We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and all those united in the struggle against racism and the fight for justice.

As an organisation whose core purpose is to tackle inequity, and work towards a fairer society for all, we have carefully considered our response to the events of this year and the significance of the Black Lives Matter Movement. We have taken time to evaluate who we are, why we exist, and how we can meaningfully contribute to a global action that is long overdue.

Whilst inequalities are very much evident for the groups that we work with, whether those with learning disabilities, facing homelessness or domestic abuse, or those with opportunities limited by life experience or financial circumstances, we feel it is crucial at this moment to re-acknowledge how race impacts on the inequality Black people experience in society. 

As an organisation and a sector, we are asking ourselves what more we must do to ensure that we work hard towards equity of opportunity for Black people and not just equality of opportunity.  This means reviewing how we do things and challenging ourselves to work harder to deliver services and opportunities to underrepresented groups in our organisation and society.

As an employer, we are actively encouraging diversity at Board level - you can read more about our Achieving and Harnessing Board Diversity scheme, which we have launched in partnership with Together Housing Group and the Housing Diversity Network here.

We are looking at ways to attract more diverse talent to our organisation – we have recruited a dedicated Resourcing and Talent Management Partner to help us achieve greater diversity at all levels of our organisation.

We’ve scrutinised and restated the strategic aims of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Working party and we working to ensure that becomes a meaningful force for change.

As an organisation, we seek opportunities to open up conversations around race through structured training programmes, cultural events, policy reviews, and processes such as our inequality impact assessments.

Our approved contractor, consultant and supplier policy has EDI requirements and is included in all tendering activity.

All our colleagues are involved in equality, diversity and bias training. We encourage open conversations to ensure issues are discussed and consideration is given to how we can constantly improve.

We are reviewing how we position ourselves externally as an organisation – whether that is through the language we use, the way we reflect the diversity of experience of our customers and employees, and more importantly, ensuring we are confident to engage in challenging conversations in the public arena: we must ensure that we are (remove) lead by example.

As an organisation, we are on a journey, and we are well aware of the social obligation we have to make a change. We are committed to making a meaningful difference to all people.