Equality, diversity and inclusion

Inclusion is at the heart of all our work and we are committed to providing equality of opportunity for everyone.

We believe no one should be left out of life. 

A word from our Chief Executive

headshot of Richard Kramer looking at the camera smiling

“As an organisation we have always aspired to be a charity with deep-rooted connections with the diverse communities we support.

“Equality, diversity and inclusion must be at the heart of how we recruit, develop and retain our people.”

Richard Kramer, CEO

Empowering people and leaders

A group of people standing in a line with a person dressed as a beat and balloons in the background.

Our refreshed equality, diversity and inclusion strategy reflects the dedication and collaborative spirit of our people.

A working group who represent the diverse voices within Sense co-created
this strategy, building upon the successes of our previous one.

Our strategy consists of three key goals:

  1. Maximise opportunities to attract, develop, support and retain diverse representation across all levels of our organisation
  2. Embed an inclusive culture
  3. Promote the importance of practicing and supporting disability inclusion

As a result of our focus and prioritisation of EDI at Sense, we will unlock the full potential of all our people. This will lead to:

Two women sitting at a table with a cup of tea
  • Enhanced innovation and collaboration: Diverse perspectives drive creativity and lead to better outcomes.
  • A stronger community: Where everyone feels included, collaboration can flourish and a strong team spirit exists.
  • Higher levels of disability inclusion: Our commitment inspires others to create more inclusive workplaces and empowers people to challenge poor practice and discrimination, both internally and externally.

Celebrating diversity with people we support

A group of people drumming

We recognise that celebrating diversity enriches the experiences of those we
support, our people and the wider community.

We will continue to do this with:

  • Cultural celebrations and awareness:
    Incorporating celebrations of various cultural and religious holidays into our services, fostering understanding and a sense of belonging.
  • Person-centred support:
    Emphasising personalised approaches that respect individual preferences, backgrounds and identities, providing a culturally sensitive and inclusive experience.
  • Community partnerships:
    Collaborating with communities who represent diverse groups to tailor services more effectively and co-create outreach events that celebrate diversity.
  • Outward visibility:
    Showcasing how we embrace diversity in the workplace and the people we support from varied backgrounds to inspire others and attract a range of new people to our services.

In the workplace

At Sense, we want everyone to reach their full potential. Equality, diversity and inclusion is about more than ticking boxes – it underpins everything we do. 

We do not tolerate discrimination against staff, volunteers or the people we support.

Three women looking at a computer screen

We’re a Disability Confident Employer

We interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum essential criteria for a job.
A man and a woman reading paperwork

Our EDI board and Sense User Reference Group

Our EDI board champion equality at Sense and the Sense User Reference Group (SURG) are people living with complex disabilities who provide feedback on our services.
A smilng woman sitting outside with flowers in the background

Empowering future leaders

The Moving Up programme by Skills for Care trains future leaders from Black, Asian or minority ethnic communities. We support Sense staff who are eligible to take part.

Our employee diversity networks

A man and a woman signing to each other

Being part of any of our employee diversity networks means people can connect with colleagues who have similar characteristics, interests and experiences. These are spaces for people to share ideas, voice opinions and create a sense of belonging. We recognise that building allyship and acknowledging employees with intersectional identities is also important when creating a more inclusive environment.

Our employee diversity networks support the development of our inclusive culture through advising on policies and procedures; challenging barriers and introducing initiatives to overcome them; and raising awareness and understanding through celebrating key dates in the diversity calendar.

A man and a woman wearing Sense shirts
  • The LGBTQ+ Network has helped to remove barriers with LGBTQ+ exclusionary language and support the intersection of other identities within the LGBTQ+ community. The network also coordinates events throughout the year for our people to be involved in, such as the Birmingham Pride parade.
  • The Disability Employee Network is dedicated to promoting and celebrating disability. Network members highlight any barriers they face and raise suggestions for improvement, such as the recent refurbishment of the Sense TouchBase Pears kitchen, making it more accessible.
  • The Ethnic Diversity Network is passionate about raising awareness and championing diversity within Sense and our wider communities. Network members are key advocates for positive change and regularly promote important awareness dates such as Black History Month and Race Equality Week.
  • The Wellbeing Network has been instrumental in the launch of our wellbeing action plan and promotion of the Headspace app for the wellbeing of our employees. They promote awareness of many areas of wellbeing including suicide prevention, stress awareness and financial wellbeing.

Defining equality, diversity, inclusion and equity

Equality

  • Two people high fiving made from purple brush marks

    We believe everyone should have the same opportunities to succeed. This means helping our people to overcome challenges, enabling everyone to thrive and strengthening our communities.

Diversity

  • Diversity icon made out of green brush mark circles.

    Diversity is more than a list of protected characteristics. It’s our people and the people we support who reflect the vibrancy and richness of the communities we’re part of.

Inclusion

  • Three people made out of paint marks holding hands

    Sense champions a culture where everyone feels welcomed, valued and respected regardless of background, beliefs, abilities or lived experience. We believe all identities should be celebrated and recognised and that all our people should feel empowered to express themselves. Our commitment to accessibility is at the heart of everything we do. Sense exists to remove barriers that prevent people reaching their full potential.

Equity

  • Two people high fiving made from purple brush marks

    We advocate equity within our organisation with an active and ongoing effort to remove the obstacles that hold some back, ensuring everyone has equal access to the support and resources they need to thrive.

We’re proud to partner with: