Inclusive by Intent

Published on
August 8, 2022
August 8, 2022
Written by
Annie Mauger-Thompson
Written by
Blog Archive

I’ve been reflecting on why I wanted to work for Sacro and what makes it special to be part of this organisation. When I looked at this role, I could relate to Sacro’s aims and values because of my experience in other sectors, specifically about judgement and stereotyping, rather than thinking about people as individuals with individual needs. 

I have worked for a refugee charity and supported social housing providers and these things stay with you. General statements about people seeking asylum or social tenants are just part of the narrative that you deal with daily. 

Seeing that first-hand brought home to me that so often people are scared, suspicious and blameful of anyone who doesn’t look or act in a way that they expect. The media can have a big part to play in labelling people. Then there are blanket stereotypes about people who struggle to pay their rent or use our foodbanks. They are mainly working people who can’t afford to eat or people who can’t afford to work. Those things are unjust.

Working with people in the justice system or with chaotic lives or in care, we come across embedded stereotypes all the time. What I see daily from our teams is an incredible respect and non-judgemental approach to people as individuals. Our team members treat people in the way they would want to be treated. I have learnt that everyone has a back story and the judiciary do their job, they don’t need us to do the judging.

As an organisation Sacro champions and supports equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), and these are explicit in our values. When we were developing our new strategy, we were keen to ensure that EDI was core to our work and that this would mean something – we would do things that make a difference and improve the way we work with our service users and each other. We would make EDI a pillar of everything we are trying to do.

So, we established ‘Project Fàilte, focusing on ensuring that everyone feels welcome in Sacro, whether a service user, staff member or volunteer. Our team of champions are starting conversations across the organisation to challenge and change our thinking and to celebrate diversity. We want to go further than complying with the rules and to try to be inclusive by intent.

Sacro has established EDI as a core pillar of our strategic plan with these words:

Embedding equalities, diversity, and inclusion in everything to ensure that we are a truly inclusive organisation.

Sacro is all about people. We support people in the place that they are. We will have to judge ourselves over the next year and beyond to see if we can claim to be as inclusive as we aim to be. 

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