Equity, Diversity & Inclusion: our Statement and Strategy
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.
Why is Equity, Diversity & Inclusion so important to us?
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion is central and crucial to achieving our purpose as a charity.
What this means now is that to deliver our purpose fully we must change.
Global events such as the killing of George Floyd, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and the Covid-19 pandemic have acted as catalysts to changing views of the world.
These events have exposed the stark, systemic inequalities in society, particularly amongst people of colour, those living with disabilities and LGBTQ+ people, as well as other marginalised groups and communities.
These deep-rooted problems are structural and ones that we do not face alone - they are reflected in the wider charity and health care sectors.
However just because we do not face them alone does not mean we cannot act and make change happen at Teenage Cancer Trust.
We recognise that multiple oppressions work together in reinforcing inequality and injustice.
We have not previously played enough of a role in tackling them.
We will work to address such intersectional struggles in our approach to Equity, Diversity & Inclusion.
Ensuring that every young person with cancer in the UK has the best treatment, care and support means moving towards an equity-based approach and therefore our structures, our decision-making and how we work day-to-day will need to change.
Our leadership roles, our ambassadors, and our community of volunteers and supporters must adequately reflect the communities we serve.
We must have a broad range of diverse voices around the table, making, informing and challenging decisions across the charity to help us better understand and meet the needs of all young people with cancer.
We need to get comfortable talking about power and privilege in the workplace and in society, while recognising and removing the barriers that prevent underrepresented groups from entering and crucially, progressing within Teenage Cancer Trust.
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion has been on our agenda for several years but we know we have not done enough. Moving forward we will do more to centre our work, our learning and our thinking here.
What makes now different is that we’re holding ourselves accountable – at all levels of the charity - to embed Equity, Diversity & Inclusion into how we think, behave and act – and to build this into the priorities we set so we can better meet the needs of all young people with cancer and their families.
We will be honest, transparent and authentic and do all we can to avoid performative actions, tick box exercises and buzzwords. These will not result in us achieving our purpose. What will create systemic change is meaningful investment, learning, accountability and action.
“[I’d like to see] additional support for disabled individuals, especially those who are wheelchair bound or left with a permanent disability after treatment, as well as those with invisible disabilities, for example people who are neurodivergent and people who may have mental health challenges.”
- Young person supported by Teenage Cancer Trust
“The challenge I have faced is that there has been a lack of resources from Teenage Cancer Trust to support me to create opportunities for young people to open up to new ways of thinking, learn about and challenge stereotypes.”
- Youth Support Coordinator
“I have always had a positive experience with Teenage Cancer Trust, however it has always been evident when attending conferences [and] meetings I have been the minority.”
- Youth Support Coordinator
“We were created 30 years ago to address inequality of care for young people with cancer – so let’s keep to our roots and understand the inequalities faced by those in the BAME community. The charity sector is majority white – we need to represent the communities we support.”
- Teenage Cancer Trust colleague
How will we get there?
View our EDI strategy
In line with our values, we will put the needs of young people first and be:
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.
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.
We’ve a 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.
We will be kind and compassionate to ourselves and others in this work. This learning is lifelong and continuous, requiring courage and vulnerability. We will do all we can to be thoughtful and supportive in educating one another and ourselves and will not rely on marginalised groups to carry the weight of educating others.
This is our public commitment to all young people with cancer and their families that we are dedicated to putting Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at the core of everything we do.