Roadmap to building a more equal alliance

In our summer 2020 statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement we committed to building a focus on health and cultural inequalities into our structures. 

As a membership organisation for England we want to build an alliance which is representative of and relevant to the people most likely to benefit from changing the culture of health and wellbeing, i.e. those excluded from or disadvantaged by current structures. 

We remain committed to ensuring our Board, employees, freelance contractors, membership and stakeholder groups are representative in terms of ethnicity, as well as Disability, socioeconomic background, sexuality, age and all recognised protected characteristics. We are committed to amplifying Black voices and the voices of people of diverse heritages through our website, bulletin and social media.

In 2024 we acknowledge again the long-term and current impacts of systemic racism and ableism across the UK. We note in particular the ongoing crisis in relation to mental health and Black people, who remain significantly more likely than white people to be detained under the mental health act and subjected to physical restraint. 

We are focused on justice and equity. 

The Creative Health Quality Framework rests on equity as a principle without which good creative health work cannot be delivered.

"Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome" (Milken Institute School of Public Health at Washington University).

Our most recent Equality, Diversity & Representation analysis of the sector is here. We are also developing a resource on access, here.

We are taking the following steps to becoming a more equitable organisation.

This is an ongoing process of gathering information, making changes, and assessing how we work – across both our structures and our programme. This work is essential to our vision, mission and values as an organisation. 

Our full Equality, Diversity & Representation Policy and Equality Action Plan can be found here. This includes our fuller approach to communications, recruitment, partnership-building, and also payments for people who are freelance, unwaged or low waged. We are currently developing a new Theory of Change for CHWA and the sector which we hope to publish in summer 2024. 

We are not a funder, but as an alliance and a sector support organisation we have also found the Association of Charitable Foundations model of nine pillars (p.8) a useful way of thinking about the steps we should take:

  1. invests time and resources in understanding and defining diversity, equity and inclusion
  2. produces and reviews strategies that will implement DEI [diversity, equality & inclusion] practices
  3. collects, tracks and publishes DEI data on its own practices and performance
  4. has a diverse trustee board and staff team, both in terms of demographics and experience
  5. reflects and implements DEI practices in its funding activities
  6. expresses its DEI commitment, policies and practices publicly
  7. makes itself accountable to those it serves and supports
  8. uses its own power to advocate for and advance DEI practices
  9. collaborates with others to promote and implement DEI practices