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How we approach inclusion

At BLG Mind we take inclusion seriously. We recognise that this is an evolving process that requires a continuous review of our approaches, attitudes and the general culture.

So what are we doing about it?

For this reason, in April 2019, an Inclusion Review Group (IRG) was formed, consisting of service users, staff, volunteers, trustees and external experts. The aim of the Group was to help create a more inclusive organisation with a greater understanding of all those we support and interact with, resulting in a meaningful, positive change in culture and practice.

After 18 months of detailed work, the group produced the BLG Mind Inclusion Review Report (published October 2020). This information has generated recommendations for us to achieve in the short, medium and long-term.

The recommendations focus on a range of areas within the organisation, including our approach to engagement and recruitment, our use of language and imagery as well as concentrating on how relevant and accessible our services are to diverse groups of people.

We will always be working towards a number of recommendations at any one time but here are some of the recommendations we have already achieved.

September 2021

1. Recommendation
Deliver training sessions to the workforce to improve awareness and practice around inclusion.

Action
Unconscious Bias and Anti-Racist training is now core mandatory training for all staff. Sessions are scheduled for the coming year, enabling the training of 150 staff and volunteers in each.

2. Recommendation
Gain a better understanding of groups and communities who we may not be providing for through our services, identifying where the gaps are and who we are not reaching. Seek out opportunities to develop targeted services for marginalised and under-served communities.

Action
Appointed a Project Manager to lead the delivery of a major new partnership project focused on Peer Support & Community Engagement for Culturally Diverse Communities in Lewisham.

3. Recommendation
Represent diversity in spotlight features, in BLG Mind newsletters and through our website and social media channels.

Action
Spotlight features a wide range of staff and volunteers and our website portrays images and articles representative of the diverse communities that we serve.

April 2021

1. Recommendation
Publicly demonstrate our commitment to gender identity inclusion.

Action
Staff are encouraged to include their preferred pronouns (eg she/her; he/him; they/them) in their email signatures.

2. Recommendation
Ensure that criteria on person specifications are inclusive, fair and relevant to each role and people are encouraged to apply, rather than excluded.

Action
Qualifications will only be listed on person specifications where they are essential to the role. It will be made clear that equivalent in experience is acceptable, where that is the case.

3. Recommendation
Update BLG Mind’s strategy, organisational policies and procedures with input from diverse voices within the organisation.

Action
We have reviewed and updated our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy, and our new strategy has been published.

January 2021

1. Recommendation
Listen to diverse voices to help us to tailor our services to the people who need them.

Action
Develop a diverse group of paid service user representatives to join our Quality and Performance Committee and contribute to service-related organisational decisions.

2. Recommendation
We plan to have a plug-in for visually impaired people to make the website more accessible.

Action
Click on the yellow circle in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. This will open up a menu of tools, making the site more accessible, including enlarging text, reading content out loud and changing fonts/colours as well as other accessibility functions for people with hearing impairments.

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3. Recommendation
Increase diversity within the organisation through recruitment.

Action
Specifically state on all job adverts that we always welcome applications from currently under-represented, groups ie

  • People from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds
  • People aged 16-25
  • Disabled people
  • People with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities