News

Opening hours over Christmas 2020

Diverse Cymru’s offices will be closed from midday on the 24th December until the 4th January 2021.

In regard to Direct Payments, if there is an emergency, contact the Cardiff office number (029 2036 8888), and press 1 for on-call support. 

The Advocacy Gateway is closed from the 24th December to the 4th January.

For emergency mental health support in Cardiff and Vale health board area, this out-of-hours service is available:
Monday-Thursday, 5.00PM-8.30AM
Friday 4.30PM until Monday 8.30AM.

Contact telephone: 029 2078 8570.

Samaritans works to make sure there’s always someone there for anyone who needs someone – 116 123 / jo@samaritans.org. 

Draft Equality Objectives (Social Care Wales)

We are inviting you to take part in engagement on Social Care Wales’ draft Equality Objectives 2021 to 2026.

Please share this invitation with both community groups and organisations working around equality and with your members or diverse individuals.

What this engagement is about

This engagement is your chance to tell us:

  • what you think about Social Care Wales’ draft Equality Objectives
  • anything you think should be changed
  • anything you think is missing from Social Care Wales’ draft Equality Objectives
  • what actions Social Care Wales should take to achieve the Equality Objectives – what would make a difference to you

Online engagement events

We are holding online engagement events about these Equality Objectives in late November and early December.

Each event will be 2 hours long, including a break in the middle.

The events will be held on these dates:

If you cannot make any of these dates please let us know. If several people cannot make these dates we will set an extra date for online engagement events.

How to register

If you are interested in taking part in these engagement events you can register by:

  • clicking the links above to register on Eventbrite
  • emailing research@diverse.cymru or maher@diverse.cymru
  • calling 02920 368888 and asking for Shelagh Maher or Georgia Marks
  • by post to Engagement and Policy team, Diverse Cymru, 307-315 Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff, CF5 1JD

Please only register for one of the dates and times. Each event is the same. We have several dates and times so that everyone who wants to take part can.

The questionnaire is available:

  • online in Welsh and English
  • on Diverse Cymru’s website (diversecymru.org.uk) in Welsh and English in both standard and large print as a Word document
  • we can send you a copy by email or post. Email us or phone us to ask for a copy by email or post.

You can fill in the online questionnaire here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/5UOXY3/

Or send your questionnaire or comments to Diverse Cymru by:

  • Email: Research@diverse.cymru
  • Telephone: 029 2036 8888 for assistance to complete the questionnaire or to provide your views and experiences. Please ask for Georgia Marks or Shelagh Maher. We can read the questions to you, explain them, and / or write your response with you.
  • Post your questionnaire or your views and experiences to:
    Diverse Cymru, 3rd Floor, Alexandra House
    307-315 Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff
    CF5 1JD

2019-2020 Annual Report – What have we done?

What a busy year! We’re documenting the year with our 2019-2020 annual report, and we have continued on our journey to:
Provide high quality services that reduce inequality and increase independence,
Creating opportunities for participation and development, and
Raising awareness of equality issues and solutions,
to support our aim of Equality for All in Wales.

How have we done that?

Here’s some headline statistics, read on for more.

  • 35 members of staff and 13 volunteers have directly helped over 5000 people.
  • We have directly engaged with over 900 members of the community.
  • Volunteers have contributed over 800 hours to our work.
  • 58 training sessions delivered, more than one session a week.
  • Financial gains for clients due to our interventions:
    £68,946 in payment of arrears and £264,528 in ongoing awards
  • 13 consultations responded to.
  • 7 policy positions and briefings on key equality issues in Wales.
  • Obtained the Advocacy Quality Performance Mark.

What’s changed?

There have been significant changes in this year, including the retirement of Bill Smale, the Chief Executive Officer in September 2019. On behalf of everyone at Diverse Cymru, we would like to take this opportunity to thank Bill for his work and his commitment to securing a positive future for the organisation. Board of Trustees appointed Laura Armytage and Zoe King as Acting Joint CEOs to oversee the organisation in the immediacy and we continue to work closely with Trustees and staff, maintaining high standards of service delivery and engagement to all our customers.

As you can see from this year’s 2019-2020 annual report, we have delivered positive results in all areas of our operation and we must congratulate all staff for their dedication and commitment ensuring we never lost sight of what really matters, the people who use our services.

Read the whole Annual Report 2019-20 here. 

From our Acting Joint Chief Executives, and the whole staff team, thank you for engaging with us, and working to create a better Wales, a Wales where Equality for All is a reality, not just a slogan. 

Poverty and Benefits – Have Your Say

Diverse Cymru have created a survey on poverty and benefits.

We hear a lot in research, the news and in the press about the increased uptake in the use of food banks, and people not being able to pay their bills. We would like to hear from you.

How are you coping and what is happening in your life?

Maybe you have had to use a food bank or choose between paying a bill or buying food. Perhaps you have coped but it has been difficult with not enough money coming in.

We want to know your experiences and and what could make your experiences better.

Do you claim benefits?
Has the system been easy to understand?
Do you think you have been treated fairly and with compassion?
We would like to know about your experiences.

We would like to hear from you about your experiences and ideas in order to feed that back to people in power.

The survey is available online here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/OS8BKW/

A Word version of this survey is here, if you would find that easier to complete. It’s in large print here. You can complete this survey and send it back to research@diverse.cymru by email.

If you need any help or support to complete the survey you can:

Email: research@diverse.cymru

Telephone: 029 2036 8888 and ask for Georgia Marks

Or post to:
Diverse Cymru
307-315 Cowbridge Road East
Cardiff
CF5 1JD

We can read questions to you, explain the survey, or provide other support to help you complete the survey.

Diverse Cymru’s position on Trans inclusion and Intersex.

We have talked to our policy manager, Ele Hicks, about trans inclusion and intersex – read on to hear our position as an organisation on these issues.

As an organisation Diverse Cymru recognise that there are many people who do not identify as male or female.

Whilst the Equality Act 2010 covers men and women on the basis of biological sex, there are many factors that lead to societal discrimination against women, as well as against trans and non-binary people.

The Equality Act 2010 has been a huge step forward in terms of levelling up legal protections in employment, education, training, and goods, facilities and services. However, it is not perfect.

We welcome the recent ruling that non-binary people are protected under the Equality Act 2010. We feel that recognising people’s right to be recognised and treated as the gender they are is vital in a respectful and inclusive society.

This ruling is important, but only addresses part of the issue. Self-identification is about respecting trans and non-binary people and their own identity. The UK Government consulted on allowing self-identification under the Gender Recognition Act (GRA). Despite the majority of consultation responses supporting a move to self-identification as the basis for gender recognition the changes have been kicked into the long grass.

The wording ‘gender reassignment’ is also antiquated and implies changing sex. Trans people are being recognised by wider society as the gender they are. Trans people use terms such as ‘gender realignment surgery’ and ‘gender affirmation’ as these terms indicate a person does not change their gender.

For far too many trans and non-binary people life is a daily struggle to be recognised and respected for who they are. There are issues in relation to healthcare, pronouns and titles, social care and other services, as well as discrimination.

Generally[1], cisgender people[2] are not asked what pronouns they use or to prove their gender. They do not have to worry about other people’s reactions and safety before going to the toilet. Transphobia and societal structures and assumptions are a daily lived experience for many trans people. We support the movement to ask everyone’s pronouns and respect everyone’s pronouns. Talking about gender should not be taboo. As a society, we need to embrace talking about gender and asking about pronouns everywhere.

We recognise the right for every human being to be respected for who they are.

It is not about ignoring or overlooking misogyny and the issues that women face in our society. It is about recognising that trans and non-binary people deserve respect and face discrimination and issues too.

Another issue often overlooked is discrimination against Intersex people. Intersex people are invisible in our society. They are often treated as having a medical problem or being defective. Many intersex people have been subject to invasive procedures when they were too young to consent. The Equality Act completely overlooks intersex people by defining sex and a man or a woman.

The binary division of society and expecting people to fit into pre-defined boxes leads to discrimination against Intersex people, as well as trans and non-binary people.

Trans, non-binary and intersex rights are human rights. Enabling one group of people to access their rights and tackling discrimination against them does not diminish or undermine anyone else’s rights.


[1] Systemic and structural discrimination and inequality also affects anyone perceived to be different by society. This includes people of colour, disabled people, people of faith, and lesbian, gay and bisexual people. It should also be recognised that cisgender people can also be people of colour, disabled people etc. as well. The circumstances of discrimination here are some of those most commonly faced by trans, non-binary and intersex people. There is no intention to imply that no other group faces similar discrimination.

[2] Cisgender is the terms for people whose gender identity and gender expression fully reflects the sex they were assigned at birth.

Further Information

Equality in Wales – further information on our website about equality legislation.
What is discrimination?

The Equality Act 2010 – full guidance on the Equality Act from the Government. 

News – Minority Ethnic Communities Health Fair Thursday [29th October 10AM – 2PM]

This year, the popular Minority Ethnic Communities (MEC) Health Fair, usually held in Cardiff, will take place online via Zoom on Thursday 29 October 2020, 10 am – 2 pm and all are welcome to attend.

The First Minister of Wales Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS will give the Keynote Address at 11.00am at the virtual fair.

The theme of this year’s fair is ‘Covid-19 and Wellbeing’ and people will have the opportunity to join half hour sessions on topics such as Bereavement, Mindfulness for Young People, Diabetes Prevention, Mentoring, Welfare and Finance, and Salsa. There will also be a Question and Answer session with health professionals. Places at the MEC Health Fair can be booked on Eventbrite.

Sujatha Thaladi, Chair of the MEC Health Fair Steering group said, “We look forward to people joining us at our free online MEC Health Fair. This year because of Covid-19 restrictions, we are unable to meet face to face but we are delighted to offer this opportunity for people to find out ways of improving their health and wellbeing at our Zoom event. Covid-19 has had a disproportionate impact on BAME people in Wales; at the event people will also be able take part in a discussion on any concerns they may have around coronavirus and ways to promote health messages to minority ethnic communities.

We would like to thank all the organisations that have worked together to ensure that we have been able to adapt and to hold this important event this year – Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, CAVAMH, C3SC, CCAWS, Diabetes UK Cymru, Diverse Cymru, Hindu Council Wales, Race Equality First, Sight Cymru, The Mentor Ring and Women Connect First”. The MEC Fair is aimed at BAME people but all are welcome to attend.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. The Minority Ethnic Communities Health Fair (MEC Health Fair) will take place on Thursday 29 October 2020, 10am – 2pm online, via Zoom.

  2. This is the 11th MEC Health Fair. The fair’s aim is to address health inequality and promote wellbeing through creating opportunities for positive engagement between people from minority ethnic communities and health providers. Each year the health fair has sought to lessen the gap between services and communities.
    The event helps health providers to better understand communities and encourages individuals from different minority ethnic backgrounds to better look after their health. The event also provides opportunities for individuals to raise their voices and discuss their experiences and concerns on health related issues.

  3. Research by Welsh Government and others has found that Covid-19 disproportionately affects BAME people (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) COVID-19 Socioeconomic Subgroup: Report into the factors influencing negative COVID-19 outcomes for individuals from BAME backgrounds. https://gov.wales/black-asian-and-minority-ethnic-bame-covid-19-socioeconomic-subgroup-report)

  4. Places at the MEC Health Fair 2020 can be booked via Eventbrite

 

A Firebreak lockdown – our statement

In light of Welsh Government statements about an impending ‘firebreak’ lockdown of two weeks, we thought it was important to remind you of the services we provide with our staff team of experts, and to highlight that all of those services are still open and can be accessed by individuals.

  • You can still access support for Direct Payments during the ‘firebreak’ – in office hours, our phone lines in the Carmarthen and Cardiff offices are still manned by staff, emails to info@diverse.cymru are regularly monitored, and messages to our Facebook pages will be responded to within 24 hours.

  • You can still access Mental Health support, and our befriending service – get in contact with us, and if we can’t help you we’ll direct you to someone that can.

  • You can still access our Advocacy services – this support for over 16s is now extended from just the Vale of Glamorgan, to Cardiff as well. We can support you to secure your rights, appeal decisions you don’t agree with, get support in acquiring an accessible home, or in obtaining the care that you need.

  • You can still access our training and consultancy services – we offer a wide range of equality and diversity consultancy training, and continue to offer this digitally through lockdown. All training and consultancy is bespoke for your learning outcomes or priorities.

We are still here, we are still supporting you, we are still fighting for Equality for All in Wales.

View our mental health and wellbeing resources page
View the Public Health Wales COVID information page.

Strengthening and Advancing Equality and Human Rights – Project

This invitation is available in large print, (print bras) as a Word document in both Gymraeg and English, and in British Sign Language (BSL) on Diverse Cymru’s website. 

We are inviting you to take part in an engagement event as part of our strengthening and advancing equality and human rights in Wales research project.

These events are for diverse people in Wales. They are about how you experience inequality and your rights. We also welcome community groups and third sector organisations who represent diverse people in Wales.

Who are we

Diverse Cymru is a Welsh equality charity. We look at and represent the views and experiences of diverse people in Wales from all the equality groups (protected characteristics.) We also focus on intersectional experiences and issues (people who have more than one equality characteristic.) We have extensive experience in engagement, research and policy work in Wales.

About the research

We have been contracted by Welsh Government to collect people’s lived experiences around equality and human rights. We want to look at what can be improved based on people’s experiences. We will be gathering these experiences by carrying out engagement events with diverse people all over Wales.

We are keen to hear from:

  • Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people
  • Gypsies, Roma and Travellers
  • Asylum Seekers and Refugees
  • 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, Deaf, or hearing-impaired people.
  • People with learning impairments / disabilities. For example, autistic and neuro-diverse people or people with dyslexia, dyspraxia, or Downs Syndrome.
  • 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
  • Older people over 50
  • Young people under 25
  • People who are pregnant or have recently given birth
  • People with different religions and beliefs and no religion or belief
  • Carers (people who provide unpaid care or support to a friend or family member)
  • Women and men
  • Intersex people
  • Trans and non-binary people
  • People who are married or in a civil partnership
  • And people from different socio-economic groups or classes

The engagement event will be a structured discussion. This means that Diverse Cymru will ask questions and invite participants to share their experiences and answer each question. 

The questions will cover:

  • your understanding of human rights and equality in Wales
  • your own experiences and how these relate to equality and human rights in Wales
  • your experiences and views on what needs to be changed to make sure you experience equality and your rights in Wales.

Everyone will get a chance to speak and a chance to answer every question.

We will use your experiences to shape solutions. The research team will write these solutions in a report we will send to Welsh Government. Welsh Government will look at these solutions to improve equality and human rights in Wales.

You can take part in English, Welsh, British Sign Language or in another community language. Please let us know your preferred language when you register.

Also, please let us know if you have access requirements or other requirements when you register

How can I take part in the engagement events?

We are holding events online, using Microsoft Teams, and face-to-face. Each event will be 2 hours long.

The questions and discussions will be the same in both online and face-to-face engagement events.

Numbers at face-to-face events will be limited. This is because we need to make sure we stick to safe physical distancing and have strict hygiene measures in place.

We understand that some people find online engagement events difficult or cannot take part in online engagement events.

If you can take part in online engagement events please register for one of the online engagement events.

This means we can make sure that everyone who needs face-to-face engagement events can register for and take part in face-to-face engagement.

There are no criteria for face-to-face engagement. We do not need to know why you prefer to engage face-to-face when you register. It is your choice whether you feel able to participate online or not.

The events will be held on these dates:

Online engagement events:

Online engagement events will be held using Microsoft Teams.

You need to have a stable internet connection and be able to open Microsoft Teams in your internet browser to take part in these events.

We will send you a guide to how to open Microsoft Teams in your browser or download and use Microsoft Teams before the event. We will also help you solve any technical problems you have before the event, if we can.

There is room for a maximum of 10 people per session to make sure everyone has time to speak.

If you cannot make any of these dates please let us know. If several people cannot make these dates we will set an extra date for online engagement events.

Face-to-face engagement events:

We will hold face-to-face engagement events in a large room. We have checked that the venues we are using have extra hygiene measures and safe physical distancing.

We are not able to provide refreshments at these events, due to Covid-19 concerns. Please bring any water or refreshments you need with you.

We will have hand sanitiser available at the events. Please use this sanitiser when you enter the room and when you leave. We will provide more information on health and safety requirements closer to the event.

If you are able to wear a face covering we would encourage you to do so, at least when entering and leaving the room. However, we are also speaking at a distance and participants may need to lip read. The research team will be using face shields, rather than face coverings, to ensure that participants can lip read us.

There is room for a maximum of 10 people per event to allow safe physical distancing.

Dates, times and venues for face-to-face engagement events will be available closer to the time. We are not able to book venues at the moment, as they are not yet open in Wales. We are hoping to hold all face-to-face engagement events in October. Each event should have sessions at 10 am – 12 noon; and 1 pm to 3 pm. We are hoping to have evening events too at 6 pm to 8 pm.

We should have events in North; Mid; South East; and West Wales.

Please let us know which region you live in and what time would be best for you when you contact us. We will let you know details of your local event when we confirm them.

  • Face-to-face Engagement Event (Mid-Wales) (subject to coronavirus restrictions being lifted): The Media Resource Centre (MRC), Llandrindod Wells. Tuesday 27th Morning session: 10 am to 12 noon. Afternoon session: 1 pm to 3 pm. Evening session: 6 pm to 8 pm.

We will reimburse local travel expenses for you to participate in your regional event. Please keep any tickets or receipts for parking, trains, buses, taxis (if required) or other transport. If you are cycling or coming by car we have a mileage rate we reimburse at. We will use Google Maps to calculate the mileage.

We can reimburse childcare, replacement care, access or other reasonable expenses directly related to you attending the engagement event.

Please let us know your expenses in advance so we can make arrangements.

How to register

If you are interested in telling us your experiences of equality and human rights, you can register by:

  • emailing shelagh.maher@diverse.cymru
  • calling 02920 368888 and asking for Shelagh Maher
  • by post to Shelagh Maher, Diverse Cymru, 307-315 Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff, CF5 1JD

If you can complete a Booking form – Ffurflen Archebu we would appreciate this.

If you cannot complete a booking form please provide your name, contact details, and which event you are registering for when you contact Shelagh.

Please include your language choice when registering. Please also include any access or other requirements.

What if I cannot attend or want to share my views in a different way?

If you are not able to attend any of the events or do not want to engage in a group online or face-to-face you can complete our questionnaire (Holiadur) (large print questionnaire) (Holiadur ar gyfer unigolion Print Bras) or contact us.

The questionnaire covers the same areas as the focus group. You can give us all the information you want to in this questionnaire. You can let us know everything you would have said in an engagement event.

All questionnaire responses will be treated equally to engagement event participation. Experiences, views, and solutions from the questionnaire will go into a lived experiences report with the engagement event information. Recommendations will come from both engagement events and the questionnaire.

  • You can fill in the online questionnaire here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/OC3ALZ/
  • Or send your questionnaire or comments to Diverse Cymru by:
  • Email: Research@diverse.cymru
  • Telephone: 029 2036 8888 for assistance to complete the questionnaire or to provide your views and experiences. Please ask for Georgia Marks or Shelagh Maher. We can read the questions to you, explain them, and / or write your response with you.
  • Post your questionnaire or your views and experiences to:
    Diverse Cymru, 3rd Floor, Alexandra House
    307-315 Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff
    CF5 1JD

This information and the questionnaire is available in large print and as a Word document in both Welsh and English on Diverse Cymru’s website.

If you would like a printed copy of the document by post or by email please contact us.

Please contact us if you want this information or the questionnaire in a different format (for example Braille, on a different colour of paper or background, or an audio file.)

This invitation is available in British Sign Language (BSL) on Diverse Cymru’s website www.diversecymru.org.uk or you can contact us for a copy in BSL.