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Consultation on RSB Communication and Participation Strategy

Consultation Request

The Cardiff and Vale Regional Safeguarding Board (RSB) is working to ensure that the links between the Boards and the community are stronger. They want to make sure that there are effective mechanisms in place for information sharing and good practice.  This will include awareness raising and the organising public engagement activity. This will also include consulting with children and adults at risk, their carers, and professionals on matters relating to safeguarding.  

A Communication & Participation Strategy has been developed by the Boards’ Communication & Engagement Sub Group, outlining the process and methods that will be followed to usefully engage with professionals and the community.  In order to strengthen the links between the Boards and the community, they would welcome consultation and feedback on the Strategy, from a diverse network of individuals and groups and third sector organisations within Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.  The RSB would particularly be interested to receive your comments on the following sections:

  • Section 6 – Communication – Key Messages
  • Section 7 – Communication Methods

How to feed-back:

To receive a copy of the RSB’s Communication and Participation Strategy, please email info@diverse.cymru

To give us your views, please email (ele.hicks@diverse.cymru/shelagh.maher@diverse.cymru), telephone us (029 2036 8888) or post them to us (Diverse Cymru, Alexandra House, 307-315 Cowbridge Rd E, Cardiff CF5 1JD).

Deadline for responses is Monday 23rd September.

Diverse Cymru joins forces with over 85 civil society organisations to express grave concerns about no-deal

As Brexit turmoil continues, Welsh organisations express grave concerns about no-deal in letter to Prime Minister 

28 organisations from Wales have joined a group of 87 charities and non-profits from across the UK to outline their concerns about no-deal in a letter to the Prime Minister.

Click here to view the letter –  Civil Society Open Letter to the Prime Minister – English Version

Following recent announcements on the prorogation of Parliament, over 85 organisations from across the UK have called on the Prime Minister to urgently engage with their ‘grave concerns’ about the impact that leaving the European Union without a deal will have on the voluntary sector [1], in an open letter (29 August 2019).

Signatories urge for better engagement and support from UK Government as their concerns about the impacts of no-deal continue to be ignored amid turbulent political movements in Westminster. 

They warn of the dangers that rushing through legislation, in the now drastically reduced parliamentary calendar, will have on the ability of MPs and civil society to fully engage and scrutinise [2].

Coming together from across the devolved nations, as well as a breadth of English regions. The signatories of the letter- which includes organisations working nationally and those delivering front-line services- are unified in their concerns. This includes the uncertainty they are facing while no agreement has been finalised, the threat to communities in Northern Ireland and the Good Friday Agreement presented by no-deal, a regression of rights and standards, and legal uncertainty.

 Ruth Marks, Chief Executive of Wales Council for Voluntary Action said:

‘The evidence suggests that a no-deal Brexit would negatively impact the UK’s economy and increase hardship on our society’s most vulnerable citizens. The voluntary sector plays an integral role in working with, supporting and empowering at risk people and families and a no-deal Brexit should not be allowed to undermine this work.

 ‘Leaving the EU without an agreement will likely compound the sector’s already hard-pressed funding and staffing while increasing the need for its services, creating a perfect storm. It also raises a myriad of concerns for the sector from the wellbeing of farmers in rural Wales and regression of rights and standards to the legal uncertainty for UK and EU citizens living abroad.’

In the event of no-deal, there would also be a higher risk to current animal welfare, food, as well as environmental, human rights and equality standards [3]. Time is running out to replace the EU agencies that enforce regulations at present. With no official monitoring, standards will be weakened or could fall away entirely with very little scrutiny by Parliament [4].

Speaking about the equality and human rights dimension of a no-deal Brexit, Ele Hicks, Policy Manager of Diverse Cymru said:

Diverse Cymru are concerned that, in a no-deal scenario, there will not be enough time to replace the vital EU agencies that monitor Equality and Human Rights, and ensure compliance. Diverse Cymru feel that a no-deal Brexit will have a substantial negative impact on diverse communities in Wales.

 ‘The impact of a no-deal Brexit on access to food and medicines is likely to be felt more keenly by diverse communities in Wales. Given the rise in discrimination faced in the wake of the Brexit vote we are concerned a no-deal Brexit will heighten social tensions, whilst putting vital safeguards at risk’

Civil society groups in Northern Ireland continue to express alarm at the impact leaving without a deal would have on the Good Friday Agreement. Kevin Hanratty, director of the Human Rights Consortium in Belfast, Northern Ireland said:

A No-Deal Brexit represents a clear threat to the peace process in Northern Ireland. No-deal means a hard border not just for trade and commerce but for the vital levels of North/South cooperation and regulatory alignment on both sides of the border that were intrinsic to the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.

 ‘For people on the ground, that means deep uncertainty and anxiety. Brexit already meant that we would be regressing in the levels of rights and protections currently available to individuals in Northern Ireland as members of the EU. A no-deal Brexit goes even further and removes even the limited measures planned to offset those disruptions and loss of rights. It’s the equivalent of slapping people in the face and then forcing them to turn the other cheek.

 

Volunteers Week 2019

In support of #VolunteersWeek we have asked our members of staff and volunteers, to speak out on why they volunteer in their spare time. 

Volunteers’ Week is an opportunity to celebrate volunteering in all its diversity and a chance to celebrate and say thank you for the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK.

 

 

 

Our Researcher Joe Stockley, volunteers at the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) and the British Youth Council

DSC08962

 

Why do you volunteer?

I volunteer because nothing else scratches the itch to help other people quite like it. And while I’m helping other people, I accidentally help myself.

 

What would you say to someone who has never volunteered before?

Life is boring when you’re in it for yourself.

 

 

 

Liam Jones – is undertaking his student placement at Diverse Cymru 

 

Untitled

 

Why do you volunteer?

For me personally, the main motivation has always been to try to make a difference to something that I care about. 

From gaining new skills to meeting new people, volunteering can broaden your horizons in a lot of new and exciting ways, but nothing about volunteering is more rewarding to me than working together with others to try to make your community a better place for everyone to live in. 

 

 

What would you say to someone who has never volunteered before?

Do it! Consider what matters enough to you to make you want to give up your time and seek out other people that feel the same way.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start volunteering sooner.

 

 

 

 

Our Policy Manager Ele Hicks, volunteers with Bi Cymru Wales 

Ele-Hicks---Social-Policy-&-Funding-Officer

 

Why do you volunteer?

I enjoy making a difference. Without volunteers many groups I’ve been involved in wouldn’t exist.

 

What would you say to someone who doesn’t volunteer?

If you have an idea get support and make it happen. Volunteering can help with confidence, skills, experiences, and making a difference.

 

 

Student placement at Diverse Cymru

sophie little

Our most recent student placement was student, Sophie Little.

Sophie is a student at Cardiff School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University, and spent her placement working with the Policy and Research team. 

 

 

Sophie said: 

“Volunteering at Diverse Cymru was the thing that made me stand out for my student placement – my experiences here was practically all I talked about in my interview.

“The student placement will be around collecting data on pulling out challenges for 1st year students, typing up transcription notes – really all they asked me about was the time at Diverse Cymru, and working to strict deadlines. When Joe and Ele were off, I came in and got on with it, they really liked that.

“I talked about the amazing experience I had at GOFOD3 – my placement required confidence in networking and talking to organisations, so communicating with a range of different organisations at GOFOD and building my confidence there was really useful.

“The bits I loved the most were that I got to come to staff training; I got to come to a Have Your Say event.

“It made it real, and showed me what working in a charity was really like. So many volunteering opportunities are just paper work and filing, and this volunteering experience was so much more.

“I was never afraid to ask for help – the constant support Ele and Joe provided to me taught me to ask questions when I wasn’t sure.

“Volunteering at Diverse Cymru made me want to work in a charity!”

 

Case study: How one woman influenced change to the Adoption Leave and Pay Procedure Policy

 

Julia McIntyre is a member of the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) group in Cardiff. 

She recently influenced changes to the Adoption Leave and Pay Procedure Policy at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (CVUHB), after she attended training by Diverse Cymru on Challenging the Public Sector.

This led to kinship carers in the organisation being able to access the same leave as those adopting or fostering children. 

 

 

GRG

 

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Cardiff is a Cardiff-based support group for grandparents and other kinship carers caring for a child full-time.

All of the committee are grandparents with personal understanding of these situations.

 

What is “kinship care”?

Kinship care means an arrangement where children live with a relative or a close friend, not their birth parents. These children may have already suffered some kind of loss or trauma.

The only alternative to kinship care is local authority care – and possibly adoption.

Julia went along to a Cardiff Health, Social Care and Wellbeing network meeting, and met Diverse Cymru’s engagement officer.

 

 

Julia said:

 

“At one meeting, Diverse Cymru mentioned that they were putting on training, focused around challenging the public sector and I went along.

 

“If I hadn’t received that training from Diverse Cymru, I wouldn’t have dreamt of taking action. The knowledge I gained from the training really stuck with me and gave me confidence to challenge. Grandparents often contact Grandparents Raising Grandchildren with regards to special guardianship. On this particular occasion, two NHS employees came to a GRG meeting for help and advice.

 

“These individuals had been awarded a Special Guardianship Order for their grandchild. This process was not easy as it involved a court case costing them over £23,000 in fees, working with a social worker and CAFCASS Children’s Guardian. It was hard on them, dealing with the situation itself and the trauma associated with it. 

 

“If I hadn’t received that training from Diverse Cymru, I wouldn’t have dreamt of taking action.”

 

“The individuals had asked for special release at work, because when the child arrived, time was needed to accommodate their much wanted grandchild. This was a very precious time for them to adjust and settle into a new lifestyle and continue working. With adoption there is a leave and pay procedure with rights in regard to this, this didn’t exist with kinship care. The individual was given special leave as her ward manager persisted to get her eight weeks away from work; she had to really fight for it.

 

“Following this, at my place of work, the Maternity/Paternity/Shared Parental Leave policy was being updated and HR asked for staff to comment on the policy and make suggestions. With this story in mind, I rang HR with a contribution. I had the conversation with HR about special leave. HR said the special leave the individual had received was actually an entitlement, but, because it was not on the policy, it wasn’t clear to employees.

 

 “By doing that, they’re leading the way in Wales”

 

“When the updated policy was released, the Adoption Leave Policy had changed to include a section on Special Guardianship Order. Staff had a discussion with their managers, who then contacted HR for personalised advice about the entitlement. As it’s now there in policy, it removes confusion at an already stressful time. I’m really pleased the Health Board has put it in, by doing that, they’re leading the way in Wales.

 

“Welsh Government has confirmed that Cardiff and Vale UHB is currently the only Health Board within Wales to explicitly include Special Guardianship Order in their local adoption policy. When I went on that training, what I learned ticked every box for what Diverse Cymru was trying to do. For me, what I learnt: everything just fitted in with situations I’ve been hearing from people, this helped me to make the right suggestions to get the best results.

 

You need to make changes with honey not vinegar..

 

“If I could give a piece of advice to another charity – when we use the word ‘challenge’ it needs to be a careful approach. Don’t go in all militant and demanding. Come with a case, come with the right information, the person you’re speaking to won’t have the powers to change it themselves. Be patient and don’t’ expect miracles overnight! You need to make changes with honey not vinegar”

 

 

Diverse Cymru’s stance on UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights report

 

On 22 May 2019, the report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights on his visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was made public.

This report publicises findings from the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston’s, visit to the UK.

It was reported that one fifth of the overall population live in poverty, with Wales facing the highest relative poverty rate in the UK with one in four people in Wales living in relative income poverty.

 

The report highlighted issues within poverty experienced by society, drawing particular reference to the experiences of women, children, ethnic minority groups, persons with disabilities and older people.

From this, the report concluded with extensive conclusions linked to addressing poverty.

Diverse Cymru welcome the recommendations put forward by the Special Rapporteur.

From this report the key points to be emphasized in relation to promoting equality in Wales has four aspects: 

 

  • In Wales we need to review and strengthen the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation in order to effectively measure poverty.
  • Given the report’s findings of the impact of poverty on groups such as women, children, persons with disabilities, older people and ethnic minorities, the incorporation of social and human rights in the UK and Wales is essential to various diverse communities.
  • We encourage the Welsh Government’s work around social inclusion to specifically include and advance equality.
  • Further, the report highlights the disproportionate impacts of welfare reforms on equality groups. This must, therefore, be addressed.

 

You can read the full report here

Diverse Cymru to run Cardiff University Cardiff Half Marathon

Support the Diverse Cymru running team in their challenge to cross the finish line at this years Cardiff University Cardiff Half Marathon. 

Runners and spectators at Cardiff Half Marathon 2018

 

You can support the team via our Just Giving page 

Taking place on Sunday 6 October, our team of dedicated fundraisers will run, walk or jog around the course, taking in some of Cardiff’s best landmarks.

Did you know that people of African Caribbean origin living in the UK are three to five times more likely than any other group to be diagnosed and admitted to hospital for schizophrenia?[1]

All money raised through fundraising will go towards the delivery of our services and will help us to continue to support vulnerable people across Wales through our BME Mental Health, Advocacy and Direct Payments support for disabled people.

 

Join the team

If you would like to join the team, we have a small number of free spaces available,  saving you £42.

You will need to pledge to fund raise a minimum of £250 (not including gift aid) and will receive advice and support on training and fundraising as well as encouragement and support on the day! 

Take look at the DC half marathon team pack or you can call us 029 2036 8888 or send an email for more information.

If you are or plan to take part in the event, you can still raise funds for Diverse Cymru, call us on 029 2036 8888 or email us to discuss

 

Thanks for your support!

 

 

[1] Ethnic Inequalities in Mental Health: Promoting Lasting Positive Change. Mind, the Afiya Trust and Centre for Mental Health

Diverse Cymru’s stance on Gender pay gap

On 5 April, the BBC published an article on Gender pay.

It was reported that ‘fewer than half of UK biggest employers have succeeded in narrowing their gender pay gap’. 

This is our response to the news: 

 

 

“Diverse Cymru is saddened but not surprised to understand that less than half of the UK’s biggest employers have succeeded in narrowing their gender pay gap, according to analysis by the BBC. Diverse Cymru, as an equality charity, believes that women and men should receive the same pay, benefits and opportunities for progression.

 

We welcome the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) position on this matter, and encourage employers to also adopt work practices to support a reduction in the gender pay gap, such as agile working, targeted internal learning, mentoring, coaching, and progressive maternity and paternity arrangements.

 

We also call on employers to examine other equality related pay gaps, such as disability and ethnicity pay gaps, as these pay gaps are similarly established, yet often not discussed.

Responding to these reports, Diverse Cymru’s Chief Operating Officer, Bill Smale says “With women remaining at greater risk of violence and poverty, and accounting for only 6% of chief executives in Wales – we believe in defending and promoting the rights of women in Wales.”

 

END

 

For media enquiries please contact:

 

Bethan Hâf Marsh

Bethan.Marsh@diverse.cymru|

02920 368302

 

Notes to Editors

  1. Diverse Cymru is a unique Welsh charity committed to supporting people faced with inequality and discrimination because of: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

https://www.diversecymru.org.uk/

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