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The Sewell Report is an insult to every ethnic minority in the country, and to those people, communities and organisations making genuine efforts to combat institutional racism.
Institutional racism isn’t a theory to be debated, it’s a lived reality for many people across the UK, including many people who access Big Life services. We see the impact of these systemic barriers in the communities we work with, and that’s why our business plan renews our resolve to fight inequality.
An inequality so pervasive, that it means the health impact of belonging to some ethnic minority groups is equivalent to being 20 years older than your actual age. And at a time when BAME households in the UK are over twice as likely to live in poverty as their white counterparts, leaving them disproportionately exposed to job losses and pay cuts caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
If government reports are going to fail to recognise this reality, it’s vital that organisations and communities take the lead in making change. We are determined to be a part of this solution; to do this, we have created our anti-racism statement, which acknowledges that racism is a fundamental injustice and dehumanizing to everyone it touches.
In this, we outline our commitment to purposefully identify, discuss and challenge issues of race and the impact it has on our organisation, its systems and people. We acknowledge that racism can be unconscious and unintended, but racism should never be tolerated or ignored. That’s why we have committed to providing people with a better understanding of racism and the tools to change.
It is this renewed commitment – to continuously challenge ourselves, understand and correct inequalities – that will allow us to better understand racism and continue to improve the work we do with people and places to create opportunities and inspire change.
In light of the current situation, we are making changes to the way we deliver services at the moment. One-to-one appointments that would normally be delivered face-to-face will now take place over the phone or through video call. There is no need to call us to confirm – your regular point of contact will call you at the time your appointment was scheduled.
We are also no longer holding groups inside. We’re currently arranging alternatives where possible through considering walking or virtual groups. Please contact your group facilitator, or the centre where the group runs from, for more information.
If you’re worried, think you may have symptoms of Coronavirus or want further information, see the latest advice from Public Health England.
Finally, if you’re struggling through self-isolation, please don’t feel alone. There are local community groups being created all over the country, which you can find here. Alternatively, you can call our community centres in your local area, which you can find here.