We’ve conducted new research into how genes and ethnicity affect MS. We’ve celebrated Pride and Black History Month. We have colleague EDI champions who’ve worked with people living with MS to coproduce plans for the future. And we’ve built EDI into our colleagues’ objectives.
We’ve trained managers to be aware of unconscious bias in recruitment practices. We’ve supported volunteers to use online recruitment to help us widen the pool of potential candidates. And we’ve increased diversity in our Board of Trustees.
But if we’re being honest, it was external events in 2020 that have made us look again at our plans and realise that these small steps aren’t enough.
It shouldn’t have taken external things to make us do more. Especially when we’ve known for a long time how the MS community is affected by inequality in so many different ways. We’re sorry that’s what it took.
Find out more
You can find all the details of our EDI strategy here, plus our implementation plan of specific actions and timeframes.
At our launch event last night, we shared just a few of the voices we heard from in our research, and whose feedback has led us to create a new strategy. Special thanks to Hinna, Roxy, Roseanna, Trishna and Jesse for taking part in this video:
Supporting group communications
We’ve developed some resources to help groups who wish to talk about the EDI strategy and implementation plan in their communications.
Powerpoint slides for volunteer meetings: These have been created for those groups wanting to introduce the EDI strategy as part of a volunteer meeting. The slides have been created so that volunteers have the information and language that they need to do this, although there's no expectation for any group to discuss the EDI strategy if they don’t feel ready. There will be more support around EDI available to groups in 2022.
Introduction to EDI strategy for newsletters: This short paragraph is available for groups to use who wish to share the EDI strategy in group newsletters.
Looking to 2022
Some of our priorities in the first few months of 2022 include rolling out training to our colleagues and exploring what good EDI training looks like for our volunteers. Doing more research and evidence work around inequality and reaching out to more people with MS.
Most importantly, we must give this work the resource and support it needs. That’s why we’re investing in a new staff role dedicated to lead our EDI work. This new staff member will be leading on delivering our implementation plan and providing progress reports on our work to date.
Our EDI strategy is a result of many months of conversations about how we can be fairer, more representative and there for everyone affected by MS.
If you've been affected by anything you've read here, or have personally experienced discrimination, please know that we want to be here for you. You can contact the Volunteer Support Team for further support.
We’re excited to work together with volunteers and staff to create a much more inclusive and diverse organisation that achieves greater equality for people affected by MS.