Just over a year ago I published a diary entry about Inclusivity and Diversity at the MS Trust. I reflected on why we needed to do more to ensure that everyone affected by MS, regardless of their race, gender, ability or sexual orientation, was represented and supported by the MS Trust. I promised that the Trust would do better in the future.
So what has changed at the MS Trust since then? How have we done?
Firstly, we know that for change to be effective, it has to be actively championed by our Board, our senior leadership team and by managers across the charity. We’ve agreed an action plan for change with our Board and now have a Trustee champion for this work. We’ve set up a staff working group to develop and own the plan and to keep us on track.
We’ve looked at how we work and what we need to do to make sure we have a culture of equality and diversity at the MS Trust. We’ve rolled out training for all staff and the board of Trustees, revised our recruitment policies and procedures and ensured our annual staff survey includes questions relating to equality and diversity at work. This year 91% of our staff said they can be themselves at the MS Trust without worrying about how they will be accepted.
We’ve also looked at how we reflect and champion diversity in our work. We’ve focussed this year on celebrating the diversity of people living with MS through the stories we tell and the images we share, setting ourselves stretching targets so that we can measure how effective we’ve been and identifying where we can improve.
So we have made a good start. But, as always, there is so much more that we need to do.
We’ve looked at who uses our services and how they use them. We know that there is more to be done to make sure we are accessible to everyone affected by MS.
We also want to make it easier for a more diverse group of people affected by MS to be actively involved with our work. So, we are asking you to consider joining our new Involvement and Inclusion Panel. We want to listen to and work with people affected by MS from a whole range of backgrounds and to use their diverse lived experiences to help shape our plans and approach to involvement.
Looking ahead, we want to make it easier for you to tell us what you’d like us to do more of, and also to let us know when you think we’ve got things wrong. You are at the heart of what we do as a charity, and we want to ensure we are providing services which are useful and accessible to you.
While we’ve made many strides forward over the last 12 months and are proud that we are moving in the right direction, we are also aware that there is still much work for us to do. We are fully committed to this work, and we look forward to connecting with you in the future to ensure that the MS Trust fully reflects the diversity of the whole MS community and society as a whole.
David's Diary: Inclusion and Diversity
CEO David Martin explains more about the MS Trust's ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion.
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