Our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion
In 2020, we made a public commitment to tackle racism and inequity and to build diversity and inclusion at every level of Turn2us and our work. As part of this, we prioritised two reviews of our services.
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At Turn2us, our values of learning, listening and improving are at the heart of everything we do. In 2020, we made a public commitment to tackle racism and inequity and to build diversity and inclusion at every level of our organisation and work.
We know that there is a problem with a lack of racial diversity and inclusion within the civil society sector and we knew we had to look at our own practice. As a charity striving to achieve social change in partnership with others, a lack of diversity or equity in our own practices undermines our ability to achieve impact and credibility to challenge where we see inequity in society. It is vital we hold ourselves to account.
As part of this commitment and ongoing work, we prioritised two reviews of our grant making and information work to understand whether our support services are equitable and to identify where we may need to make changes to drive forward equitable grant making and information.
In an initial review of the Elizabeth Finn Fund, we found a correlation between grant applications from ethnically minoritised groups being refused a grant at a greater rate than those from white applicants. We recruited a peer researcher to explore this topic, which included in-depth interviews and survey responses with people from minoritised ethnic backgrounds who had been refused grants. As a response to this, we have temporarily closed the fund to new applications to undertake a thorough end-to-end redesign of the fund. The redesign process will include working with a diverse group of lived experts of financial insecurity to ensure people’s needs are at the centre of the work. We are also developing a new strategy for our National Grants work to ensure that in the future, all our funds take a rights-based approach.
The second review assessed our Grants Search tool, which supports people to find other grants for which they may be eligible from over 1,500 charitable funds, through an equity lens, and to understand better racial equality in our digital products. The review was conducted through a desk review, as well as seven user research interviews and two workshops with people from Black and minoritised ethnic communities, ranging from people with lived experience to grassroots leaders. Many recommendations from the report, such as helping people build trust in the tool, are being addressed in the building of a new grants search tool. This element of co-producing our work as vital.
What are we doing about it?
The safeguarding and welfare of all people who access our services is our priority and we are committed to delivering equitable services for them when they need them most. We cannot ignore the intersectionality of discrimination of race, or any other characteristic, and financial insecurity. At Turn2us, we are adopting an intersectional approach to tackling racism and all other forms of discrimination within the workplace. That’s why our future work to build on the findings from both reports includes further reviewing of our working practices across the organisation - from recruitment efforts to programme delivery. In full co-production with people who have lived experience, we are developing a new model of integrated programmes that will centre people experiencing financial hardship in the design and delivery with a focus on equity and diversity. We have already put in place steps to address the findings in both our grants and Grants Search tool and will continue to be held to account by people using our services as we develop this work.
Copies of both reports are available on request. Please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org