We exist to make sure that every young person with cancer in the UK has the best treatment, care and support. This means every young person regardless of who they are. Equity, Diversity & Inclusion is central and crucial to achieving our purpose as a charity.

Our organisational strategy is clear through its first key objective around equity and making sure that our services for young people with cancer are accessible and inclusive, with no-one left behind. We have the same mission and goal for everyone working with us.

This policy sets out our commitment to Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at all levels of the charity. This includes tackling and combatting all forms of unlawful discrimination, inequality and oppressive behaviour in the workplace and the services the organisation provides.

We are committed to making Teenage Cancer Trust a place where diversity and different lived experiences are recognised, supported and valued and people feel like they truly belong.

View our EDI strategy


2.1 This policy applies to all those with working with Teenage Cancer Trust including employed staff, self-employed contractors, temporary and agency staff and anyone else engaged to work at Teenage Cancer Trust. It explains how we promote equity, equality and fairness when working with one another as well as our work with supporters, volunteers and other contacts and informs our activities and our impact on the young people we work with.

This policy applies alongside our Bullying and Harassment policy which expands on definitions, examples and what to do if you are experiencing any bullying and harassment.

This policy does not cover how we work and what’s expected of our service users or funded staff specifically, this is being defined elsewhere, however the same overall principles apply.

This policy also extends beyond normal working hours or locations. This applies if you are representing Teenage Cancer Trust at an event, office party or conference.

2.2 Our approach to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is in line with our values:

  • Determined - We will not only ask the tough and critical questions we will hear and act on the answers. We are determined to be intentional, take accountability, listen and learn. We will challenge, investigate and address behaviour that isn’t in line with our values.
  • United - We strive to take a ‘one team’ approach. This means creating a truly diverse and inclusive workforce where people belong and can work collectively, to remove barriers to young people accessing our services and to ensure we design services to be inclusive from the start.
  • Spirited – We have a long way to go but we are committed to supporting all young people with cancer and our belief in this is what will drive us forwards – we believe in our purpose and our people and are wholly committed to getting there.
  • Kind – We will promote kindness and compassion. Kindness to ourselves, and to others in this work. We want to embrace courage and vulnerability. We aim to be thoughtful thoughtful and supportive in educating one another and ourselves and will not rely on marginalised groups to carry the weight of educating others.


Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Concepts:

Diversity is about people and the representation of lots of difference in one place. This relates to someone’s identity including Protected Characteristics (see below) but this also relates to experiences, insights and ways of working, including visible and non-visible differences.

Equity is about redressing a power imbalance and correcting inequality that exists to make sure that everyone has access to opportunities.

Equality is about treating everyone fairly and the same irrespective of their background and circumstances. In society there are existing structural and systemic oppressions that act as barriers to some people’s potential, reducing opportunities to make the most out of their lives, talents and abilities. To recognize and redress these instances, Teenage Cancer Trust is committed to practicing equity.

Inclusion is about being and feeling respected, listened to and valued. Our aim is to create an environment where people feel included and somewhere they feel they belong.

Intersectionality is a term coined by legal scholar, Kimberlé Crenshaw. It is a theoretical framework to understand how aspects of a person’s identity e.g. gender, age, class, race combines and overlaps to create different and unique forms of discrimination and disempowerment.

Oppression is prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or exercise of authority and in this context refers to repeated, widespread, systemic injustice based on your belonging to a social group.

Positive action is about taking specific steps to encourage and train encourage and train people from underrepresented groups to overcome or minimize existing disadvantages due to their identity or background. This could be offering leadership development training for certain groups or placing job adverts to encourage applications from certain groups.

This may also include favouring a job candidate from an underrepresented group where two candidates are as ‘qualified’ as each other but you cannot give preference to a less qualified applicant because they are from an underrepresented group as this would be positive discrimination which is unlawful. See more information here.

Legal Concepts:

Equality Act 2010 is legislation which protects you from discrimination when you are in the workplace and requires organisations to provide equal opportunity in all aspects of employment, including recruitment and promotion.

Protected Characteristics refer to the nine characteristics that are protected under the Equality Act 2010. These are: age, disability, gender reassignment1 , marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation.

Limitations: The Equality Act was drafted over a decade ago in 2010 and therefore has its limitations and does not reflect best practice with regards to language and protections. We intend to not only meet these requirements but take positive and active steps to recognize, protect and celebrate diversity and inclusivity beyond the Equality Act and examples include socioeconomic status and refugee status.

Bullying may be characterised as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.

Harassment as defined in the Equality Act is unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual. The recipient need not possess the relevant characteristic themselves, but this can be by association or because they are wrongly perceived to have one.

Discriminatory behaviour can occur on the basis of a group membership, affiliation or association with a perceived one. The Equality Act legally prevents those who share ‘protected characteristics’ from discrimination on the basis of their shared characteristic.

Victimisation is subjecting a person to a detriment because he/she/they has, in good faith, complained (whether formally or otherwise) that someone has been bullying or harassing him/her/they or someone else, or supported someone to make a complaint or given evidence in relation to a complaint.


1 .We recognise gender reassignment is an outdated term amongst the trans community as its often understood to be associated with medically transitioning. The term ‘trans’ is more inclusive of all trans people including those who identify as non-binary and will be used through the document and generally at Teenage Cancer Trust.

Teenage Cancer Trust is committed to:

  • Equality of opportunity and fair treatment of all those who work with or apply to work with us.
  • Going beyond equality and practicing equity in the workplace, making sure every individual is supported to achieve the best of their lives, talent and abilities. This means going beyond the minimum legal requirement of equality in the workplace and working towards equitable outcomes which may be achieved through Positive Action (defined above).
  • Proactively challenging and taking a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination, bullying and harassment of any kind in relation to age, disability, trans identity (including gender identity and expression), marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy, maternity, race, religion and belief, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and refugee status. Zero-tolerance means investigating and addressing all complaints and taking appropriate action.
  • Not discriminating on the above characteristics between employees at any level
  • Living by our values of Determined, United, Spirited and Kind in our EDI work.
  • Creating a culture of inclusion and respect where people can contribute, thrive and succeed.
  • Providing colleagues with appropriate and necessary training regardless of any protected characteristic or part-time or full-time contract status.
  • Supporting colleagues who live with a disability during employment so that adjustments and support can be considered to help a colleague thrive in their role.
  • Paying equivalent roles equally and working towards eliminating pay gaps
  • Ensuring that EDI is sponsored at the highest level in the organisation.

Promoting inclusion at Teenage Cancer Trust:

We will focus on the following approaches in relation to people’s identity and experiences to make sure they can be the best version of themselves.


For the first time ever, today’s workforce is made up of five different generations – aged 17 to 70+. We aim to promote age diversity by:

  • Challenging age stereotypes and assumptions
  • Recognising the value of mixed age teams and the different skills, talents and shared learning it brings
  • Adapting our approaches to be flexible to the needs of different generations


We recognise that often barriers to inclusion for those living with disabilities are from society. We want to recognise, celebrate and support those living with disabilities by:

  • Challenging stereotypes and ablelism i.e. discrimination and prejudice against people with disabilities or those perceived to live with a disability
  • Understanding that not all disabilities are visible
  • Providing support and adjustments to allow people living with disabilities to reach their full potential


We believe that all genders should have the same rights, opportunities, and freedom in all aspects of their lives. We aim to promote gender diversity by:

  • Challenging gender stereotypes and assumptions
  • Paying equivalent roles equally and eliminating pay gaps
  • Supporting colleagues with flexible and agile working so that all colleagues can take on caring responsibilities regardless of their gender

Gender transition and trans identity

We value and respect everyone regardless of your gender identity and expression. If you identify as trans and/or you are planning to transition (regardless of whether you have any medical interventions) or have already done so, we aim to:

  • Provide a working environment free from bullying, harassment and discrimination
  • Challenge transphobia, stereotypes, and assumptions
  • Provide you with support if you are transitioning during your time at Teenage Cancer Trust

Marital or Civil Partnership Status

We will treat everyone fairly and with respect in the workplace irrespective of your marital or civil partnership status.

Pregnancy, Maternity and Paternity

We want Teenage Cancer Trust to be a safe, family friendly workplace and we will do this by:

  • Challenging stereotypes and the misconception that people are less focused on their career once they become parents
  • Making sure that people are treated fairly throughout their pregnancy, maternity and paternity leave
  • Recognising that people become parents in different ways such as adoption, marriage or fostering and parenting is not limited to these ways or biological ties

Race and Ethnicity

We want to ensure that we are representing the ethnically diverse communities we serve and ensure that people of colour are given the opportunities to thrive at Teenage Cancer Trust and we will do this by:

  • Challenging racism and racial stereotypes
  • Promoting race equity and the development of people of colour within the charity
  • Respecting and valuing different cultural contexts and perspectives

Religion and Belief

Religion and belief play an important part in the lives of many people around the world. We respect, acknowledge and accept the importance of religion and philosophical beliefs (or the absence of beliefs) and commit to this by:

  • Challenging religious or faith discrimination in the workplace
  • Promoting faith inclusion at Teenage Cancer Trust
  • Facilitating multi-faith conversations and support

Sexual orientation

We value and respect everyone’s sexual orientation and will show this commitment by:

  • Challenging homophobia, biphobia and negative stereotypes
  • Promoting respecting different life choices even if they conflict with your own religious or cultural beliefs
  • Providing awareness raising opportunities and celebrating LGBTQ+ identities

Socioeconomic status

We recognise that not everybody has the same opportunities or privileges, and that a person’s social background can have an impact on their working life. We will aim to address this by:

  • Challenging biases, stereotypes, and discrimination
  • Recognising and removing systemic barriers for people from a lower socioeconomic background, acknowledging intersecting identities, particularly, people of colour and/or single parents or carers
  • Providing training, progression, and development opportunities



5.1 In order to meet the above principles, at Teenage Cancer Trust we commit to actioning the following:

Strategy and commitment:

  • Executing our EDI strategy and regularly reporting on progress.
  • Embedding EDI into our policies, practice and everyday working.
  • Communicating this policy within the organisation to all colleagues, volunteers and trustees and made available on our intranet and in due course, our website.

Monitoring and evaluation:

  • Representing the communities we serve and regularly collecting, monitoring, and analysing the diversity data of our people demographics, to identify missing communities and identities, tailor our approach and show transparency.
  • This information will be collected and stored in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 (GDPR) and will only be used to analyse our EDI work. We will not share your personal or identifying information.
  • Asking for and listening to your suggestions to shape our EDI plans.
  • Analysing and reporting on current pay gaps at Teenage Cancer Trust around gender and in due course, ethnicity.
  • Creating an anonymised report to the Senior Leadership Team on learnings from informal and formal grievances and inclusion issues raised at exit interviews.
  • Regularly monitoring this policy and best practice around EDI.

People processes:

  • Provide information, education and learning opportunities.
  • Understand and adopt inclusive recruitment practices (further information in our Recruitment and Selection policy)
  • Working on providing clear development and progression routes and making sure that these opportunities are open to all.
  • Supporting applicants, colleagues and volunteers who live with a disability and will do our best to ensure that support and adjustments are made if they are required.
  • Recognising that there are limitations and injustices with looking at people’s identities and experiences in isolation and committing to learning about and acknowledging such challenges and celebrate people with intersectional identities.
  • Monitoring the conditions of service of fixed term, agency workers and part-time colleagues to ensure they are being offered appropriate access to benefits, training, promotion and permanent colleague opportunities.
  • Ensuring requests to alter working hours are dealt with appropriately under our Flexible Working Policy.

5.2 All colleagues, volunteers and trustees are expected to:

  • Familiarise yourself with Teenage Cancer Trust’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion policy.
  • Act in line with this policy treating colleagues with respect and in line with our values.
  • Champion EDI and engage with training programmes and education opportunities.
  • Challenge, address and report any unfair, inappropriate, or discriminatory behaviour by speaking to the people concerned, explaining your concerns and asking them to stop. If you feel uncomfortable doing this you should speak to your manager, or your Head ofdept, or the HR team for advice.

5.3 Line managers are also expected to:

  • Set an appropriate standard of behaviour, lead by example and promote EDI to ensure their teams feel respected and valued for their contributions.
  • Ensuring that our commitment to EDI and this policy is clearly communicated to teams and followed in all activity with an understanding of the need to adhere to this policy.
  • Taking appropriate and speedy action to address any reports of incidents, comments, actions or behaviours that are not in line with this policy.
  • Encourage teams and volunteers complete their EDI monitoring data


At Teenage Cancer Trust we want to make sure that we attract and more importantly retain talented people and that they represent the diversity of the communities we serve as a charity.

You can find out more about how we work on making our recruitment process as inclusive as possible in our Recruitment and Selection Policy.


We want everyone we work with from our colleagues, trustees and volunteers to be able to be to be the best version of themselves. If there are ways that we can make your experience with Teenage Cancer Trust more accessible, reach out to our HR team at [email protected] to explore how we can best support you.

Further information on the steps we take in our stages of recruitment and selection to make sure they are accessible as possible to candidates applying is also included in our Recruitment and Selection Policy.


  • Where workers do not act in accordance with this policy, all complaints will be sensitively investigated and appropriate action will be taken. The person will be invited to a meeting to discuss the issue. This may be with their manager or another appropriate person.
  • Teenage Cancer Trust emphasises that discrimination including harassment is unacceptable conduct which may lead to disciplinary action under the organisation’s Disciplinary Policy and Procedure and or Bullying and Harassment Policy
  • Any complaints of discrimination will be pursued through the organisation’s Bullying and Harassment Policy and Grievance Procedure.
  • Allegations regarding potential breaches of this policy will be treated in confidence and investigated in accordance with the relevant procedure. If you make such allegations in good faith you will not be victimised or treated less favourably as a result. False allegations which are found to have been made in bad faith will, however, be dealt with under our Bullying and Harassment Policy and Disciplinary Procedure.


Teenage Cancer Trust will continue to review the effectiveness of this policy on an annual basis to ensure it continues It is achieving its objectives.

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions in which this policy might be improved by contacting Human Resources on [email protected]