In 2017 SAND was inviting local social care providers to invest in the development of an idea – a framework to help them to Embrace a Culture of Inclusion. David Coull, CEO of Coverage Care sent us a list of questions about the idea and we realised that we needed to develop a Business Plan – a whole project all on its own. We applied to Comic Relief’s Core Strengths grants and our successful bid led us to look more closely at what it was we wanted to do, and how we might achieve it.

The project set out to look for pioneers interested in:

  • Developing and encouraging a culture of inclusion
  • Supporting proactive and sustained leadership of a service
  • Providing practical and realistic examples of ‘what can make a big difference’
  • Addressing individual staff behaviour, as well as policies and procedures
  • Avoiding tick box approaches to equality and diversity
  • Understanding what really matters to recipients of services
  • Being ‘user friendly’, accessible and creative
  • Encouraging ‘working towards inclusion’ and being a learning service/organisation

Conversations with potential partners suggest that once developed, EMBRACE may well be transferable for the benefit of other marginalised groups – and a beacon of good practice for Shropshire and beyond.

In the end this proved to be a useful fore-runner, developing ideas, connections and credibility to help us write our bid to the Reaching Communities National Lottery Community Fund