News

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

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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 

 

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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 

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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

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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/

Social Care Wales – Briefing sessions on the Code of Professional Practice

To make sure workers in Wales provide people with good care and support, Social Care Wales has a Code of Professional Practice for Social Care (the Code).

The Code is a set of rules, or standards, care professionals must work to, to help keep people safe and well.

To provide people with the best care and support, the Code says that social workers must:

  • Help people say and achieve what is important to them
  • Respect people’s dignity, privacy, preferences, culture, language, rights, beliefs, views and wishes
  • Support people to stay safe
  • Be honest, trustworthy and reliable
  • Be qualified to do their job properly

 Therefore, these standards are there to help make sure that people have the support they need to live their lives in the way that reflects their needs. As such, ensuring that as many people as possible who use care and support, their families and carers know about the Code is vital.

Social Care Wales’ Strategic Equality Plan 2018 – 2022 commits to ensuring that people with one or more protected characteristic receive care and support in ways that reflect their specific needs and Objective 1 – Raise awareness of the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care among people using care and support their families and carers within the plan sets out to achieve this.

Social Care Wales have already gathered evidence that suggests that there is little or no knowledge of the Code among BME people, therefore they want to use a range of methods to engage with this group to ensure raised awareness of the Code and they would like your help to achieve this. Although initially they will be focusing on raising awareness of the Code among BME-led groups, the scope of this work will broaden over the coming year to include all the diverse people who use care and support in Wales.

 

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HYPE Cymru

Helping young people through empowerment

 

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Diverse Cymru, with support from the Welsh Government through the Section 64 third sector mental health grant, is delivering a series of mental health awareness workshops to schoolchildren in Key Stages 2 and 3, and young people up to 25 years old.

The project will be delivered in Cardiff, Newport, Swansea and Wrexham, focusing on Cardiff in this, our first year. 

Our workshops provide information and space for young people to focus on feelings, mental health knowledge and awareness aiming to break down the stigma attached to mental health, how we talk about mental health and where to go for help. We also talk about mindfulness and work on techniques to help with stress and anxiety.

As well as working in primary and secondary schools, we also work in youth centres where we run ‘The Shed’ a safe, independent space where young people can drop in on particular day/evenings for a chat and to pick up information on mental health.

Visit the website for more information on Hype Cymru 

 

 

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