We’re here for everyone affected by Crohn’s and Colitis.
When people are represented in our work, they feel included and reassured that our support, information, advocacy, and resources are for them. Accessing the information that they need and are entitled to gives people the skills and knowledge to manage their condition, in partnership with healthcare professionals. It also provides the sense of community, which we know so many of our supporters benefit from. This feeling of solidarity is invaluable, and even more so when a community may be already marginalised elsewhere in society.
We know that you may not have always felt supported and valued as members of our Crohn's and Colitis community. You may not have been offered opportunities or felt able to volunteer, take part in research, or receive funding for research. This may mean you haven’t lent your voice to our work.
We want to change this, so we can speak up on your behalf and fully represent your specific needs and wishes. By understanding your needs and experiences, we can support our entire Crohn's and Colitis community.
We believe that Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) can help us meet the needs of the Crohn’s and Colitis community by:
- ensuring that we are reflecting the experiences of everyone with Crohn’s and Colitis
- improving and informing the direction of our work and projects
- improving the accessibility of our information and services
- ensuring that our decisions meet the needs of our whole community
Right at the centre of this is the need to work together with those with the experiences, knowledge, and insight to make sure everyone is included in what we do.
We thank the people in our Crohn’s and Colitis community who remind us of these needs and are educating us and each other on a daily basis to create a better world for themselves, their peers, and future generations.
What have we done so far?
We have spent time reflecting and are taking action to improve our approach to equality, diversity, and inclusion, starting with the following.
- We established a group of staff dedicated to championing EDI, identifying gaps, resolving issues, and improving inclusion across all parts of the charity.
- Our new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy has recently been published to show our commitment to embedding EDI into all aspects of our work, and we will be reporting on our progress annually.
- We’ve worked with an anti-racism specialist and the Leadership Team have been developing and implementing a strategy and actions to become an anti-racist organisation.
We will be held accountable and publish the outcomes and actions that come from this work.
What are we doing next?
It is important for us to embed EDI into a range of activities. Here are just some of the ways we are making equality, diversity, and inclusion a goal in 2021 and beyond.
- We have made efforts, and will continue to, emphasise the experiences of the entire Crohn’s & Colitis community through the stories we share on our website and social media as well as in our campaigns and press coverage. As part of this, we will be making changes to our ‘share your story’ process, so that we have evidence to understand the stories we’re not currently telling.
- We will make our fundraising resources and promotional materials more inclusive, so everyone knows they are welcome, and will work towards making our events more accessible. This will begin with resources we’re producing for Autumn 2021, and beyond.
- We will gather demographic data so we can identify gaps and proactively approach people and groups that are underrepresented.
- We will review and develop our recruitment practices to remove unconscious bias and discrimination from our recruitment and employment processes.
- We will include EDI impact assessments in our project planning from 2022. This includes sharing best practice with peers and partners, and considering EDI in all partnership working and coproduction projects.
- We will ensure that our events, whether physical or virtual, are as accessible as possible so our whole community is included and able to attend when they want to.
- Our ‘Are you IN?’ campaign, calls on companies to show their commitment to making the workplace more inclusive and we are a Gold Invisible Disability Employer. We will be providing training to all our staff around being allies to their colleagues with invisible conditions.
We have started work on our new three-year strategy, starting in 2022. EDI will be a key consideration to make sure we are best supporting and representing the Crohn’s and Colitis community in our future plans.