues. Our Staff Council supports the development of our approaches and tests and challenges our practices
  • Through our annual staff survey we monitor staff feedback and identify areas for improvement, including examining the results from different staff groups.

What we will do next:

  • Ensure all existing staff have further training on equality and diversity, including re-launching unconscious bias training, and enhancing our training for senior managers, so that everyone understands and prioritises diversity issues in their day-to-day work and creates a culture that is inclusive. This will not be a one-off, but an ongoing commitment.
  • Review and update our Equality and Diversity policy, and ensure that there is awareness, understanding and fair application of policies across the organisation.
  • Upgrade our recruitment materials and processes further to ensure we attract and hire candidates from diverse backgrounds based on their strengths and values.
  • Hold focus groups with staff, with external support, to get their feedback on our approach to equality and diversity, taking an intersectional approach but initially focusing with the lens of race, to input into our strategy.
  • Use the results of the staff survey as one of the sources of evidence for our EDI strategy and ensure there are clear and measurable actions to address areas for improvement.
  • Develop a learning and development strategy that supports staff development and retention to create pathways for development and internal progression where available.
  • Create a new management and development programme that will also focus on developing talent and future leaders. This programme will focus on continuing to develop internal leadership within the organisation, which will increase comprehensive awareness that it is the role of leaders to take responsibility and drive the culture of the organisation to be more diverse and inclusive.
  • Work with our staff and external stakeholders to renew our Disability Confident accreditation; seek further accreditation and join networks that will enhance our performance in diversity and inclusion.
  • Pilot programmes that specifically support the wellbeing and development of staff with protected characteristics. We understand this to be one of the critical enablers of shifting the dial on the workforce race equality agenda, we can then shape interventions in a way that will tackle the root causes of issues in the workplace.

Leading best practice in our education and training services

Our education and training services support diverse groups of children and young people. They all embrace ‘valuing difference’ at their core and recognise that there is more that they can and want to do to enhance outcomes of all young people.

What we do now:

  • Monitor, report and evaluate the profile of pupils/learners and their progress and outcomes by group. Each setting also has a self-evaluation and development plan that is updated and reviewed by its Governing Body termly, based on data.
  • Deliver curriculum content on British Values and on diversity in an accessible format.
  • Celebrate and mark key events throughout the year, like Black History Month.
  • Signed up the Rights Respecting Schools accreditation scheme for TreeHouse School.
  • Work to recruit staff who come from diverse backgrounds to reflect the communities that we serve.

What we will do next:

  • Review the top-level values in our settings which will inform all their work.
  • Review the curriculum in each setting to enhance its focus on diversity, especially race.
  • Ensure that diversity is on the agenda of senior leadership and Governing Body meetings and we interrogate our data on progress rigorously for each group.
  • Work with parents/carers to understand their context and needs, so we able to meet them more flexibly.
  • Expand our calendar of events and speakers to educate on and celebrate diversity, especially race.
  • Continue to support our staff on how issues of discrimination and disadvantage impact on the lives our children and young people and how to better address these issues in our settings.
  • Explore signing up for Rights Respecting Schools for all our settings.

Enabling the ordinary to be possible for children and young people with autism

Autistic children and young people face significant barriers in all aspects of their lives which can result in poor life-long outcomes. They experience high rates of exclusion from education, poor transitions into further/higher education or training and loneliness and isolation from their communities. This results in poor mental and physical health and life-long social and financial exclusion. Identity is made up of many parts, and the intersectionality of autism with other protected characteristics and vulnerabilities produces social inequalities.

What we do now:

  • We support and empower our Youth Council and Youth Network to share their experiences, views and ideas with us to inform our plans and work.
  • We influence national policy and practice to enable autistic young people to have better life outcomes and a voice.
  • We train organisations in the education, health, arts and youth sectors and employers to better include autistic young people.
  • We run an Employ Autism programme to enable young people to make the transition from education to employment.

What we will do next:

  • Ensure that all of our national influencing and enabling work takes into account all areas of diversity and particularly champion autistic young people from a black and minority ethnic background who experience the greatest exclusion.
  • Work with other organisations to understand and challenge how intersectionality may create advantage and disadvantage for children and young people.
  • Support our Youth Council to build upon the diversity that already makes up their membership.
  • Review all of our training and development materials to reflect the diversity of need and audiences.

This plan has been reviewed by our Board and Executive leaders and progress against this plan will be reviewed termly. We welcome support, challenge and any ideas around our approach. This is a step on a journey of change, and we know that this may need to change further.

[1] Parents and carers of autistic children and young people, and autistic people.

[2] Purple is an organisation to bring disabled people and businesses together to change the conversation about from disadvantage and unequality to value and potential. Purple membership signals commitment to disability inclusion. Purple provides expert support and consultancy and a network like minded organisations.

Sign up to our diversity principles

Please email policy@acevo.org.uk
or call 020 7014 4600.