Equality and diversity is so much more than just “treating everyone the same” …
Equality and diversity enhances everyday life and simple changes to normal activities can ensure all individuals are included and given equal opportunities to achieve. Our newsletter offers updates on E&D, Safeguarding, Prevent Duty, Mental Health Awareness, and Health and Safety, as either found in the news or highlighted as our topic of the month.
In this issue:
- Equality and Diversity
- Prevent Duty
- Safeguarding and Mental Health Awareness
- Health and Safety
Equality and Diversity in the News
Scottish Liberal Democrat, Alex Cole-Hamilton, has suggested that “care experience” should be included within the Protected characteristics. Using Scotland’s year of Young People, he plans to highlight the contributions that young people make and push the change in the treatment of young people that have been in the care system.
This year marks the 100-year anniversary of women in the UK securing the right to vote. To highlight the role that London played in women’s suffrage, Sadiq Khan has launched the #BehindEveryGreatCity Campaign, which was supported by London itself. Starting the New Year off with a bang, 8 venues projected the campaign logo onto their walls to coincide with the New Year’s fireworks display. The music played during the display also celebrated this anniversary by being exclusively female artists.
The Prevent Duty
Almost a third of all cases referred to Prevent are in relation to far-right ideology. This number may have increased due to recent social media stories, including President Trump’s retweeting of Britain First posts and the large amount of support that this has given the extreme far-right group. The Prevent Strategy was originally created to tackle recruitment by Al Qaeda; however, even in the early days the focus seemed to turn to extreme far-right groups. It is no surprise that far-right ideology has been classed as terrorism; Islamist Terrorists and far-right idealists share many philosophies, and methods of radicalisation are often similar. It has become a crime to support, promote and be a member of such groups.
“No-Platforming” (withdrawing a speaker’s invitation to speak to students) in universities is being challenged by MP Jo Johnson after he has announced plans to introduce penalties for universities that fail to defend free speech by allowing the practice. Many students have criticised him for this saying that No-Platforming helps to protect students from extremist or hateful speech, and can prevent its spread. The National Union of Students released a list of organisations that have been No-Platformed clarifying that it is not just individuals that have been withdrawn; they added that they do not censor free speech, but protect students from groups that may wish to harm them because of their identity.
Remember those all-important contact numbers:
Anti-Terrorism Hotline: 0800 789 321
Crime Stoppers: 0800 555 111
And above all, be vigilant! If in doubt report anything suspicious to 101 or 999.
Safeguarding and Mental Health Awareness
A new app is in the planning stages and looks to provide a safer environment for people in Weymouth. The Chairman of Pub Watch came up with the idea and has been given funding to develop the app that will have direct links to the Police and the Samaritans, as well as providing information about local businesses and taxi services.
Investigations into abuse may depend on where you live; it has been disclosed that 9 out of 10 cases in Dorset were not investigated due to the accuser living outside of the region. Action on Elder Abuse analysed the adult safeguarding statistics and found that Dorset was one of the 10 councils least likely to launch an inquiry if abuse is suspected. They claimed that 3,210 concerns were reported to the council and only 11% were deemed to merit a safeguarding inquiry. To put this into perspective, the average in England is 41%. In the 10 best performing areas, councils regularly launched investigations in response to all reports of abuse; 2,865 cases in Dorset would have triggered a full response if they happened elsewhere.
NSPCC has reported a 31% increase in child sexual abuse, which is shocking. The number could be higher still as child sexual abuse is often under reported; one of the biggest reasons for this is that we may not be looking out for signs and symptoms that act as a child’s cry for help. It is crucial for adults to be aware of behaviours that may indicate sexual abuse, rather than depend on children telling them: there are many reasons a child may not speak out. It is important to understand body language and behaviour when assessing potential abuse cases and to include them in safeguarding training and the assessment of safeguarding practices.
Health and Safety
A criminal inquiry is being lead by the Health and Safety Executive after an explosion at Celsa Manufacturing, where two men unfortunately died and five others were injured.
A masterclass on the challenges and opportunities the construction industry faces was held in an attempt to improve occupational health across the supply chain to help reduce the burden on the NHS.
Prince Harry has spoken out this week, asking us to consider the link between mental health and productivity. As many as 300,000 people with mental health problems lose their jobs each year; however, by looking after an employee’s mental well-being, productivity, staff loyalty, and morale could rise. Caring for staff as a compassionate employer is essential; in September the HSE launched a campaign to remind employers that they have a legal duty to protect workers from stress at work. A psychological tech company, PSYT, has created an app call “me@mybest” in which employers receive anonymous feedback from their employees about their mental well-being while at work. The company can then make improvements for employees based on the feedback provided, to help make time at work less stressful and improve well-being in the workplace. More information about “me@mybest” can be found at http://www.psyt.co.uk/.
That’s all for this month – see you in February!