Acorns is committed to equality of opportunity and ensuring the needs of children, young people and families across our broad demographic are met.
To achieve this we consistently work on developing our knowledge, skill and awareness of diversity issues. The care we provide and the environment we create to deliver care reflects our ongoing commitment to respecting the diversity of the communities we serve.
Acorns has an Equality and Inclusion Group which comprises of a senior representative from each department across the organisation, and the steering group meets twice a year. The aim of the group is to review Acorns work and ensure we have all the systems and structures in place to provide a sensitive service for all Acorns families.
The outcomes of the group are displayed in an Equality and Inclusion sheet which is distributed internally to all Acorns teams and made available to commissioning groups.
We have an Equality and Inclusion champion at each of the sites who works alongside the wider teams to ensure Acorns recognises and celebrates a wide variety of cultural and religious events. This can be in the form of displays at head office, shops or hospices and/or celebrations involving food, such as Caribbean Days, Diwali and Chinese New Year.
Many of our children use sign to communicate and we provide training for staff at our hospices so they are able to engage with children using sign. In addition, the use of technology has seen some superb opportunities for engagement with all children, both verbal and non-verbal.
We work with families to ensure we meet their needs, including those with hearing and sight impairments.
An extensive interpreting service is also available for all Acorns staff when liaising with families whose first language is not English.
Acorns provides care and support to people from all cultures; those with faiths, beliefs and religions and those without. We readily endeavour to provide the spiritual care and faith support required by the families and children who use Acorns. We have established links with faith leaders in the Midlands and each hospice has spiritual resources to aid spiritual comfort. A private and appropriate quiet place will always be provided for families wishing to pray, meditate or reflect.
In the hospices we plan for and celebrate the major cultural and religious festivals and holidays each year. In respecting the diversity of the community we live in, everyone can share in the enjoyment of these special times of the year.
In 2018 we developed our first set of equality objectives. This is an organisation-wide responsibility, from trustee level to every staff member. Our objectives are reviewed and monitored through the Equality and Inclusion Steering Group and reported through the annual equality and inclusion report.