In previous programmes we have used this handout to encourage people (in groups) to think about and discuss the communities that they themselves belong to. It can be a powerful exercise as we soon discover that many of us use the term ‘community’ without really considering if that has any meaning for others.

  • What communities do you belong to?
  • How do you know?
  • What makes you feel included?
Inclusion - what does it mean?

It’s useful to give this some consideration – the word ‘inclusion’ has become fairly common parlance and it got us thinking about what we mean. The ‘script’ is by no means definitive and you will have your own examples. It aims to give a general overview of the ways people may be and/or feel excluded, ‘not part of’, not included – and the impact that this is likely to have on people’s well-being.

For an overview it’s good to revisit ‘the boxes’ as this illustrates (in sharp relief) what it might mean – often people are trying to do their best to give everyone the same access and opportunities, but may not even be aware of the implications of certain actions, or non-actions.

Being ‘excluded’, being ‘not included’ and ‘being included’ are all different experiences which have a range of impacts on people and their well-being. It’s important to recognize that whether or not someone is ‘excluded’ or discriminated against deliberately, the effect can be exactly the same. It may not be intentional but can still invoke feelings. Those feelings may range from unease, humiliation, anger, feeling undermined, undervalued, less than, anxious, depressed.

The diagram below has a full ‘script’ to help you to talk through each block and what they mean.