Since the Covid-19 pandemic spread all over Europe, Kirklees (UK) found the way to continue with their “Diversity = Innovation” Network meetings throughout lockdown.
The Network identified some priorities in line with the recommendation made by the ICC programme in the city’s Index report and promoted diversity in the business sector. It developed a charter which will be circulated to anchor institutions, committing to having a strategic lead on diversity and inclusion for the organisation, collecting good data, supporting staff networks, raising organisational awareness, and more. This group will also coordinate a Kirklees-wide conference followed by an awards ceremony on diversity and inclusion.
Morover, Kirklees participated into the research study on preventing systemic discrimination, recently published by the ICC programme, outlining their work on Integrated Impact Assessments for new policies, strategies, and work programmes, as well as highlighting the positive role played by their Staff Networks. Besides, Kirklees is in the process of establishing an Inequalities Commission and action plan.
In terms of innovation and welcoming policies for Refugee inclusion, Kirklees has a ‘Kirklees Welcomes’ support platform. The directory lists local, regional and national projects, organisations and services that can provide advice and support for asylum seekers and refugees, thus also addressing the need for multilevel cooperation in the integration field. The directory is designed to help officers and volunteers who are supporting refugees and asylum seekers in the city; it covers all stages of the asylum process and all kinds of statutory and informal support, and will help provide support to individuals and families through a whole society approach.
Despite the pandemic, Kirklees continued a good offer for refugees and asylum seekers by:
- providing phone support through the Welcome Mentors
- Ensure all families with children under 18 access Free School Meals;
- Carry out the work on digital inclusion
- Providing language courses through online platforms
Well done to Kirklees!