Oct 18

Confident with difference: why it's so important

Posted: 3 October 2018

Pledging to be confident with differenceWe’ve been funded by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to run a project around diversity, with a particular focus on sexuality and cultural diversity.

The vast majority of workers and organisations want to create inclusive and welcoming services. They want to provide an environment where people are able to be themselves but it’s not uncommon for people to be lacking in confidence, especially when faced with situations that are different to their own life experiences.

They may feel awkward or embarrassed about asking sensitive questions about sexuality or cultural or religious practices; or perhaps they don’t recognise when their behaviour or the language they use might stop someone being themselves; or they may not appreciate why someone isn’t comfortable about being open about who they are.

We were in Bradford on 20 September, to host the first of our three ‘Confident with difference’ events. We invited a number of key speakers to the event, to get the conversation started about why it is important to be ‘Confident with difference’.

Mark Rounding, CEO from Age UK Bradford opened the event, with some insightful thoughts about what it means to be confident with difference and sharing experiences from his role at Age UK.

Members of the Horizon ProjectWe were then joined members of the Horizon Project, Accolade Finalists 2018, who spoke about the work they have done within the South Asian community in Calderdale to improve the end of life care services they receive, the partnerships they’ve created and the lessons learnt along the way.

Opening Doors London, took to the stage to share the impact of the services they provide to older LGBT community in London and why the work they are doing is so important, sharing experiences from members of the older LGBT community, who now act as ambassadors to the organisation.

Sam, the Purple ListWe then had a performance of “The Purple List… a gay dementia venture”, a one-man play providing an insight into the lives of two gay men, Sam and Derek, and the journey they travel through the care system as Derek’s dementia progresses.

Finally, Richard Dunbar, Bradford councillor and representative from Carer’s Resource rounded up the day. He emphasised the need for change, the need for communication and building relationships and that together we can make this happen.

We learnt a lot from our first event… there’s a real drive to be more confident with difference in the sector; services need to be designed around building relationships between the carer and those that accessing care and support services. Getting it right doesn’t need to be a complex process, instead an openness to assessing how well you’re doing already and a commitment to trying new ideas.

One thing is clear, real improvement will only happen if everyone is involved – from service leaders to frontline staff, those accessing care and support services and other professionals too.

If you’re interested in joining the discussion at our London or Bristol event, click here to find out more and sign-up.

Next steps

In spring 2019 we’ll be launching a series of short films with supporting, simple to use, learning resources. The films and learning resources will be available for managers and team leaders to use with their teams or peers to help guide conversations around sexuality and cultural diversity and what this means to them and their organisations. These discussions should help to identify what changes or improvements they may need to make to their services to ensure everyone is receiving the care and support they deserve.

Be more #ConfidentWithDifference


During October we’re embracing diversity in adult social care. Click here to keep up to date with the campaign and join the conversation on social media using #EmbraceDiversity