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Equality for All!

Take Charge at Innovate Trust

Take Charge have been focusing a lot on equal opportunities with our participants. Equal opportunities are at the core of everything we do in the Skills and Wellbeing Team and we believe everyone should have the opportunity to learn more about the different protected characteristics in The Equality Act 2010.

We have been running some new sessions covering new topics including sessions about being transgender and about the Travelling Community.

Our ‘Being Transgender: What is it?’ session was a real success. We had a large turnout of people who were happy to contribute their thoughts which made the session really enjoyable. The session started with lots of discussion on what it means to be transgender with us taking the time to explain the difference between sex and gender in an accessible way for our participants. We covered the Equality Act 2010 and explained why this law is so important for the transgender community with our participants.

After making sure our participants understood what it means to be transgender, we moved on to a wide range of topical issues such as transgender athletes in sports, transgender role models and transgender people serving in the US military. These issues gathered lots of enthusiasm and a discussion which our participants wouldn’t have been able to participate in without Take Charge’s support. Being able to hold discussions is a valuable skill to have for many jobs and volunteering opportunities.

Our participants benefited from being able to talk about these important issues in a safe space as some had previously expressed some confusion on the difference between being gay and being transgender and where drag fitted into all of this. It was a really productive session that made everyone feel happier and more confident. Our participants haven’t always had the opportunity to ask questions about transgender people before so Take Charge has been shown to be an important service, especially for individuals who benefit from the extra support that we can provide.

Another new equal opportunities session for Take Charge was titled ‘Gypsies and Travellers: Their Fascinating History and Way of Life’. This was an excellent opportunity for our participants to learn more about Gypsies, Romani people and Travellers, as well as their culture such as the Roma flag and the Roma language which they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do without the extra support that we can provide.  

It was also a good opportunity for our participants to dispel any false beliefs they might have heard from other people in the past. One participant only knew about the Travelling Community through what they had seen in ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ so it was very useful for them to be able to learn more about what the Travelling Community are like in real life and about stereotyping. Again, there was lots of positive discussion and interest in all aspects of the topic.

We covered the history of the Roma people including when they were victims of slavery in Romania in the 19th Century and the holocaust in the 20th Century. Our participants showed lots of compassion over how the Travelling Community have been treated and had lots of thoughts on the amount of racism the Travelling Community still experience to this day.

Our participants were really keen on promoting the Equality Act 2010 with one participant even telling us he had put an equal rights sign up outside of a Travelling Community camp who were at risk of having to relocate which shows that they are taking what they have learnt in these sessions on board.

Without Take Charge these accessible opportunities are unlikely to have arisen for them. Now our participants are in a position to talk to others, discuss these important topics and challenge others’ views. These skills are crucial for anyone wanting to find work or volunteering opportunities in the community.