In January we launched our first Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Focus Group with the aim of reviewing ethnic diversity across our members at Caring Matters Now. Representation of CMN amongst individuals with a darker skin tone is generally poor, in fact dermatologists report that most diagnostic images for skin conditions are on white skin meaning that diagnosis can be difficult! From medical literature through to support literature, people with darker skin tones who have CMN are under-represented.
The EDI Focus Group has enabled us to host an open discussion in which we can explore how best to encourage people from different ethnic backgrounds to attend our support events and to tackle “compounded feelings of isolation” for members with CMN.
The Focus Group is facilitated by Hannah Cree, our Support Pathway Practitioner and includes 2 parent members, 2 adult members and a charity trustee. As a Focus Group, we want our members to live life well and to break any barriers which may prevent them from being able to do so. We feel that by making small adaptations to what we are doing, we can make a difference.
The EDI Focus Group has met three times so far and has discussed:
- Personal experiences of EDI and CMN
- Moving away from using the term BAME towards ‘ethnic diversity’ instead
- Representation within Personal Stories
- Increasing representation of ethnic diversity at Regional Gatherings
- Reaching and raising awareness within ‘hard to reach’ groups, groups within society that are typically under-represented in planning processes or have limited opportunity for involvement. *
- Understanding our charity demographic
- Representation within our Caring Matters Now support literature and website
We are pleased to have secured EDI training for our Staff Team, Trustees, Support Contacts and Focus Group members which will take place at this year’s Support Contact Training Day in November. In the coming months we will be inviting each of our members to complete an anonymous demographic survey. This will help us to understand the current demographic of our charity and areas for development as we aim to meet the needs of all our members.