We are focused on achieving the very best for our local communities, placing power in
their hands to make the changes that they wish to see, in their lives, in the lives of others, and in the wider community. We use the practices of Community Organising & Community Hosting in this work – practices which we believe are ideal for raising the voice of those less often heard, and for ensuring democratic processes. These practices however amount to nothing without us ensuring that we bring diversity into every room and area in which we operate, and so we are fully focused on being the most inclusive and diverse organisation we can possibly be
We understand that we have work still to do here. Our leadership team is currently diverse in terms of age, gender and neurodiversity/disability. When you consider the wider team including our volunteers, we are also diverse ethnically, culturally and in terms of religion. Within this Trustee recruitment process, we hope to address this within our leadership team, and keep improving.
In 2020 we bought together a group of professionals from across the Barnet voluntary sector and facilitated a discussion on racism, discrimination and the Black Live Matter movement. We started to explore how we could work together to improve how we worked with our staff, our volunteers and our local community. The starting point from this group was broadly taken from the ACEVO report Home Trusts: Undoing racism and delivering real diversity in the charity sector, which is that “racism is a significant and unresolved issue in the charitable sector just as it is in the rest of society.”
We have recently undertaken some actions to improve our work and to become as inclusive as we can be, but recognise that we have much to learn, and much to do. We believe that being open, honest and transparent to begin this process is the correct approach. We do not have all of the answers, and in order to move forwards and improve, we first have to listen and learn. This will not be a fast process, but we are committed to improvement, and we hope that many from our community will come forward to share what they know with us, and to learn and listen together.
Actions that we have taken so far
- Created a new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy, stating our intentions more boldly and clearly.
- Redesigned our staff recruitment process, trying new approaches such as interview questions in advance, and a payment to cover the time invested in the process.
- We are running Unconscious Bias and Anti-Racism training in 2021, open to staff, Trustees and volunteers. We are also opening it at cost to other organisations in Barnet, to make it generally more available, and to give us the opportunity to learn with others.
- We will ensure that all recruitment panels are as diverse as possible. We will never allow panels with one gender, or where everyone is white.
- From Summer 2021, except in exceptional circumstances, we will only allow those who have completed Unconscious Bias training to sit on recruitment panels.