Responding to Diverse Community Needs

Tower Hamlet Homes (THH) is an Arms Length Management Organization (ALMO) based in London.  THH employs 475 staff who manage and serve the Tower Hamlets Council’s social housing.  THH was launched in July 2008 to deliver improvement in the quality of services Tower Hamlet residents.THH manages over 21,000 homes on behalf of the Council.  Tower Hamlets is a vibrant and culturally diverse borough, characterized by a history of migration and multi-culturalism.In order to understand and respond to the diverse community THH conducted three dedicated resident profile projects (in 2010, 2012, and 2013).  This work yielded valuable information on services that were working well as well as areas that needed improvement.  The diversity issues identified ranged from cultural considerations, to disability requirements as well as age related requirements (20% of Tower Hamlets Homes’ tenants are aged over 70).Using the information gathered the THH Diversity Working Group produced 27 “Neighborhood at a glance” profile booklets. These provide staff with clear geographic breakdowns of residents locally, identifying community groups and the diverse needs of each area’s neighborhood.  These booklets are consulted by staff regularly and are used to shape the THH Neighborhood Action Plans, which are produced annually and provide “to-do” lists” for each area to tackle priorities agreed with the residents.Some of the many positive outcomes from this method of engagement and analysis have included:- The creation of a youth-oriented project in response to higher than average unemployment, and lower than average satisfaction as a place to live.- The start up of a community cohesion project in a neighborhood where residents did not feel part of a neighborhood or community.

– Through staff efforts to respond to community needs they have reduced overcrowding and arrears for resident Somali communities.

– There has been an improvement of access to and satisfaction with services for non-English speaking residents and customers.

– Access improvements have been made for disabled customers.

– The creation of new engagement opportunities for LGBT residents, working residents, White-East European residents and young people.

Girls Can Be Firefighters – 
Responding to Inequalities in Gender & Ethnic Diversity Balance

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have a work and volunteer force of 1050.  Their vision is to make “Staffordshire the safest place to be”. As an organization they recognize that their work is seen to be the domain of white hetrosexual men.  They are working hard to address this issue and are actively working towards employing more women, black and minority ethnic community members, people with disabilities and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community.

In order to address the issue of diversity in their workforce the organization has engaged a number of activities to create more public awareness on the importance of fire safety practices in the home, to engage diverse community members in safety issues and at the same time make people aware of opportunities within the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.
An excellent example of this engagement can be found in their work with young women in the local community.  The young women (14-16 year olds) filmed and narrated the video which can be found on youtube.  The film promotes women’s ability to seek careers in the sector and is available to education and careers advisers as well as on YouTube.Staffordshire Fire and Rescue service continue to actively recruit and encourage members of our diverse community to become volunteer or career firefighters in the area.


Sincerity and Honesty – part of the key guidelines in Diversity Training  
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) is an acute teaching hospital working across two sites: the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath. BSUH employ 7000 staff to deliver their services to the wider public.

The Trust is committed to promoting equality, valuing diversity and protecting human rights. They engage in a variety of activities to illuminate discrimination against any individual or group on the grounds of age, disability, gender, gender identity, marriage, civil partnership status or marriage (same sex), pregnancy or maternity status, race including nationality or culture, religion or belief and sexual orientation.Their comprehensive training delivered to staff demonstrates their commitment and equips staff with the tools to anticipate any potential discriminatory circumstances in practice as well as to how to respond to and identify discrimination within the organization if they occur.Training on diversity issues is given to all new employees during their induction programme, with all staff having mandatory updates every 3 years.  Additionally, diversity is touched on and embedded in all training where ever it is appropriate.  All diversity training emphasizes the need for staff to remain mindful of their roles, planning and reactions to situations using the following guidelines – Alternatives,Preconceptions, Professional not Personal,  Language,  Equality,  Reasonability, Evolution, Sincerity and Honesty, and Team Interests.

In addition to their comprehensive training programmes, BSUH publish brochures and guidelines relevant to equality; monthly Equality Bulletins to highlight monthly current topics; monthly calendars of cultural and religious observances; and anticipated diversity issues and BSUH diversity and equality activities.

In serving their client base, BSUH ensure that resources and information is available covering a wide range of issues, this is provided through brochures, flyers, and tele-screen information.  Events and workshop are also periodically offered to raise awareness of diversity and equip communities facing challenges with inclusion and understanding.

Diversity Champions Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals are excellent examples of a large organizational commitment to diversity within it’s organization as well as with their widely diverse client base!

Why the Diversity Champion Award Really Matters….

“We at BSUH are delighted to be recognised as a Diversity Champion Public Sector Award winner, especially as this is our first year of entering.  It helps to demonstrate the commitment that is placed on Equality, Diversity and Human Rights not only by our Equality team but the organisation as a whole” Barbara Harris, Head of Equality, Diversity and Human Rights, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust“I cannot say how happy we were to win the Diversity Champions Award.  We take Diversity very seriously, and try to develop innovative approaches when possible.  Staff and partners often don’t get the recognition they deserve.  This is excellent recognition for a most dedicated, hard working team of staff at HMP Hewell” Darryl Jones, Head of Learning & Skills, HMP Hewell
“I am delighted that East Kent Hospitals has won this Award.  It’s a reflection of the importance the Trust places on Diversity and Equality for both our staff and patients.  I would like to thank all our staff whose efforts have contributed to this Award, particularly Bruce Campion-Smith, Head of equality and engagement, whose hard work has led to the Trust being personal, fair and diverse” Stuart Bain, Chief Executive Officer, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust“Staffordshire Fire and Rescue are very proud to have won the Award as it recognises and supports our unstinting commitment to equality and diversity in its broadest sense.  We understand the value in the message this sends both internally in our organisation and externally to our service users and partners.  Thank you!” Diane Dunlevey, Equality & Diversity Manager, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue
“Diversity and inclusion are integral for us achieving our key priorities and delivering the objectives critical for Centro’s success.  This is reflected in our promotion of respect and equality of opportunity for customers and staff alike.  We are delighted to have received the Diversity Champion Public Sector Award for 2014” Anna Sirmoglou, Centro“Epsom and Ewell Borough Council views Diversity as essential to meeting the needs of its community.  This Award demonstrates that we are striving to do the right things.  Staff development, training and methods of raising awareness are continually reviewed (and delivered) to ensure we meet the ever changing needs of our residents and members of our workforce” Adama Roberts, Research, Consultation & Information Analyst, Epsom and Ewell Borough Council
“The Diversity Champions Award brings International recognition to The University of Limerick’s commitment to ensuring that all faculty and staff are enabled to achieve their full potential through valuing Diversity and Equality of Opportunity.  Being an Award winner will further create greater awareness of the importance of Diversity and will support our ethos of opportunity” Marie Connolly, Human Resources Division, University of Limerick“Glasgow Housing Association, part of Wheatley Group, is committed to equality and diversity.  We are delighted to receive the Diversity Champion Public Sector Award 2014 as recognition that we treat everyone fairly.  We understand that people in our communities have different backgrounds and interests, and we will continue to do all we cann to meet their needs” Lorna Wilson, Research and Development Manager, Wheatley Group