Most of us take our gender for granted. We don’t worry about people addressing us with the wrong pronouns or challenging which public toilet we use. Should we require a service specific to our gender, we never imagine someone questioning our entitlement to it. Being our gender is like breathing the air, a reflex. Like air, however, gender is a deceptively complex compound.

Our genetic code, our physical bodies, our internal sense of self, our external expressions of identity and the social norms and stereotypes projected upon us – all these factors are implicated in the idea of gender. Most of the time, they align. When they diverge, we are confronted with the complications of gender, compelled to examine it with our conscious brains and to unpack what the complications mean for our values of equality, fairness and human dignity.

Trans people are those whose internal sense of their gender – what psychologists refer to as ‘gender identity’ – diverges from the sex assigned to them at birth. For anyone who is trans, or who knows a trans person, the urgency of acknowledging their real gender is clear.

As in every movement, we must stand together and be heard. The cruelty of denying people their basic right to self-determination contributes to the fact that at least 45% of trans people in the UK have attempted suicide, and a similar proportion have experienced at least one hate crime in the last year.

In the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, the Government took an important step forward by enabling trans people to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate, legally recognising their correct gender. This can make a huge difference in applying for jobs and accessing public services. But the Act needs improvement.

The Government’s public consultation on what this reform should look like closes on 19 October  – and it is urgent and critical that everyone who believes in equality uses their voice to support trans rights. The bulk of the proposed reforms aim to eliminate excessively bureaucratic and sometimes traumatising barriers to acquiring a Gender Recognition Certificate. One of those is the requirement that trans people first receive a diagnosis of mental illness – an old-fashioned notion (now rejected by medical professionals) that being trans is a disease.

Another is the requirement to obtain specific medical interventions. Not all trans people want or need such interventions – and the law should not force unnecessary medical treatment upon anyone. A third is the requirement that trans people gather evidence of living in their ‘acquired gender’ for two years. In practice, amassing that evidence can be burdensome. Asking people to suffer without legal recognition for two years is unnecessary and cruel.

A fourth barrier is spousal consent. The Act should be changed to ensure trans people seeking access to a Gender Recognition Certificate cannot be held hostage by an objecting spouse. The Government is also rightly considering how the Act should be amended to recognise people who do not identify with the traditional gender binary.

Source – Metro Newspaper

Hate crimes recorded by police hit record high, Home Office figures show.

Religious hate crime has rocketed by 40 per cent in a year across England and Wales, as the number of offences recorded hits a record high.

New statistics released by the Home Office said more than half of religiously-motivated attacks in 2017-18 were directed at Muslims and the next most-commonly targeted group was Jewish people.

Police recorded a total of 94,098 hate crime offences – more than double the total five years ago – and all categories saw a rise.

“This increase is thought to be largely driven by improvements in police recording, although there has been spikes in hate crime following certain events such as the EU referendum and the terrorist attacks in 2017,” the Home Office document said.

“It is thought that the sharp increase in religious hate crimes is due to a rise in these offences following the terrorist attacks in 2017.”

The period covered by the report, April 2017 to March 2018, covers the Islamist atrocities in Manchester, London Bridge and Parsons Green, as well as the far-right Finsbury Park attack.

Darren Osborne, who ploughed a hired van into Muslims leaving Ramadan prayers, cited Isis-inspired attacks among his motivations after being radicalised online in a matter of weeks.

The Home Office said terror offences may also be considered hate crimes, but while the Finsbury Park attack was counted because it was directed against Muslims, Islamists’ declared hatred for Western values could not yet be counted.

Three quarters of hate crimes were recorded as racially motivated, with the number of offences rising by 40 per cent.

Another 12 per cent of incidents were motivated by sexual orientation, up 27 per cent, 9 per cent religious, up 40 per cent, 8 per cent disability, up 30 per cent, and 2 per cent transgender, which was up 32 per cent.

The overall conviction rate for hate crimes has increased to 84.7 per cent, but only a small proportion of reported incidents – 12 per cent – end with someone being charged or summonsed to court.

Around two thirds of victims felt police had treated them fairly, lower than average, and they were more likely to say they had been emotionally effected or been left feeling vulnerable.

The figures were released the day after the government announced a wide-ranging review of hate crime laws, which will consider whether to add new “protected characteristics” including age and gender.

A spokesperson for the Law Commission told The Independent both misogyny and misandry would be considered and it is “not prioritising one area over another”. 

Hate crime is not an offence in itself, but is used to describe other crimes “motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic”, such as attacks and vandalism.

Violence against the person, public order offences, criminal damage and arson made up 96 per cent of hate-crime flagged offences.

Hatred was used to increase punishments handed out in court in more than two thirds of cases involving hostility on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability in the year.

A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) report said sentences were “uplifted” in around 7,700 cases, compared to just a handful a decade ago. 

Chris Long, a chief crown prosecutor, said: “We know being a victim of hate crime is particularly distressing because of the personal nature of the incident and the CPS is committed to robustly prosecuting these cases.

“The continuing increase in the number of offenders who receive increased sentences is a testament to the work of the CPS in building the cases correctly and providing the courts with the information they need to sentence appropriately.” 

Findings from the separate Crime Survey for England and Wales, which tracks the public’s experience of crime rather than what is recorded by police, indicate a drop of 40 per cent in hate crime incidents in the past decade.

 

www . Independent . co . uk  

Disabled people face considerable challenges when it comes to accessibility at UK tourist attractions and getting around on public transport, according to several pieces of new research.

One in four disabled people say negative attitudes from other passengers prevent them from using public transport, while 40 per cent often experience issues or difficulties when travelling by train in the UK, a study from disability equality charity Scope has found.

Its Independent. Confident. Connected report included findings based on interviews with 2,000 UK working age adults with long-term impairments or conditions.

“I can’t just travel spontaneously; there are long waits at train stations,” said wheelchair user Jignesh Vaidya. “Having been assured at one station that they have notified my destination of my arrival time, I often arrive to find there are no staff there to assist me.”

Amit Patel, who is blind, said: “I travel daily on the trains, tubes and buses around London with my guide dog and two-year-old son, confident that I can get the support I need to get to where I need to go.

“But a negative experience can knock that confidence easily. Travel shouldn’t be a barrier to independence. All transport companies provide help for those that need it, but it’s often not well known, or the service isn’t consistent enough or flexible enough to adapt to the needs of disabled people.”

Meanwhile, accessibility awareness is also a major issue. User experience agency Sigma investigated the user-friendliness of public spaces, transport hubs and leisure venues for disabled people by submitting two accessibility requests – one for a person in a wheelchair and another for somebody with autism – to 132 different organisations.

These included airports, train operators, music venues, sports stadiums, hotels and cinemas. Only 46 per cent of organisations responded to the disabled access request from somebody in a wheelchair – this number dropped to 33 per cent when it came to the request for someone with autism.

Some 27 per cent of venues also gave generic responses to requests that would only be suitable for a physically impaired person, without understanding the difference between physical and cognitive conditions.

“In our experience, most companies want to do more – but have not made their accessibility policy or staff awareness a priority,” says Hilary Stephenson, managing director at Sigma. “However, the commercial benefits of providing full access are clear. It is estimated that thousands of businesses could be turning away the custom of as many as one in five people by being inaccessible to people of ranging abilities or conditions; a loss of £212bn.”

Issues around accessible travel have been brought to the fore in the last year by high-profile cases in the media.

In July, comedian Tanya Lee Davis was left “humiliated and embarrassed” after a Great Western train guard tried to get her to move her mobility scooter for a mother and child. BBC journalist Frank Gardner was stranded on an empty plane at Heathrow airport for the second time in six months. And journalist Hollie Brooks felt “like a second-class citizen” when she boarded a Greater Anglia train in August to find her allotted wheelchair space taken up with a catering trolley and boxes of food.

Problems aren’t confined to trains and buses either, as highlighted by disability activist and postgraduate student Bal Deol. Since she steered a campaign to ensure taxis couldn’t refuse to pick up wheelchair users, she says she’s been “blacklisted” by local cab companies in Stoke on Trent.

“Taxi drivers overcharging or refusing to take people like me prevents wheelchair users from living life with the same level of freedom as non-disabled people.

“Last week I was quoted £35 by one taxi driver and £10 by another on the same taxi rank – the disparity is shocking and has obvious financial implications. I have previously been quoted £55 for a one-mile journey after a night out when the going rate for that trip is only £10 for everybody else.”

James Taylor, head of policy and public affairs at Scope, said: “From airports to buses, we’ve heard too many horror stories of disabled people let down by poor infrastructure, bad service, or being treated as an afterthought. This urgently needs to change.

“A genuinely inclusive transport network would allow disabled people to be part of their community, work, and see family and friends.

“Progress towards fair and inclusive transport has been slow, and disabled people want to see change happening a lot faster.”

He added: “That’s why we’re calling on everyone – transport providers, politicians and the public- to play their part.”

 

Source – Independent . co . uk

Abbey has been a human rights advocate in his home country of Uganda, the UK, the Netherlands and France for fifteen years, and is the founder and Director of Out & Proud African LGBTI (OPAL). He was thrown into police cells, tortured and persecuted for promoting homosexuality among Ugandans, and has dedicated his life to challenging homophobia and discrimination. Since 2013, he has helped 86 LGBTI asylum seekers from all over Africa to secure refugee status in France, 70 in the Netherlands, and over 100 in the UK. He has taken risks in exposing himself to media rather than leading the quiet life he would prefer. Recovery from torture and frequent rejection, despite his hope that the UK might welcome him, testifies to his strength and aspiration to serve as a role model, and an inspiration in saving lives.

We spoke with Abbey after he won The Positive Role Model Award for LGBT at The National Diversity Awards 2018. Here’s what he had to say:

What were your thoughts on the other shortlisted nominees within your category?

All the nominees were great in their categories. The line-up was, and when I saw my name among the seven wonderful people who have done exceedingly well, it was a victory bless itself.  Jason John – the work he has done in Trinidad and Tobago is heart-breaking, Virginie Assal, Khakan Qureshi, Sgt Guy Lowe-Barrow, Tracy O’hara, Rebecca Tallon and Shaun Dellenty all those people are great. And I will follow and try to learn from them.

What were your thoughts after winning The Positive Role Model Award for LGBT?

As I mentioned earlier on, the line-up was so strong and fabulous, whose members were a cut above the rest, and whose individuals have made a difference to stand out and be counted. Therefore, finding my name in their midst was nothing but a plus, to say the least.

Despite the fact that I have always admired people who win, it had never clicked into my mind that I would one day be one of them, though, to be honest, I had always considered, in the event of such a thing happening to me, would be a real honour. I often get my satisfaction from changing someone’s life. The people who did not have hope when they hope today is enough for me. However, when my name was called, I was overwhelmed, it all appeared like a dream: it was crazy, incredible and surreal.

What happened to me rekindled and sent my mind burning with the idea that “things I consider to be small mean big things to others; what I have all along been doing for people were services that I considered ordinary and done on humanitarian grounds, yet the recipients perceived them from a different perspective. “My resolve to help the LGBT asylum seekers and refugees was not calculated to win recognitions. To it was like a therapy that relived me from the past suffering. I went through the painful experiences both in my country and in the UK. The experience was so dreadful and scary. This makes me understand what it means to rub shoulders with death, to look direct into the ugly face of death, to suffer: my heart bleeds when I start imaging that other people are going through what I experienced. I wouldn’t like them to experience that kind of suffering, and that is the reason I thought, that even if I don’t have what it takes to effectively help them out, I would still use the limited resources I have to help them.

What reaction have you received from supporters/fellow employees since winning the award?

In my community back home in Uganda, my name has spread like a bush fire in the harmattan, reaching even the remotest part of my country. The people from my community are now aware of the meaning of the acronym “LGBT’.” Of course, they were excited that a Ugandan in the UK had won such a respectable award, and for that matter, they wanted to know the meaning of LGBT, in order to understand the value of the award. However, after knowing exactly what LGBT means, they were very angry.

Nevertheless, despite their unhappiness, their awareness of LGBT in their community may help to provoke some kind of interest to find out why many Ugandans, including people from their local communities are fleeing to the UK and other parts of the world. This may draw their attention to the fact that many are struggling to escape in order to find their way to the UK so as to save their lives from torture, incarceration and possible death because of the draconian laws and mob justice initiated by cultural homophobia. This may help to change their attitude and possibly learn to be tolerant with people who are different from them.

However, the LGBT people and members of OPAL were excited to see one of their members winning such an award. It was cool and surreal.

Now that you have won a National Diversity Award, where are you going to go from here? What are your next steps?

My next step is even to work more. I have just finished my Masters. I am going to do a PhD next year. I am going to use the award as a springboard to push me even further. My interest now is to fight HIV, and Mental Health stigma among LGBT African Community. I will also use it to acquire some funding so that I could even do more. It is an honour and indeed something that can add to my many victories to come.

In your own words, how do you feel the work you are carrying out is making a difference?

I believe the work I do is so important in my community because there are no many Black led charities in London which support LGBT African asylum seekers and refugees. People come to me when they have lost hope. For example, when Lazia Nabbanja came to me, she was on the brink of suicide, within few weeks after knowing her, the Home Office detained her and tried to deport her. While in the detention, she attempted suicide on three occasions. When I went to see her, I promised her that no one would deport her. I visited her at least once a week for the six month she was in detetion. I am happy to say that on 11 October 2018, the Home Office granted her refugee status, she is now thinking of joining college to do nursing and start rebuilding her life.

Why do you think it is important to highlight Diversity, Equality and Inclusion?

It is vitally important for them to be highlighted because people need to know the challenges and struggles minorities face. Additionally, recognising the unsung heroes helps to motivate and revitalise their zeal to work even harder, because they will know that their work is changing lives, being acknowledged and appreciated

Who or What is your inspiration?

My inspiration was my father. My father told me that you could be whoever and whatever I wanted to be as long as I was willing to work hard. That was a very powerful statement that proceeded from my father’s mouth. It was a statement of intent and purpose. It reminded me of the philosophical statement that “you are what you think and speak”

If you think small, you will likewise be a man of small, meaningless achievements. Why? Because when you think, you use your mind. Negative thinking reduces the thinker into a slave – you develop a slave-mentality that binds you and becomes a major barrier to your progress or any form of advancement – it kills your handwork spirit and determination to do anything.

If you speak negative about yourself, you will be a nonentity. Why? because there is power in the word. Whatever you say binds you. If it is negative it becomes a curse against your life. Therefore, I compared this philosophy with my father’s statement and found them in positive concurrence: very powerful. I have tried them and found how powerful they are.

What were your thoughts on The National Diversity Awards Ceremony? Did you enjoy your evening?

I had wishful thoughts, thoughts expressing the real need for continuity, and never ever to think of stopping this kind of function, for various reasons: The first reason concerns fellowship> this occasion provides the opportunity for men and women of valour to meet and fellowship by engaging in sharing of experiences and ideas.

Even more importantly is the fact that novices, those attending and getting recognition for the first time, will find this a remarkably gainful experience as they stand to benefit emotionally, psychologically and intellectually – there will be the feel-good-factor that leads to confidence building, morale boost and upskilling through interpersonal communication.

Last but not least, occasions of this magnitude offer real opportunities for making friends and creating a base of fraternity.

RadioReverb has been Brighton & Hove’s local, not-for-profit radio station for the past 11 years, dedicated to providing a stimulating forum for learning and the expression of local ideas. They’re committed to community cohesion through broadcasting shows that reflect the diverse communities that make up the area. Their core value is to provide open access to radio for people under-represented, misrepresented or invisible in mainstream media. This remarkable station broadcasts 24/7 on 97.2FM, DAB+ and online and has a listenership of approximately 30,000 people, with a potential global reach, thanks to their online stream, listen-again service and podcasts. To date, they have provided a platform for numerous pioneering and award-winning shows, including Carousel, a show made by and for people who have learning disabilities, and Sophie Cook Talks, the station’s second trans-presented show.

We spoke with Tracey Allen at RadioReverb after they won The Community Organisation Award for Multi Strand at The National Diversity Awards 2018. Here’s what they had to say:

What were your thoughts on the other shortlisted nominees within your category?

It was superb to be amongst such a diverse range of groups and it made me aware of great work that I didn’t know was going on.


What were your thoughts after winning The Community Organisation Award for Multi Strand?

Wow! Unbelievable! What an honour!  Thank you – this is a massive achievement for such a small organisation.


What reaction have you received from supporters/fellow employees since winning the award?

Everyone is ecstatic and we have had fabulous praise from other media organisations, locally.


Now that you have won a National Diversity Award, where are you going to go from here? What are your next steps?

We are now looking at what we do, but more importantly at what we don’t do and how we can further improve, so that we can keep our title with pride.


In your own words, how do you feel the work you are carrying out is making a difference?

Giving marginalised groups a voice is central to what we do and we know it makes a difference, even if sometimes it’s not popular. It raises awareness and brings new support.


Why do you think it is important to highlight Diversity, Equality and Inclusion?

It’s important to educate, inform, give support and help groups to have a stronger voice.


Who or What is your inspiration?

The team at RadioReverb!


What were your thoughts on The National Diversity Awards Ceremony? Did you enjoy your evening?

It was everything I wanted it to be!


Organised by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) the event in Brighton is the first of its kind in the South East.

It takes place on Wednesday at the BMECP (Black and Minority Ethnic Community Partnership) Centre in the city’s Fleet Street.

Millie Simms, a senior RCN officer, said: “For the last few years we have had a Black History Month event in the West Midlands to raise the profile of black and minority health staff and celebrate their contributions.

“This year, we are hosting celebrations in all nine of our UK regions, including the South East.

“This will hopefully be the first of many annual conferences.”

Millie’s reasons for helping organise the event come from her own experiences as a nurse.

She said: “I came over to the UK 20 years ago from South Africa so I can connect with the adaptations and changes you have to make when coming to England.

“I started in King’s College Hospital, London, and I really struggled with the accent and dialect.

“I couldn’t understand the patients and they couldn’t understand me.”

However, Millie found she got on well with everyone in the hospital.

She said: “The patients were, as the name suggests, very patient with me and they would always repeat things if I needed it and help me out.”

The event will recognise and celebrate the British black,

Asian and minority ethnic (Bame) contribution to health and social care over the past 70 years.

Millie said: “We want to look after staff coming from abroad, show that it can be done and support the NHS, that’s where my passion comes from.”

There will be interactive sessions throughout the day alongside a line-up of speakers that includes Paulette Lewis, president of the Nurses Association of Jamaica, and Rajay

Herkanaidu, who will talk

about his journey from asylum seeker to senior manager in the NHS.

The event is open to everyone.

Millie said: “Although the title says Black History Month, and people might think this

excludes them, as long as you have been affected by the Bame community then you are welcome.

“If you’re celebrating diversity then everyone should be welcome.”

 

Source – The Argus . co .uk

To be told you are going to fail your exams is a hammer blow for any child. For Abdul-Karim, however, the harsh words of one teacher went even further.

“’You are going to fail in life’, he told me”.

At the same school, however, one teacher inspired him, putting him on the path to becoming a spoken word artist, respected Brixton youth worker and as of last month, a National Diversity Award winner. His media teacher was the first black male teacher he had ever seen. Abdul-Karim went on to study the subject at college. “Representation matters,” he says.

We meet in a cafe behind Brixton Library, which is also the HQ of Young Lambeth Co-operative (YLC), where Abdul-Karim is a Pathway Coordinator. Abdoul, 20, joins us. Earlier this year he was voted onto the YLC steering board after his mentor Abdul-Karim put him forward. As part of his responsibilities, Abdoul refers youth in need to YLC’s social workers. “He’s one of the highest referrers,” says Abdul-Karim.

Young people need mentors, says Abdoul. “A teacher can teach you about a subject but a mentor teaches you about life.”

He hasn’t always been so responsible. The third of six children, he was kicked out of home last year. He was hanging “with bad crowds and doing silly things”, he admits.

When Abdoul was arrested a few years ago, he realised how much the police had on him. “I swear this city has a camera for every two people,” he says. Now, as most local police know him, he’s no longer stopped and searched.

Abdoul has since found accommodation with charity Centrepoint. Under Abdul-Karim’s guidance, he’s successfully completed a SIA security guard training course. He’s in the YouTube reality show Real Life Brixton, under his artist name ‘Traumz’ and is writing his own film script.

Other young people look up to Abdoul. “Before I’d just give them advice,” he says. As part of YLC, he feels he can talk to them in a different way. Engaging community leadership is crucial for tackling youth violence, says Abdul-Karim. He quotes an African proverb: “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Years of austerity have taken their toll on Brixton, which “used to be very close-knit,” he says. Gentrification, institutional racism and an abdication of responsibility have also taken their toll.

Abdoul agrees: “Right now, there’s no love in the community. Why would you look at another brother, and want to kill him?”

Both men resist blaming youth violence on social media and drill music, a kind of rap. Abdul-Karim sees drill’s glorification of violence as a symptom rather than a cause. “It can sink into your heart,” says Abdoul, then adds, “but it depends on how weak your mind is.”

Last year, Abdul-Karim made a documentary about youth crime called Road 2 Recovery to raise awareness among the Muslim community. Faith leaders need to be accountable for their young congregation’s behaviour, he says. “Often they only care about what’s happening in these four walls.”

The film’s debut brought together 300 people from mosques and prisons, as well as activists and concerned families. Abdul-Karim wants Muslim leaders to install a youth worker at every major mosque. He thinks the Mayor should focus more on the grass-roots: Khan “inherited a difficult job,” but “he’s not doing enough to engage.”

Then on the Friday following this interview, Abdul-Karim was recognised with a National Diversity Award in the ‘Positive Role Model for Age’ category. He had been overwhelmed, after his nomination, by everyone else’s self-written bios, much longer than his own. Nevertheless, he was shortlisted. His mum and aunt were over the moon at his victory – all the more so because he, and they, didn’t attend his graduation ceremony from Goldsmith’s. This prize represented a kind of atonement.

“The most amazing thing about receiving the award is that the community voted, and I’m bringing back to a community that needs hope, ” Abdul-Karim says.

If his stellar work continues, perhaps years from now, we’ll see Abdoul on stage collecting that very same award.

 

Source – Lambeth Life

 

“When I was at school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I grew up,” says Theresa Esan.

“I didn’t have many role models that inspired me.

“There were big international figures like Nelson Mandela and Oprah, but none that I could relate to locally.”

It was because of a lack of local black role models when she was a child that Theresa decided to become a governor at a sixth form college in the London borough of Havering.

Teresa, who has been a governor for nine months, is now helping to front a campaign by the charity Governors for Schools aimed at encouraging greater diversity on school governing boards across England.

The charity works to match skilled and committed volunteers with schools looking for governors.

Why is the charity encouraging diversity?

In a survey of 5,300 governors, conducted by the National Governance Association and the Times Educational Supplement in 2017, 94% of respondents gave their ethnicity as white.

The survey noted that this is “considerably narrower than the averages shown in the census (86% white) and the backgrounds of pupils attending state-funded schools (75% white)”.

Louise Cooper, CEO of Governors for Schools, said: “Breaking down stereotypes and challenging preconceptions of what people think school governors are, is vital in encouraging diversity on governing boards.

“Different viewpoints and skills bring the challenge governing boards need, which in turn provides more rigorous debate in making difficult decisions and ensuring effective governance.”

What does Theresa say?

For Theresa, it’s crucial that children see people like them in positions of influence.

“Growing up in Hampshire there was nobody like me that I could look up to, apart from my mother, ” she says.

“Children and young adults need to be inspired early on in their lives.

“It’s so important that they see people of their own gender and ethnicity and background in senior roles – it helps them to aspire and dream and know things are possible.”

Her view is backed up by Cecilia from Haringey in London.

“I wanted to give back to my former local community. I grew up in Haringey and wanted to contribute to a school that’s making great progress and doing amazing things for children in the borough.

“Most people think I’m quite young to be a governor. But I’ve been able to provide a perspective as a young black woman.

“I’ve made other governors aware of the specific challenges young people in Haringey face, in terms of their relationships not just with education, but within the local community too.”

Theresa, who has been awarded an MBE for services to further education, says she has learnt a lot from her time as a school governor.

“One of the best parts of being a governor is meeting lots of talented and ambitious young people. You can learn so much by talking to them.”

How many vacancies are there?

There are approximately a quarter of a million people volunteering as governors in schools in England.

Governors for Schools currently has 2,721 vacancies across England, and 2,535 of those are outside London.

The charity says the south-east tends to have the most vacancies as it is more densely populated than other areas, and has a high volume of schools.

What does being a governor involve?

Anyone aged over 18 can be a governor and you do not have to be a parent. Governors have three main responsibilities:

  • overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure the money is well spent
  • holding the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
  • ensuring the school has a clear vision, ethos and direction.

 

Source – BBC News

Latest Blog

My advice about employment

  • 11 months ago
  • written by NDA

My name is Nana Marfo and I’m 35 years old. You might have guessed, a 1980’s baby who was born with a disability and a breathing condition didn’t have a hope of living, especially if there were born 6 months premature. My internal organs were not fully developed and caused me to live in an incubator for 2 years so that my body could grow, this had a massive impact on my airway. This resulted in me having emergency surgery and living my childhood with a tracheostomy. Unfortunately, things didn’t go to plan and my condition is lifelong, but it has made me uniquely gifted with a voice for change towards attitude concerning disability.

Living with a tracheostomy has put strain on my educational and working life, which leads me to speak about employment and the struggles that people with disabilities face, just to be an employee. Employment is a fundamental step in society for everybody of working age and it is extremely difficult for people with disabilities to get their foot on the ladder, society hasn’t got the hang of being open and honest when employing people with disabilities. Employers find it really difficult understanding how to include people with disabilities. In my role as an employment support officer for Croydon Council and through my own recruitment experience I get to see first-hand how employers are apprehensive about employing disabled people.

Inclusion is what we want to achieve, employers need to embrace people with disabilities by starting to talk with disabled applicants from the application stage. A lot of employers may be worried by the possible implications of employing a person of disability. With understanding and willingness to give a person with disability a chance things can be put in place to give them a fairer chance of success.

Living with a tracheostomy has put strain on my educational and working life, which leads me to speak about employment and the struggles that people with disabilities face, just to be an employee. Employment is a fundamental step in society for everybody of working age and it is extremely difficult for people with disabilities to get their foot on the ladder, society hasn’t got the hang of being open and honest when employing people with disabilities. Employers find it really difficult understanding how to include people with disabilities. In my role as an employment support officer for Croydon Council and through my own recruitment experience I get to see first-hand how employers are apprehensive about employing disabled people.

Inclusion is what we want to achieve, employers need to embrace people with disabilities by starting to talk with disabled applicants from the application stage. A lot of employers may be worried by the possible implications of employing a person of disability. With understanding and willingness to give a person with disability a chance things can be put in place to give them a fairer chance of success.

Everyone is entitled to, and should feel included in the employment sector. If we really want to make the world of work and employers understand disability we must work and breakdown barrier faced by disabled people and get reasonable adjustments within the work force.

My tips on gaining employment

  • Person with a disability should be honest about their barrier when applying for a role admitting your health condition is not something an employer shall use against you.
  • Always get extra support and be open to help
  • Gaining employment takes time and  patience
  • Be yourself when talking to an employer
  • Do a lot of research on a company you have applied for.
  • Always dress professionally as first impressions count
  • Have faith in yourself
  • Remember your disability doesn’t define your position in a company it’s all about you and what you can do.
  • Be willing to learn and be flexible
  • If you need reasonable adjustments make sure you discuss this with your employer in advance and let your employer keep you updated.
  • Use Access to Work to support the additional requirements that you may need.  More often than not, these adaptions cost as little as £75, but Access to Work may be able to fund it.

Nana Marfo was shortlisted for the Positive Role Model Award at the 2018 National Diversity Awards for disability! 

If I was to ask, what would be your solution to inclusion and acceptance in the work place as a person with a disability? 

 

Source – Community Scope . Org

Sol Campbell among group of black and ethnic minority coaches called up to work with England as FA look to increase diversity in national teams.

The FA have fulfilled a commitment to increase the diversity of their coaching set-up and, as reported by The Times, four big names are on their way to St George’s Park.

Campbell, former Wolves boss Terry Connor and Chelsea’s loan technical coach Eddie Newton will join up with Aidy Boothroyd’s Under 21s squad for two upcoming European Championship qualifiers against Andorra and Scotland.

 

Paul Nevin, currently Chris Hughton’s first-team coach at Brighton, will help Gareth Southgate for next month’s games against the USA and Croatia, but will not be involved for the upcoming Nations League matches in October.

Southgate is in favour of the FA’s commitment to increase opportunities for BAME coaches, but did not want to upset the balance of his team this close to two important competitive fixtures.

England face Croatia and Spain on the 12th and 15th of October respectively, and Southgate will continue to work with his current crop of coaches, including trusted assistant Steve Holland.

The Times report that each of the four coaches will be rotated between the senior and U21s squads, meaning that each get the chance to work with the country’s top players.

The FA’s big move is part of a three-year ‘diversity and inclusivity’ plan called ‘In Pursuit of Progress’, which committed to assign a BAME coach to all 28 England teams.

Southgate was criticised by former footballer turned pundit Garth Crooks in the summer for not taking a BAME coach to the World Cup in Russia.

Speaking in March, Crooks said: ‘This is a monumental error of judgement from the England manager.

‘He has no idea what he could be subjecting his black players to.

‘If Gareth Southgate does not take a Chris Powell or a Chris Ramsey to Russia and our black players are subjected to racial abuse then it is a dereliction of his duty. They need support.’

 

Source – Daily Mail

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