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Diversity Good Practice Guide

A guide for Voluntary and Community Organisations in the London Borough of Bromley

Society is diverse. Some people are older, others are younger, some have physical disabilities, some are black, some are white, some are gay, some have children, some are married, some are religious and some aren‟t, some are male and some are female. If you started making a list of differences between people, it would be difficult to know when to stop.

The voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) embraces the concept of diversity. This means that organisations recognise the differences between people and aim to provide services and activities that take this into account. Embracing diversity is broader than the concept of equal opportunities. Diversity encompasses staff, volunteers, beneficiaries or service-users and trustees. It can also include the way the organisation relates to the wider community. Diversity can seem more immediately relevant for organisations that deliver a package of services and activities across a community. However, all organisations or projects – however small – should take steps to ensure they are welcoming and inclusive.

This Diversity Good Practice Guide was developed by the Open Space on Diversity group co-ordinated by Community Links Bromley. The Open Space on Diversity was set up in 2012 with the aim of raising awareness of diversity and equalities issues across the borough, including the voluntary sector. Membership is open to all voluntary and community organisations (VCOs) based in Bromley.

The idea for the Good Practice Guide came from recognition of the challenges involved for VCOs in responding to diversity issues. Changing legislation, different requirements from funders, and shifts in the local population and public attitudes all contribute to the changing environment in which VCOs work. This guide offers a clear structure and guidelines which VCOs can use to ensure that their services, staff, volunteers and decision-making processes reflect the particular nature and diversity of the borough.