Considering recent events, as the chair of Lydney Hub, I wanted to make everyone aware of how our organisation plans to align ourselves to unite against racism and our strategy to become a more diverse and inclusive charity.
Lydney hub exists to “further or benefit the residents of Lydney without distinction of race, (dis)ability, gender, sexual orientation, religion and belief or other protected characteristics (Equality Act 2010). Along with local authorities, voluntary organisations etc, we have pledged to unite in our common effort to provide facilities in the interests of social welfare with the objective of improving conditions of life for residents.”
As individuals we have been watching what has been going on around the world and more recently our town. We realise as an organisation, it is no longer enough to declare we are not racist. We have spent the last few weeks, educating ourselves and having some serious conversations about what we can do to be actively anti-racist and have committed to doing better.
As individuals we have all had moments of worry, wondering whether we were going to say the wrong thing or be insensitive in some way. What we have come to realise is that we can’t completely understand, nor will we ever understand the life experiences of the BAME community but we do stand fully committed to creating and supporting the change that needs to take place.
The following strategy will be implemented immediately:
1. Social media is a great tool for connection and healthy discussion, it’s where we share all the positive things that are happening in our town and from time to time, we are happy to open it up debate. It is, however, vital that as a charity with community at its heart, that we provide a safe space for all races and cultures. We will continue to share resources and events supporting the BAME community to help connect on experiences and find ways to address racism. To keep it a safe space, comments on these posts will be removed if thought to be anything other than beneficial to the residents of Lydney, in line with our charitable objectives.
Anyone found to be making racist comments will be removed and banned immediately.
2. We will begin working on a diversity and inclusion team to help us advocate for diversity. We will proactively support inclusion of and collaboration with the
BAME community in our work to improve social welfare and continually review our activities both online and in person to ensure we are inclusive of underrepresented minorities and provide equal opportunities.
3. We have committed to better educating ourselves around the issue of racism and will be enrolling committee members on courses to increase their awareness and understanding of equality, diversity, and inclusion.
4. We have also written a new inclusion policy which can be found here. We know that we may sometimes get things wrong so we will continually review this policy at least yearly and when necessary to ensure we further our understanding, educate ourselves and facilitate the sharing of knowledge to help educate others, as well as staying committed to the aims of our organisation.
We want Lydney to be a safe and welcoming town no matter your nationality, race, culture, ability, gender, age or sexual orientation. We will continue in our efforts to improve the lives of residents in Lydney so we can all be proud of the town we call home.
If you would like to be involved with the work of Lydney Hub or if you have any ideas on how we can improve the services, please do let us know.