At a Glance
Positive About Inclusion was chosen, through a tendering process carried out by Groundwork UK, to support the organisation to deliver on their commitment to grow a culture of equity and inclusion. The brief was to complete a comprehensive health check and review of Groundwork UK’s current approach to equity, diversity and inclusion; working with teams from across the Federation to gather insight, producing a comprehensive report describing the current state, identifying best practice alongside recommendations for improvements and subsequently working with the Federation EDI Working Group to progress practical solutions and an action plan for future developments.
About the Client
Groundwork is a federation of charities mobilising practical community action on poverty and the environment across the UK. They are passionate about creating a future where every neighbourhood is vibrant and green, every community is strong and able to shape its own destiny and no-one is held back by their background or circumstances.
Challenges and Objectives
One of the main challenges when completing a comprehensive health check in a federation structure of this scale is ensuring there is a thorough understanding of the current position throughout the whole of the organisation. As such completing the health check required a range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies – from workshops and discussions with the Federation EDI Group, Groundwork UK Board and other key stakeholder groups to a desk-top review of policies and procedures, supplemented by an assessment of Groundwork’s online presence across the Federation. Another challenge was in relation to ‘buy-in’; in a federated structure where a mandate is not always possible, winning hearts and minds is critical for success. As such the objective through the health check was to identify actionable insight that would create the momentum required to successfully embed EDI throughout a complex structure where winning hearts and minds was required.
We engaged with people from across the Federation to complete the health check; attending meetings, hosting workshops and completing 1-2-1 discussions. We reviewed all relevant documentation including policies and procedures and analysed the Federation’s online presence. The results of the health check were compiled into a thorough report of our findings with recommendations to enhance the way Groundwork is governed, manages its people and volunteers, and understands and involves its stakeholders and beneficiaries. This report was presented to the project sponsors, the Federation EDI Working Group and the Federation Board and with their approval, we went on to collaborate with the EDI Working Group to develop a realistic action plan for future EDI activity. Having had the report and our recommendations endorsed by the Board, we subsequently designed and delivered several training sessions for Trust Board Members from across the Federation and an EDI Self-Assessment Checklist for Groundwork Trusts.
The health check provided Groundwork UK with a comprehensive position statement, the recommendations made provided a clearly articulated suite of actions and the subsequent work on priorities with the EDI Working Group meant that a realistic action plan could be created. The training sessions for Trust Board Members that followed increased fluency and understanding and creating an EDI Self-Assessment Toolkit for the Trusts (which now forms part of their suite of agreed Key Performance Indicators) ensures a legacy of continuous review and improvement.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with Karen and Lucy to develop our plans and priorities around EDI. They have made what can be a challenging topic easier to grapple with – and even fun! They have been responsive to our organisation’s needs and complexities and worked hard to find solutions that are relevant and flexible. They’ve given us a great platform to build on and I’m confident this will help us continue to improve.”
Graham Duxbury, Chief Executive, Groundwork UK