UK Disability History Awareness month – quality time for everyone in the workplace

As ‘Our Story’ says, “We are St Oswald’s and we’re a hospice. We’re much more than most people think we are.”

Did you know St Oswald’s Hospice is a Disability Confident Employer?

Today marks the start of UK Disability History Awareness Month, which runs nationally from 16th November – 16th December. We feel it’s important to remind people of our core belief of providing ‘quality time for everyone’ at any stage of their journey with us. This includes our staff and volunteers and potential people who come to work and volunteer with us.

UK Disability History Awareness Month aims to celebrate the lives of disabled people, challenge disablism and achieve equality.

Currently, around 25% of our staff (that’s about 1 in 4 people) have a long term disability.

Talking about the month, Leigh Marrs, Head of Learning and Organisational Development at St Oswald’s Hospice said:

“Reflecting on disability history reminded me that whilst much has changed for the better for disabled people in terms of employment, education and healthcare; there is still much work to be done to create truly inclusive policies and practices.

“I chair the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Steering Group and our aim is that we have an inclusive culture at St Oswald’s Hospice, where people feel welcome and comfortable and where they are seen, valued and appreciated for who they are. That means looking at what we do now and what we need to do in the future to make sure that this is a reality.

“One of the ways we do this is a focus on disability through the Workplace Equality Survey (WES), from this we can see what staff think of working at St Oswald’s Hospice. The last 2 surveys have told us that approximately 25% of our staff say they have a long term disability, that’s 1 in 4. It’s also a reminder that not all disabilities are visible or immediately apparent.

“Some of the work of the last year has been about awareness raising of specific disabilities, working towards being a Disability Committed employer, reviewing barriers in our recruitment practices, promoting the role of the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian, implementing accessibility tools for information and working with managers on understanding reasonable adjustments. Disability inclusion isn’t a ‘project’, it’s an ongoing priority and even though it takes a lot effort from all of us, it’s definitely worth it!”

To find out more about St Oswald’s Hospice Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Vision and plans, please click here.

To read more about UK Disability History Awareness Month please click here.

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