Keep Starting Conversations to Help Close the Inequality Gap

We’ll keep starting conversations to drive inclusion and help close the inequality gap.

Here at Active Devon, we have been driving conversations about topics such as race, privilege, inclusion and exclusion, and we will continue to do so.

One of our values is ‘Inclusion’ and we also list behaviours in our strategy, such as ‘we identify and challenge things that might cause inequalities or allow them to persist.’ These are powerful words, and words we all know have common place within strategies, or equality policies, but require purposeful effort in everyday business.

Being Open, Curious and to Keep Learning

To tackle the everyday, we’ve agreed as a team to be open, curious, and to keep learning. Many of us participated in the fantastic Inclusive Employers development programme Inclusive Leaders. We have taken a lot from that journey. Alongside this we have been creating ‘safe spaces’ for the team, and inviting people from different cultures, and with diverse lived experiences, and job roles, to help us gain insight and understanding.

Gaining Insight and Understanding

We’ve been joined by Alex Vessis from Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support. Alex’s experience and knowledge of what’s happening for refugees and people seeking asylum is second to none. Also, Ziggy Grewell, a long-standing friend of Active Devon’s with a wealth of personal and professional experience of race and inclusion.

Most recently we enjoyed an ‘on the sofa with Viveen Taylor’ question time type session. Viveen, touted as ‘the most powerful women in sport’ by ‘The Voice’ a newspaper renowned for celebrating black excellence, is Sport England’s first Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

It really was eye-opening, both in terms of what Viveen has had to deal with growing up as a high performing athlete, but also in terms of the small and big wins she has that are helping us all in this sector to move in the right direction.

Closing the Inequality Gap

Within all the influencing, advocacy and programme delivery work that we do, our major focus is on trying to close the inequality gap between those who access active-lifestyles and those who do not. It’s about ensuring physical activity is a tool for positive social change. This requires our team to lead with empathy, drive innovation and build partnerships with a vast array of organisations.

We’ll Keep Starting Conversations

We’re not saying here that what we’re doing is enough, or better than any other organisation’s journey. What we do want to say is we care, and we are committed to supporting our whole team, and Board to exhibit the behaviour of ‘identifying and challenging things that might cause inequalities or allow them to persist.’ We will keep starting conversations and taking action to tackle discrimination and deliver against what our communities tell us is important.

To that end, we’re recruiting for new Board Members. We would love to continue to build our diversity, both in professional and lived experience, so please do apply if you think you can help us.

Hannah Worth – Director at Active Devon