Phoebe Gibbons on why our response to EDI is so much more than a tick box exercise
"I have been in the role of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Co-ordinator at Active Oxfordshire for three months and already it has been quite a journey.
We have had lots of engaging and positive conversations around Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, what it means to us as a team, as an organisation and as individuals. We know that Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is a thread throughout all of the work that we do, and we see it on a daily basis. However, we know that there is much more that needs to be done."
"When I joined Active Oxfordshire, I was unsure as to where Equity, Diversity and Inclusion lay in their list of priorities, but I can see that not only is it one of the highest priorities the team has, they want to get to a point where it becomes firmly embedded in all practice. We do know though that this will pose challenges and on occasions, will mean having sometimes challenging, open conversations at all levels of the organisation including at Board Level and with the team.
Often, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, can be regarded as a tick box exercise, however, here at Active Oxfordshire, we recognise that it is so much more than this. We also recognise and appreciate, that when Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is at the heart, not only does it ensure everyone is included, the value of hearing the real, lived experiences of people, who often would otherwise not have their voices heard, is second to none."
Observing EDI in action
"I would like to please shine a light on a fantastic example of this I recently observed at an Active Oxfordshire event. There were a number of participants attending and it was vitally important to us, as a team, that everyone was able to engage and participate in a way which worked for them. One participant benefited from some extra support and the way that they wanted to engage in activities needed to be adapted to meet their individual needs. I was really proud of how the team ensured that, where we could, we supported this participant to engage and that in doing this, we were privileged to get to hear their lived experience to barriers in engaging in physical activity. Without this support, the participant would have been excluded from many of the activities and we would not have benefited from their insight.
This shows exactly why Equity, Diversity and Inclusion must always be at the heart of everything we do, in the actions we take and the words we say. We will not always get it right, but we acknowledge this and are willing to learn.
We are continuing to build on progress we have already made. We are reflecting how Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is, and can be, embedded into all of what we do. This includes signposting to appropriate resources and blogs from those with the authentic experiences to help inform change.
We know we need to do more, and we are fully committed to this"
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator
I feel really privileged to be able to join Active Oxfordshire as Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator
I have a background in working in Early Years before moving to work for a local charity. I am also a Trustee of a local charity which support people with physical disabilities to be able to engage in learning and leisure activities. I am incredibly passionate about inclusion and the importance of hearing real, lived experience to help to educate and influence change. I have volunteered with both local and national charities as well as worked on Co-production projects to help inform change for disabled people.
I am massive football fan and enjoy engaging in physical activities such as wheelchair basketball and cycling and I also enjoy challenging myself to raise funds for charities which have meaning to me. One of my passions lies with grassroot sports as I believe this is where some people are working hard on inclusion and trying to establish positive environments for those individuals who face barriers to sport and physical activity. I am really privileged to help coach a football team for children with physical disabilities and it's a joy to be a part of this. It is my belief that when truly inclusive environments are created, the possibilities are endless, and the memories last a lifetime.
Favourite quote- 'Diversity is about counting people, inclusion is about insisting they count' Atif Choudhury