Swanswell’s first UK alcohol and drug recovery charity to get Leaders in Diversity status

27 January 2014

Swanswell’s become the first alcohol and drug recovery charity in the UK to be recognised as a Leader in Diversity.

Following an assessment over a number of months, the national recovery charity has received the accreditation from the National Centre for Diversity in recognition of its commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

As part of the process, independent assessors carried out interviews and surveys with team members and clients to understand Swanswell’s approach to EDI in the workplace.

Swanswell’s one of only four charities in the country to receive Leaders in Diversity status, which has been given to just 14 organisations in total throughout the UK.

It’s the highest accolade of its type and demonstrates excellence in EDI practice, as well as allowing an organisation to become an ambassador in its field.

Swanswell’s been committed to equality, diversity and inclusion for many years but wanted to benchmark its work against other organisations to ensure it was leading the way in its approach to EDI.

In 2009, the charity joined the Investors in Diversity scheme and has introduced a number of measures including: diversity training for all team members, creating a diversity strategy, and developing a diversity action group.

The charity’s taken part in a number of events including a celebration of Black History Month, and Birmingham Pride. It has also received Investors in People Bronze status, Positive about Disabled People recognition and is a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

In the report from the National Centre for Diversity, assessors said that Swanswell ‘puts equality and diversity at the heart of everything it does’, and recognised how Swanswell’s commitment to ‘fairness for all’ is reflected in its EDI policies and procedures.

Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘We’re delighted that we’re now recognised as a Leader in Diversity, which reflects our commitment to ensuring fairness for all in everything we do; something that everyone should embrace.

We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved, and everyone working with us – whether that’s team members, clients or partners – has played their part in making Swanswell the organisation it is today.

Moving forwards, we’ll continue to develop our approach to equality, diversity and inclusion, so we can maintain our position as ambassadors, and help others achieve similar ambitions around EDI.’

Solat Chaudhry, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Diversity, said: ‘The work that Swanswell carries out is of crucial importance to the people accessing its services and has a positive impact on their lives.

We’ve been working closely with Swanswell since 2009 and have supported them right up to becoming a Leader in Diversity - they’ve shown that their equality, diversity and inclusion practices are excellent, and that as Leaders, they’re totally committed to EDI.     

I would also like to say special thanks to the personal commitment, drive and enthusiasm of both Natacha Bogard, the EDI lead for Swanswell, and to Chief Executive Debbie Bannigan, who initiated the Leaders in Diversity process.

Swanswell’s a truly remarkable organisation and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.’ 

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