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). 


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 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.

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

Sign up to our diversity principles

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