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Changing Lives newsletter celebrates Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Newsletter

Published on: May 23, 2024

Compass Changing Lives has been producing an EDI Newsletter, a monthly info sheet that highlights the important cultural, religious and awareness days of the month.

Compass has a commitment and responsibility to ensure that they are EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) compliant, which includes ensuring the cultural competency of the people that work there. Cultural competency here refers to our ability to understand and respect the perspectives of people from background and cultures other than our own.

The newsletter was devised as a way for staff at Changing Lives to learn about the celebrations of other cultures, and give them an opportunity to share their own cultural experiences.   

The idea was developed by Mel Johnson, Engagement and Equalities Practitioner at Changing Lives, in conversation with Supervising Practitioners Myra Yassir and Ranjit Johal.

Mel began work on the first edition of the newsletter for February. A list of important dates we collated, and Changing Lives colleagues were canvassed for contributions, which were included in the final product.

The newsletter was made up of short, informative sections discussing cultural and awareness days that are observed or celebrated around the world during the month. These sections put they dates in their wider cultural context, explaining why they were important and how they are usually observed. Frequently, these sections included the personal experiences of colleagues at Changing Lives. Included in these sections were directions for how a curious reader could find out more for themselves from trustworthy sources.

Mel was pleased with the feedback she received. She said:

“It got very positive feedback with people saying that they enjoyed reading it and liked that it was in small easy to read parts. They said that it gave a starting point to open further conversations about cultures they did not fully understand. It has also helped us to celebrate and acknowledge cultures and beliefs that may be different to our own.”

Since then, a new edition has been produced every month, with a June edition currently in the works. Topics discussed have been led by contributions from staff and have included topics as diverse as Eid, Easter, Autism Acceptance Day and Women’s History Month.

On the future of the newsletter, Mel had the following to say:

“The newsletter in its current format is just a starting point and moving forward the aim is to capture the voice of the children and young people of Derby and Derbyshire so that we can start to build a real understanding of the cultures and beliefs they have and the things that really matter to them. This will give our practitioners a starting point to have conversations with the children and young people that they work with to further understand their cultures and beliefs and to help break down any barriers to accessing mental health support that these may bring.”

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