Equality, diversity and inclusion networks
Victim Support has internal EDI networks that are open to all staff and volunteers across England and Wales. These networks are there to:
- provide a platform for specific equality groups to network and share experiences and information
- ensure that the voices and experiences of those from minority and marginalised communities are an integral part of our equality, diversity and inclusion strategy
- embed equality across Victim Support.
The aim of each of the networks is to explore the issues affecting the communities and identities that they represent and to increase knowledge and awareness within the organisation. Having an understanding of the issues affecting specific communities can help our staff and volunteers to deliver a better service for victims.
The networks support the equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) Lead and the organisation by:
- acting as consultative groups for EDI policies, procedures and strategies
- providing support to staff and volunteers around specific identities and communities
- raising awareness of issues affecting their community
- organising awareness events for volunteer and staff teams
- acting as visible role models and EDI champions.
There are currently five networks:
- Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) network
- Disability network
- Gender Empowerment network
- Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans + (LGBT+) network
- Mental Health and Wellbeing network.
All the networks have a Chair or Lead who manage the activities of the networks. On Victim Support’s intranet, the networks have dedicated pages with a range of information to engage, inform and share, such as blogs, discussion boards, awareness and learning and videos.
All networks also have ‘allies’ who support network activities. These are members of staff or volunteers who would like to know more about the identities and experiences of those within each of the networks but are not from the specific group the network represents. Allies can support any network by supporting network activities and development and can sign up to receive the same communications as ‘members’.
Carolyn Woolley, Assistant Director, People says, "The five EDI networks are extremely important; they help share best practice and each carry out valuable additional work to support their communities. Members are consulted on the drafting of the EDI strategy and relevant policies, and are encouraged to produce action plans that support the EDI strategy and help to embed the objectives to benefit their members and Victim Support as a whole. They help to raise the profile of the issues affecting their members, which in turn will help to ensure Victim Support’s services are accessible to all sections of our communities."
Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Network
The aim of the BAME Network is to address the wider issues of racism and prejudice prevalent throughout society that affect BAME staff and volunteers at Victim Support.
We hope that by promoting our cultural differences and building awareness of the opportunities and events available for our members and network of allies, we will be able to create a more inclusive and diverse workplace.
It is hoped that as a network we will contribute to the intersectional discussions that are necessary to create equality and diversity within institutions, and in turn leave no room for ignorance, prejudice or racism in society.
Members have carried out various activities including:
- profiling a diverse range of BAME role models from within Victim Support and from wider society
- BAME network book club
- awareness raising webinars.