Diversity and inclusion at the Charlie Waller Trust

White curve
Multicoloured leaves

At the Charlie Waller Trust we are aspiring to be a genuinely inclusive charity. We aim to do this through diverse representation at all levels, being a culture that supports staff and volunteers to fully be themselves and becoming a charity that is anti-racist and able to demonstrate how we have broken down the structural barriers that allow discrimination.

Dr Nargis Islam is giving expert advice and guidance to our CEO, Clare Stafford, as our approach to diversity and inclusion progresses.  Nargis has significant clinical, research and personal experience in promoting working with inclusivity in mind.

Structural discrimination exists in all social structures. Making systemic changes with regard to inclusivity is known to be challenging, as it requires a significant cultural change. It is important to recognise how organisations can hold and unconsciously act on historical marginalising assumptions and social narratives.

As a mental health charity, we recognise the evidence of increased mental health difficulties in communities society has marginalised as a result of social inequalities. The Trust has an obligation to deliver an inclusive service and to recognise how changing its own processes can help achieve this. Activities that engage all levels of the organisation are the key to creating truly inclusive services.

Nargis’ input will support the Charlie Waller Trust to engage with beneficiaries from all ethnic, social and cultural backgrounds. Through this, the Trust’s people and charitable activities can continue to address the negative impact of racism and discrimination on mental health.

What is whiteness?

Whiteness refers to the invisible privileges and power relations which systematically maintain structural, racialised, and intersectional hierarchies and oppression, via various ideological and cultural practices (Clark & Garner, 2009).

The key issue this poses for mental health is that it can lead to a higher incidence of mental health problems amongst groups that society has marginalised, with the added problem of unequal access to mental health care and a lack of culturally appropriate services.

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