News

‘My Recruitment Experiences’ – A Case Study

We spoke to a member of the public on her experiences with recruitment and gaining experience in the workplace. She spoke from her personal experiences, as a BME woman who had been out of work for a few years.

She began by saying that she felt her previous experience hadn’t given her the specific skills for the jobs that she was interested in. She felt that when you get to a certain age, employers expect you to have a wealth of experience that leads to your next job.

But what if you want to change your career path? 

Coming from a BME background, she has found that there is little representation of diverse backgrounds in the workplace, which has put her off applying for some roles. She has said that a lot of employers claim that they want to diversify their workforce, but she isn’t always convinced that this has been achieved. If employers want a diverse workforce, something has got to give, she thinks the passion and attitude towards the role and the organisation is the most important thing. They can train you from there. It is about giving people a chance.

“I mean I have definitely got the passion; I want to do something more community based and all that. But because I have sort of come in late in the picture, I don’t have the skill set or the experience to get it.”

Mentoring

Our interviewed individual has been a part of a mentoring scheme by the Women’s Equality Network. She said that she benefited from the it. It has helped to boost her confidence and encouraged her to apply for different positions. She also found it valuable in meeting new people and expanding her networks. She feels that there should be more schemes like this.

 “If you are looking for people from diverse backgrounds and stuff and if they don’t have the skills, you have to break it down and then get people trained up and then maybe later, you will have that skills set to employ people from that background.”

Volunteering

She is volunteering with various organisations but finds that the opportunities to volunteer with some organisations are few and far between. She wants to gain experiences that will help her in job interviews but feels like she can’t gain enough experiences quickly enough.

“I mean I went for interviews; they can see that I really want to help, and they even say that you have got the passion and all that, you are really passionate, I come across that. So, that should be enough to start getting these skills, because you won’t get those skills otherwise. These skills are not so technical that no one can get it.”

Recommendations:

Based on the individuals’ personal experience, she feels that people in the middle of their working life should be able to change career paths, but they need the experience and skills to do so. She put forward a few suggestions to help with this:

  • Recruitment should focus on attitude and behaviours and less on technical skills. Job opportunities should allow individuals to develop any other necessary skills on the job.
  • More mentoring schemes should be set up to give people the skills and confidence to apply for different roles and expand their networks.
  • There should be more volunteering opportunities available on a regular basis. That way individuals can help and alleviate workloads whilst gaining crucial experience for their professional development.
  • Look at ways in which to diversify the workforce, for example: creating flexible working opportunities such as job sharing, and part time opportunities. These are the sort of opportunities she would prefer to go for.
  • Engage with the community to work out what they want from recruitment, and increase the experiences and opportunities available to develop skills within different parts of Cardiff.

Annual Report 2018/19

Diverse Cymru has worked hard to solidify its status as a leading equality and diversity organisation in Wales over the last 12 months. The below annual report shows how much work we have put in as an organisation, and where we are on our journey as a charity. 

Diverse Cymru Annual Report 2018/19

Words from our retiring Chief Executive:

Our retiring chief executive, Bill Smale, said some words to summarise the year: “In 2018-19, Diverse Cymru has continued on its journey to provide high quality services that make a real difference to the lives of those we support.

This year has not been without its challenges. We have again found the need to reduce staff costs and this resulted in losing two valued members of staff. Whilst these losses had an impact internally we were able to maintain our standards of service to customers.

We also had some positive news in that we were informed that we had won the managed banking and payroll contract for Newport. This without doubt has improved our financial position for this year. The end of year final balance also reflects costs that had not been fully accounted for in previous years.

The management team and staff as usual did not stand still but instead have put extra time and effort into finding alternative funding options. This I have no doubt will pay off next year with a positive end of year balance.

I must congratulate all staff for their dedication and commitment ensuring we never lost sight of what really matters: our service users.

As you can see from the following overview we have been successful in delivering positive results in all areas of our operation. I will also take this opportunity to thank all the staff, trustees, volunteers, clients and service partners for their support, ensuring this year ended with a positive outcome for the future.”

Have your Say – Equality Objectives 2020

Wales Public Body Equality Partnership 

Logos for Wales Public Partnership

Public Consultation on our Strategic Equality Objectives 2020 – 2024

The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) requires listed bodies to review their equality objectives at least every four years.

Organisations are asked to publish their revised objectives and the steps (the actions) they will take to meet them, and the deadline to publish them is the 1st April 2020. 

In line with recommendations from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and The Welsh Government, several public bodies were keen to work together to agree shared objectives. This has involved the sharing of resource, insight and expertise. The group of bodies known as the ‘Wales Public Body Equality Partnership’ are committed to working together over the long term to deliver joint action to meet the objectives, understanding the collective impact through agreeing transparent outcome measures.

It is hoped that by working together a greater impact will be achieved in the delivery of more equal public services, significantly contributing to tackling inequalities as set out in the ‘Is Wales Fairer report, 2018’.

This collaborative work reflects the principles of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act and will directly contribute to the national well-being goal ‘A More Equal Wales’. Throughout the work of the partnership the sustainable development principle and five ways of working will be applied and evidenced.

How do I get involved?

We are holding engagement events about these Equality Objectives.

These events are your chance to tell us what actions we should take to achieve our Equality Objectives.


We welcome both diverse individuals and community groups or third sector organisations at these events –

Book here: 

West Wales – 28 November 2019

South East Wales – 29 November 2019

North Wales – 2 December 2019

You can complete the survey:

The survey (English & Cymraeg)

Read up on the material here:

Consultation Document (English & Cymraeg)

Workforce diversity (English & Cymraeg)

Pay differences (English & Cymraeg)

Engagement (English & Cymraeg)

Procurement (English & Cymraeg)

Service delivery (English & Cymraeg)

Equality impact assessments (English & Cymraeg)

Public Bodies Involved include:

Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Arts Council of Wales (ACW), National Museum Wales (NMW), Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), Welsh Language Commissioner (WLC), Careers Wales, Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA), Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW), Sport Wales, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, and Velindre University NHS Trust.

Diverse individuals include:

  • Young people under 26
  • Older people over 50
  • Black and Minority Ethnic people, including Gypsies, Roma and Travellers
  • Disabled people. This includes:
    • People with mobility impairments. For example, wheelchair users or people with health conditions that affect walking.
    • People with sensory impairments. For example, Blind, D/deaf, or hearing-impaired people.
    • People with a learning disability. For example, autistic people or people with dyslexia or dyspraxia.
    • People with cognitive impairments. For example, people with dementia or hydrocephalus.
    • People with long-term health conditions. For example, HIV, diabetes or MS.
  • Lesbian, gay and bisexual people
  • Trans people
  • People of different religions and faiths, or of no belief
  • Women and men
  • People who are pregnant or new mothers

Please tell us if you want to contribute in Welsh or English; any dietary requirements you have; and any access requirements you have when you register.

We can reimburse travel, childcare, replacement care, access, and similar costs for diverse individuals. Please contact us before the event for information.

Dementia – End the Stigma: September 19th 2019

Around a hundred people from across the UK gathered in Butetown Community Centre to talk about Dementia on September 19th, at a free event hosted by Diverse Cymru. Throughout the event, stories were told, experiences were gathered, and connections were strengthened.

The event was hosted as part of Diverse Cymru’s BAME Dementia Project. This was established due to evidence that people from BAME communities are not accessing dementia services for a number of reasons. And a problem that already affects approximately 20-25,000 BAME people in the UK is expected to increase by seven or eight times that.

Within the event, wonderful speakers shared their experiences of caring for those with dementia, the value of stories, and of family. The Lord Mayor Councillor Daniel De’Ath highlighted the importance of good service, and Stevie Wonder’s beautiful ‘Yester Me Yester You, Yesterday’ capped off powerful stories of love, heartache, and hope delivered by Humie Webbe and Faith Walker. Mohammed Akhlak Rauf MBE traveled from Bradford to talk about his research, the role of culture, (both societal and service) and gave advice on the difficult conversations.

Finally the group broke into table discussions about what good Dementia care looked like, and experience of good, and poor care.Reports

The event raised awareness of the issue, and of services aimed to support and tackle the issue. It also focused on the human experiences of those who live with and around Dementia.

Event organiser and BME Mental Health Manager at Diverse Cymru, Suzanne Duval BEM, said “It is clear that the needs of BAME people in Wales with Dementia are not being appropriately met. This event is part of taking this work forward and is a wonderful opportunity for the city of Cardiff to take a lead, and show how we respond to the challenge of positively acting upon the issues.”

Thanks to:

This event was hosted by Diverse Cymru, and funded by the Dementia Friendly Communities Small Grants Fund via CAVAMH and the Cardiff and Vale Integrated Health and Social Care Partnership. The event was supported by Alzheimer’s Society Cymru, CAVAMH, FW Consultancy, NTFW, Nexus, Race Council Cymru, and USW.

No-Deal Brexit & Diverse Cymru – Standing with Non-Profit Sector

 

Embed from Getty Images

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.

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

Signatories urge for better engagement and support from UK Government. They feel 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.

The letter has had input 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. These concerns include:

  • 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:

‘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. 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.

Ele Hicks, Policy Manager of Diverse Cymru:

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:

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 made a change

GRG, case study, grandparents raising grandchildren, logo

Diverse Cymru have collated this case study as an example of the change we help to make with our work.

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. 

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 Well-being network meeting, and met Diverse Cymru’s engagement officer there.

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.

“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”.

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