Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion

Equity, diversity and inclusion are central to everything we do at Caritas Anchor House. Not everyone has access to the same resources and opportunities, and too many people and communities are held back on the basis of their characteristics or life experiences.

We have signed up to ACEVO’s eight leadership principles, as part of their Racial Diversity in the Charity Sector report with the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. Here is how we plan to deliver these across our organisation and for our residents. 

There is a problem with diversity in the charity sector- and it needs fixing immediately

We’re not here just to respond to such inequalities and disadvantages, but to seek to do what we can to challenge and change them too. We take positive steps to provide opportunities for residents of Caritas Anchor House to have their voices heard on the issues affecting them - by influencing decision-makers and seeking input into our service provision - and ensuring that their needs are met. 

We are committed to learning about racial bias and how it affects leadership decisions

We are aware that unconscious bias affects decisions made by leaders, that’s why we’ve created a sub-committee within our Board structure to focus on diversity, inclusion, wellbeing and spirituality, to oversee our strategic direction in these areas.

We have provided all employees, senior managers and Board members training on unconscious bias. The training covered topics such as white privilege and anti-racism. One of the key learnings from this has been to shift our diversity and inclusion policy that acknowledges racial equity rather than racial equality. We acknowledge that not everyone has access to the same resources and opportunities. We believe that equality implies that everyone starts from the same position- we don’t believe this to be true.

Our permanent and minimum targets for diversity that reflects our local community, donors and residents

Our aim is to be more representative of marginalised groups which are achieving in terms of gender and racial balance in management. Becoming an organisational member of the Housing Diversity Network (HDN) – a social enterprise that works collaboratively to support organisations to improve how they address inequality, get the most from their staff and meet the needs of the communities they work with.

We are committed to creating change and taking action at all levels of the charity

Working with HDN we have worked to diversify the skills and characteristics of our trustee Board including finding candidates with lived experience of homelessness. In June 2021 we launched our own HDN Board Diversity Programme - a two year programme for New Generation Trustees who wished to develop their skills and work towards becoming a trustee for Caritas Anchor House, when they were ready and when we had a suitable Board vacancy. 

We’re building a diverse group of talented people collectively working towards a shared vision

We have reviewed our recruitment processes to expand where we find talent from and reach more diverse audiences. We’ve put occupational health and wellbeing processes in place to support people living with disabilities from the moment they start their roles or during their time with us if people have access requirements part way through working with us. We have also organised more learning and development in place on a variety of topics including unconscious bias, anti-racism, supporting disabled employees in the workplace. Our performance management processes are also linked to our values which includes inclusion.

We now have a Belonging Committee, led by employees across the charity, to ensure we listen to and incorporate the views and lived experience of all colleagues across Caritas Anchor House. 

We ensure lived experiences and insights from our residents are at the heart of our work to improve diversity and inclusion.

Our Residents’ Engagement Services commit to connect with residents and work with them to establish relationships grounded in trust and accountability, using the Together with Tenants Charter as a framework. An initiative we’ve introduced as part of the charter is to have a resident committee consisting of Representatives- one of which is our representatives is our Equality and Diversity representative. Our resident representatives meet monthly and communicate regularly as well as attend meetings with trustees

We are committed to taking positive action and placing diversity and inclusion at the forefront of our conversations and decision making. We are determined to ensure that our staff and residents receive the best possible support and service on their journeys with us.

January 2022

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