Contact us 0131 653 3977

info@changeschp.org.uk

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Changes Equalities statement:

“Changes strive to ensure fair and inclusive services which celebrate and value the diversity of the community of East Lothian. Changes welcome opportunities to improve equality, diversity and inclusion within the organisation and we will continue to review our progress and champion equalities.”

Changes values are Welcoming, Community and Compassion. We welcome everyone (over 16, living or registered with a GP in East Lothian) to our services and to be part of our community, and we treat others with compassion. We celebrate and respect diversity and the uniqueness of each person. We are working to break down barriers, to challenge discrimination and to provide inclusive opportunities for everyone involved. Our commitment to Equality and Diversity is a key priority set out within our 3-year Development Plan.

Our journey so far:

As a community organisation, Changes are guided by the needs and preferences of the local community. We have always strived to provide inclusive services and have reacted to the evolving needs of the community over the year.

Following the tragic death of George Floyd in May 2020, like many individuals and organisations across the world, Changes have been reflecting on what role we can play, and what changes we must make to help in the fight for racial equality. Following these discussions, we have broadened the conversation to reflect on our practices and policies relating to equalities more generally.

So far we have taken the following steps:

1. Accessibility Audit

We recognise that physical adjustments are required within our premises to remove or reduce physical barriers. In August 2020 we commissioned Design for Everyone to carry out an accessibility audit. Recommended adjustments included (but were not limited to); installation of a ramp, widening of doors, renovation of toilet and kitchen space. This work was postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions in January 2021 and will be carried out in 2022.

2. Race and Inequality Learning Lunch

This workshop series was set up in September 2020 creating an opportunity for staff and volunteers to get together once per month over a 6-month period to raise our awareness of issues relating to racial inequalities. These sessions were designed and led by a trainee Clinical Associate in Applied Psychology on placement within Changes. Through these sessions we explored the following areas;

3. Equalities Subgroup

In November 2020 Changes Equalities subgroup met for the first time. The subgroup is made up of staff and Board members who meet every 8 weeks. The group have worked through each of the nine protected characteristics and explored our strengths and short fallings in relation to each area, identifying ways we can improve our practices. The group have identified a need for additional equality and diversity training for staff and volunteer teams and have invited visitors from partner organisations to provide input and discussion opportunities in relation to equalities and protected groups. So far we have been in contact with Age Scotland, LGBT Health, Diversity Scotland and Interfaith Scotland.

4. Recruitment

In May 2021 we updated Equalities monitoring and practices within our recruitment process; with first names removed from application forms. Within future recruitment, names will be removed in full, alongside email addresses and applications will be assigned a unique code.

We provide opportunities for members of the community to volunteer with new positions regularly being created and publicised through Volunteer Centre East Lothian. Many volunteers join Changes after accessing our support services. We are expanding our volunteer team at present and are excited to have attracted new volunteers ranging from 16 years old to 70+.

5. Diversity Training

We have commissioned Diversity Scotland to provide bespoke training for our Board of Trustees and staff team. The training had been designed in consultation with our Equalities subgroup and will be delivered in September 2021,

5. Equalities Statement

In June 2021 the equalities subgroup agreed the following statement of equalities:

“Changes strive to ensure fair and inclusive services which celebrate and value the diversity of the community of East Lothian. Changes welcome opportunities to improve equality, diversity and inclusion within the organisation and we will continue to review our progress and champion equalities.”

What’s next

We recognise that the activities outlined above are just a start and we know that there is more to do. We are committed to standing against discrimination. We will share updates with our community as we progress with this work. We welcome comments, suggestions, and feedback on our work to date.

Contact us 0131 653 3977 or info@changeschp.org.uk