15 April 2024

BLOG: Building belonging

Our Ambition is to be visible, relevant and accessible to every young person who has a cancer diagnosis in the UK and be somewhere every one feels they belong. Our new Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB) Vision & Plan is the way we aim to do this. Frank Fletcher, CEO, explains.

CEO, Frank Fletcher pictured driving a rib. He is smiling at the camera with our boat Solent Hero in the background. It's a grey but bright day.

We have to do this.

As CEO I take responsibility for the fact that, particularly in terms of minority ethnic communities, the range of young people who benefit from our trips is not fully representative of all young people who have a cancer diagnosis across the UK.

We made a commitment to address this and have worked to understand why it is and what we need to do about it.

Our vision and plan are the result of the extensive research and conversations that were undertaken.

To understand and meet the needs of young people, we need a robust and dynamic understanding of young people’s experiences, and how their different identities can impact their world view (including the world of cancer and care).

Through a listening exercise – involving people who have been involved with us, and those who chose not to – we built a picture of people’s experiences and perceptions of our organisation.

Some things we expected, such as perceptions of sailing can be a barrier to people feeling the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is for them, and that the diversity of our current beneficiaries and team doesn’t fully reflect the inclusive charity we want to be.

Other things we had our eyes opened to, particularly double discrimination experienced by young people with marginalised identities and cancer. This creates further inequality and barriers to accessing support.

At the heart of this plan sits measurement, accountability and understanding the impact of racism and other identity-based discrimination on mental and emotional wellbeing.

This is on all of us, everyone involved with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, it’s our shared responsibility, and it’s about the whole organisation, not just our trips. Identifying and embedding the values and behaviours we want to uphold is integral to evolving an organisation-wide culture with belonging at its core and where we see improved mental wellbeing as a result.

We want to be challenged and need to keep asking ourselves difficult questions, which is going to feel necessarily uncomfortable at times. We are still at the start but can now see the road ahead.

DOWNLOAD - Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB) Vision & Plan 2023-2026