Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice has been given an Investors in Diversity Award, making it the first hospice in the UK to achieve the prestigious equality standard. 

The Midlands-based charity was given the award for its commitment in embedding Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) practices into the organisation – benefitting both the people receiving care and the staff and volunteers who work there. 

The Hospice was awarded the status by the National Centre for Diversity and was particularly praised for its hard-working Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee. Over the past two years, the committee has driven forward a programme of equality activities to ensure the organisation has inclusivity at its heart. 

The committee has welcomed community leaders to deliver educational workshops; produced information leaflets in seven different languages to meet the needs of Birmingham’s diverse population; it has participated in key community events across the city such as Pride; and run cultural celebration days for staff and volunteers to inform them about different faiths and holy festivals.   

The Hospice’s Social and Wellbeing committee has also done a lot of work to reduce the stigma around mental health in the workplace, and its popular awareness days have started conversations and encouraged staff and volunteers to pick up information and take part in workshops to grow their understanding in this area.

The charity was also commended by the National Centre for Diversity for the work of the new Community Development and Partnerships Lead. As a senior specialist community nurse, this member of staff works alongside different community groups to better understand their specific end of life care needs and how the hospice can meet them.

Lucy Chatwin, Head of Support Services at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, said: “Birmingham is one of the UK’s most diverse cities, which is why the Hospice is so committed to being inclusive to everyone from all backgrounds and all ways of life. . Over the past few years, we put a wide range of measures in place to ensure we are an all-embracing place of care and work and so we are delighted that the National Centre for Diversity has recognised our efforts.”  

The accreditation is valid for the next two years and staff at the Hospice are already taking action to meet the requirements for the more advanced leadership award.

Solat Chaudry, CEO of the National Centre for Diversity, added: “This is not only a first for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice but it’s a fantastic accomplishment for the team and one that everybody should be proud to receive. As the first hospice in the UK to receive the Investors in Diversity award, I hope the Birmingham St Mary’s will be a trailblazer for others to follow.

“It is something special for an organisation that supports over 400 people every day who are living with life-limiting illness, irrespective of their background or race, to achieve an award that acknowledges diversity. As the Hospice says, it only takes one person to make a difference, and with that philosophy, everybody who comes together to work as a team becomes a positive force. Congratulations.”

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