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As part of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy and Action Plan, we regularly review our progress.  

Here you’ll find information on what our priorities are (our EDI objectives) and how we’re doing on them so far. Whenever we review our progress, we’ll update this page so you can see how we’re doing too. 

Our aims

To ensure organisational culture reflects Connect’s commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

What have we done so far? 

  • We have been strengthening the role of our EDI Working Group. It is now made up of 15 colleagues from across Connect; it oversees progress against our EDI Action Plan, is taking forward some key pieces of work and is starting to work on our next EDI strategy. 
  • Members of the EDI Working Group participated in a workshop on inclusive culture, delivered by an organisation called Positive About Inclusion. This is because we want Connect to be a place where everyone is welcome and where everyone who works here feels they belong. The workshop helped us start to think about what we already have in place that we need to keep and build on, and what we could change or improve. We will be doing some more work on this with all colleagues at an all-colleague conference later in June 2022. 
  • We have updated our website so it contains more information and reflects our commitments to EDI, and we will provide updates on how we are doing. 

Where do we need to do better?

  • We haven’t asked colleagues whether they feel a sense of belonging or how well they understand our EDI commitments, we plan to do this at our all-colleague conference in June 2022, and thereafter we plan to regularly survey colleagues. We have set a target that 80% of colleagues, when surveyed, will say that they feel included.  
  • We have plans in place to train colleagues, board members and resident members of the Service Improvement Forum. We have started to roll out refresher training and have set a target that 80% of colleagues will be up to date with EDI training.

 

To ensure customers have access to homes and services that help them live happy, healthy lives.

What have we done so far?

  • Every year we analyse and report on data about access to Connect services e.g. who we are letting homes to, who our Money Matters service has supported, complaints and satisfaction levels. We do this to identify where there are areas of under or over representation amongst particular groups e.g. people with a disability, or people from certain ethnic backgrounds. The EDI Working Group is now tracking progress against actions. 
  • Whether it’s due to COVID-19, financial pressure or other factors we are committed to providing support where we can either directly or by signposting to others that can help e.g. we know that the cost-of-living crisis is making it very difficult for many people to manage their household finances, and our Money Matters service and support teams are here to help. 

Where do we need to do better?

  • We haven’t published the report we produce on access to services and actions for improvement. We will publish a summary on our website once the report for 2021-22 is available. 
  • We had intended to review the effectiveness of the translation and interpretation services we use by June 2022. Work has begun and we expect to have completed this by August 2022. 

 

To have a governing body and workforce that is diverse and representation of the communities we service.

What have we done so far?

  • We have improved the diversity of our Board including have a prospective future Board Member participating in the Housing Diversity Network board development programme. We have set diversity targets for the Board and workforce to reflect the local population in the areas where we provide homes and services. 
  • We are making changes to our recruitment practice aimed at encouraging applications from as diverse a group of candidates as possible. 

Where do we need to do better?

  • We really want to hear the diverse views and voice of customers at all levels, whether that’s about things that happen in a local area, how services are delivered or influencing decision-making at the Service Improvement Forum or Board. We are starting to see small improvements but there is more we can do. 

 

To have comprehensive EDI data to better understand customer needs, so that equality impact assessments are robust and service delivery can be tailored.

What have we done so far?

  • We have begun to publish EDI data on our workforce, Board, and customer base on our website, which you can find here 
  • We have set some key performance measures for our EDI commitments and will report these to the Board each quarter and publish how we are doing here on our website. 

Where do we need to do better?

  • We know that there are some gaps in our customer data, whilst we capture this at tenancy sign up, we haven’t carried out a census in recent years to check the data remains up to date. We plan to do this in the Autumn of 2022. We also need to update some of the data we hold on colleagues. 

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Connect Housing Association Limited is a charitable association registered in England and Wales under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 (Company No. IP17445R) and with the Regulator of Social Housing (No. L2285).

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