As an organisation that supports those living with brain injury and neurodisability, we understand how important it is to actively advocate for the rights of those who are disadvantaged by systemic inequality. We therefore recognise we need to do more to ensure we are promoting and achieving equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) across all areas of The Children’s Trust.
The current political climate has acted as a catalyst for reflection. We acknowledge that more action is needed to solidify our stance as an anti-racist organisation that promotes equitable practices, inclusive environments and diverse participation at all levels.
In June 2020, The Children’s Trust committed to ACEVO’s ‘Eight principles to address the diversity deficit in charity leadership.’ In order to support our commitment to the principles, we appointed an Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Officer. As part of their role, the EDI Officer will collect stronger staff diversity data. By having more detailed data, we can more effectively measure our progress in increasing diverse representation across the organisation.
We have also established a Working Group, formed of staff representatives from across the organisation, focusing on three specific areas:
- How we can enhance EDI for the young people and families who access the services of The Children’s Trust. A number of our beneficiaries are Black, Asian or from diverse ethnic backgrounds. We aspire to reflect this across our trustees, staff and volunteers so that we can better represent the needs of those we support.
- How we can introduce meaningful training around EDI for our staff, volunteers and other stakeholders. This will enable us to hold uncomfortable but vital conversations that will help us progress in our understanding of how racism presents, and how it can be dismantled.
- How we can introduce more inclusive recruitment practices and increase diverse representation across senior levels of the organisation.
The results of the Working Group’s analysis will be taken to the Board of Trustees for agreement, cementing our commitment to a long term plan of action to enhance EDI at The Children’s Trust.
As a leader, I recognise I have a personal responsibility to be an agent of change across the charity sector as a whole. As such, I have instigated links with Surrey County Council, Surrey Police, Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum, Community Foundation for Surrey, Active Prospects and Alzheimer’s Society. We have formed the Surrey EDI Group; I arrange and chair the meetings. The group is dedicated to promoting EDI across the county of Surrey and beyond. Together, we will share resources and best practice to enhance our EDI work, but we also aim to encourage other organisations to align with our ambitions and strengthen their own commitments to EDI in the process.
At The Children’s Trust we will make certain that this commitment is not simply a tick-box exercise; that going forward, we continue to place EDI at the forefront of our conversations and decision-making. Through this, we will achieve a more equitable, diverse and inclusive workforce that embraces and drives change within the charity sector, with our beneficiaries remaining at the heart of our thinking.