Equality & Diversity at Sense

At Sense we are committed to providing equality of opportunity for people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments and those with complex needs.  

We welcome a diverse workforce and value differences in our staff and volunteers.

Equality and Diversity Pledge

Sense is committed to equality of opportunity and promoting and celebrating the diversity of staff, volunteers and the people we work with. We value everyone’s contribution and ensure they are given the opportunity to realise their potential. We will promote equality and diversity in all that we do and the work we do in partnership with others.

How will we deliver this Pledge?

We will uphold equality and diversity in our policies, procedure and behaviours whether as an employer, service provider, in our shops, and as a campaigning and membership organisation.

Equality & Diversity GroupWe have established an Equality and Diversity Group to take forward our equality and diversity agenda and ensuring it is mainstreamed into the day to day activities across Sense. We ensure that our values and I statements are embedded within this work.

We use the Equality & Human Rights Commission’s nine protected characteristics as a starting point to help focus our equality and diversity work. We will not tolerate discrimination against staff, volunteers or people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments and those with complex needs.

The Equality and Diversity Group is chaired by Richard Kramer, Deputy CEO of Sense, and consists of the following members:

Richard KramerRichard Kramer - Chair

Deputy CEO

Where do I work?
Sense Head Office, Pentonville Road, London

Why is equality and diversity important to me?
If we are going to the best employer, service provider, retailer and campaigner, we need a diverse and well supported staff and volunteers that reflect the local communities we work in, and are we able to challenge and to remove barriers for the people we support.

How am I going to support the Group’s work?
To Chair the Equality and Diversity Group and draw on the talent of the Group’s members, the Executive Team and across the rest of Sense in order to ensure that we embed equality and diversity in our policies, practice, procedures and behaviour - ultimately everything we do.

Errol Cumberbatch
Errol Cumberbatch

Level two deputy manager in Accommodation services

Where do I work?
Station Road service in Birmingham

Why is equality and diversity important to me?
To me equality and diversity means…
To be accepted that I am different to everyone else
To be judged that I am unique in my own way
To be embraced as I am

How am I going to support the Group’s work?
I will support the group work by attending board meetings, championing the cause of BAME throughout Sense, promoting Equality & Diversity through team activities, discussions and toolbox talk within service meetings.

Alison MundayAlison Munday

HR Business Partner

Where do I work?
Sense Head Office, Pentonville Road, London

Why is equality and diversity important to me?
I have always had a strong sense of justice and it is important to me that I, and others treat people fairly, consistently and with respect. I believe that celebrating diversity enriches us in our communities and at work so it’s important to me that the organisation I work in both includes and welcomes everyone, whatever our similarities or differences. By doing that I think we will get the best from people and do our best for the people we support.

How am I going to support the Group’s work?
I was really keen to volunteer to set up the Equality & Diversity Group and now that it’s up and running I want to do my best to make it a success.  It has been really exciting seeing new people join and our initial ideas being shaped into tangible actions. I want to support our work and will take responsibility for getting us accurate equality and diversity data which we can monitor and evaluate to check how we are doing. I will work with my HR colleagues to look for ways to improve our HR policies, procedures, recruitment practices and learning and development offer so that they promote equality and diversity.

Chris FuggleChris Fuggle

Behaviour Support Advisor

Where do I work?
Across all Operations areas mostly covering the Northern and Eastern areas of the UK.

Why is equality and diversity important to me?
No individual is more or less important than any another, we are all a unique product of our past experiences, current perceptions and future aspirations. Everyone should feel welcome to be a part of Sense, bringing their own skills, abilities and potential without people making assumptions about them.

How am I going to support the Group’s work?
My work is based on the need to see things objectively and  non-judgmentally. I will aim to ensure that this applies equally to the people who receive a service from Sense and to everyone who is employed by or supports Sense.

Mary DyetMary Dyet

Information and Advice Officer

Where do I work?
Sense Information and Advice Service at Sense Head Office, Pentonville Road, London

Why is equality and diversity important to me?
Having a commitment to equality and diversity helps to ensure that people are treated fairly and equally.  It also shows that we recognise and respect differences.

How am I going to support the Group’s work?
I will support the Group’s work by actively contributing towards the creation of a supportive and inclusive environment at Sense and by treating colleagues, Sense services users and all our enquirers and visitors with respect. I will also highlight any concerns to the Equality & Diversity group and raise any issues with the appropriate colleagues.

Mandeep KoonerMandeep Kooner

Policy Standards and Compliance Officer within the Quality Team

Where do I work?
Birmingham

Why is equality and diversity important to me?
Equality is about making sure everyone is treated fairly and given an equitable chance to access opportunities and quality of life. Diversity means ‘difference’.  When it is used in the same context as ‘equality’, it is about recognising and valuing individual's as well as group differences. It also means treating people as individuals and placing a positive value on the diversity they bring. We live in an increasingly diverse society and need to be able to respond appropriately and sensitively ensuring that all of our stakeholders are treated equally and fair.

How am I going to support the Group’s work?
I am committed to supporting Sense’s ‘Equality and Diversity’ pledge – championing it throughout the work of the Quality Team, the wider organisation and outward facing across social care and health. I will ensure that quality is imperative and underpins the approach and activity of the group ensuring that we recognise the terms ‘equality and diversity’ are sometimes used interchangeably, however, the terms ‘equality’ and ‘diversity’ are not the same – this is important to recognise, embrace and celebrate.

Anne LawnAnne Lawn

Head of Operations (South)

Where do I work?
Hampton, Peterborough

Why is equality and diversity important to me?
I believe that we are all better because of the rich diversity that everyone brings to the organisation (and society as a whole). I believe that we can all learn from each other, that all means all and no-one should be exempt from this, especially the people we support, staff, volunteers and others in the wider community.

How am I going to support the Group’s work?
I am going to support the group by bringing my passion, commitment, drive, values and a can do approach to help the group ensure that we report back to Sense as a whole, follow through on our actions and listen to everyone – giving a voice to all.

Gary HyndmanGary Hyndman

Head of Sense Colleges

Where do I work?
Hampton Offices, Peterborough. I work across the College’s Resource Centres.

Why is equality and diversity important to me?
Since the Introduction of the Equalities Act in 2010, I have been the college lead on equality and diversity. For me the principles that underpin the act remind us of our duty to ensure all learners fulfill their potential and enjoy their time at college in an environment free from discrimination and prejudice.

How am I going to support the Group’s work?
I look forward to sharing with the group the work and experiences of the college regarding equality and diversity. The college and its procedures are regularly tested by external regulators and we are proud of our record. I am sure working with such a diverse, experienced group will enable us to further improve and support Senses commitment to ensure equality and celebrate the diversity of staff, volunteers and the people we work with.

Sharon BryantSharon Bryant

Community Services

Where do I work?
I manage services, staff and projects across the South West.

Why is equality and diversity important to me?
Equality and diversity is important to me as I believe in a fair and just society for all.

How am I going to support the Group’s work?
I plan to support the group’s work by using my knowledge and expertise gained in a previous local authority role as lead for equality and inclusion.

Alex SouthAlex South

Volunteering Good Practice Advisor

Where do I work?
Sense Head Office, Pentonville Road, London.
I support the organisation to use volunteers effectively, ensure our policies and procedures are the best they can be, provide advice and guidance to staff across the organisation, and work on projects that involve volunteers to maximise their impact.

Why is equality and diversity important to me?
Making sure we have a diverse volunteer (and staff) force that is accessible to all people has real practical, tangible benefits. It means we are more linked in with the communities we are based in, our volunteers and staff better reflect and are therefore better able to provide the right support in the right way to those who engage with our services, we can draw from a wider pool of talent, provide better opportunities for people we support, the sharing of knowledge and ideas from different perspectives leads to better decisions – the list goes on.

How am I going to support the Group’s work?
I bring 14 years’ experience of volunteer management in health, education and international development settings, which have included increasing the diversity of volunteers, implementing values based recruitment and managing quality assurance of volunteering. Outside of Sense I provide training to other charities that includes examining issues around working cross culturally in international development.

A'Ishah WaheedA'Ishah Waheed

Public Policy Team

Where do I work?
Sense Head Office, Pentonville Road, London.

Why is equality and diversity important to me?
Diversity should be seen as a positive - utilising a variety of understandings and experiences makes the work we do more effective. As an organisation, I believe it’s important to ask why we may not be connected to certain demographics and how we can change this. Working in campaigns and public policy, I’m a big believer that people should be involved in decisions that affect them. For this reason, it is important to be connected to a diverse range of people to reflect that not everyone experiences disability and deafblindness in the same way.

How am I going to support the Group’s work?
I will contribute to the Equality and Diversity Group meetings from a public policy perspective and from personal experience.

Marcia LawrenceMarcia Lawrence

National Qualifications Manager

Where do I work?
I work within Corporate Learning & Development/HR

Why is equality and diversity important to me?
Equality & Diversity to me is about equality of opportunities for all so that each individual can reach their own full potential. Diversity on the other hand to me is about recognising, embracing and celebrating differences. I believe that we all have an invaluable part to play in ensuring the promotion of equality & diversity within everything that we do. As without commitment to this we will be unable to meet the needs of our communities and society as a whole.

How am I going to support the Group’s work?
I am keen to work collaboratively with others in order to participate and contribute effectively within the group. I hope to bring a strong L&D values, drive and a commitment to shaping the organisations future strategic direction to E&D. I believe that as an organisation we have an opportunity to be bold and innovate in our approach to E&D so that we continue to ‘Grow Stronger Together’ and become the very best within our sector.

First published: Tuesday 24 May 2016
Updated: Wednesday 15 June 2016