Meet our Inclusion champions Salena Begley (She/Her) I am Salena Begley, Family Fund’s Partner Engagement Manager for Scotland. I have worked full time at Family Fund since 2010. Previously I worked as an Independent Assessor visiting families on behalf of Family Fund, along with my role as a specialist Social Worker within a Child & Family Disability Team. I’m from Drumchapel in Glasgow (The Drum) now living in Ayrshire. I have a strong personal and professional interest and commitment to furthering social justice. Central to this is the belief that all people have fundamental human rights and that we should experience equal access to our rights, opportunities, dignity and fair treatment. I am delighted that Family Fund is on a journey to becoming more diverse, equitable and inclusive. As an Inclusion Champion, I am looking forward to the opportunity to reflect on my own beliefs, practices and experiences. I also hope that this will provide the opportunity to learn, to collaborate, to constructively challenge where necessary, and ultimately to contribute to Family Fund evolving as an organisation. This is what motivated me to volunteer as an Inclusion Champion. Mollie Bonnamy (She/Her) My name is Mollie and I am one of the Inclusion Champions. I joined Family Fund in October 2021 and I work in the First Contact Team. I decided to put myself forward as an Inclusion Champion as I have just completed my master’s degree in Applied Human Rights in September. I really enjoyed my studies and was able to broaden my views, values and knowledge across a range of human rights topics. Taking on the role of an Inclusion Champion felt like a great way to put what I have learnt into practice and contribute to positive change and growth at Family Fund. Jane Carter (She/Her) I’m Jane Carter, and I’m really proud to be an Inclusion Champion at Family Fund. I am Head of Fundraising, I started work at the end of January 2022 and I’m so pleased to be part of such a dynamic and compassionate group of people in an organisation that makes a difference to people who need and deserve support. I have worked in the charity sector for all of my career in the fields of international development, human rights and disability rights and I’ve held a variety of posts from CEO to Campaigns Director but fundraising has always drawn me in because we can’t achieve a lot without money! I’m a Londoner, I have three grown up children and I absolutely love live music, horse riding, reading and playing the guitar badly. I also tell really bad jokes! Chloe Deyes (She/Her) I’m Chloe Deyes and I am an Inclusion Champion. I work within the Service Delivery Team as the Information and Support Content Officer, this means my work focuses on providing families with additional support and services alongside their grant. Alongside of work, I am also completing my part-time masters in Applied Human Rights, which has allowed me to develop my knowledge around equality and equity globally, as well as understanding the human rights based issues people face across the UK. I decided to become an Inclusion Champion as across home, work and my university life, I aim to advocate for the equity of those marginalised by societal, economic and political norms and practices. At Family Fund, we should all aim to advocate and provide space to listen to the voices of those who do not have the power to do so themselves, this can be staff, volunteers or our families. I am excited to see what promoting more open discussions and making progressive changes towards a focused equality, diversity and inclusive Family Fund can achieve. Josh Gregson (He/Him) My name is Josh and I am one of the Inclusion Champions. I am also a Grant Delivery Administrator within Grant services. I have been in this role since September 2019. Outside of work I am a scout leader and from that I learnt how important it is to treat others with the respect that they deserve. The whole scouting organisation has always felt very inclusive to me personally; no matter who it is everyone was welcome. From a young age this was taught to me by scouts and I try to take that empathy into my work. Seeing how compassionate everyone was helped me understand myself and be comfortable being part on the LGBT+ Community without fearing backlash.This helps make me want to emulate those views and take them into my daily life and in and outside of work. This is the biggest reason I wanted to join the Inclusion champion team. Andrew Oldham (He/Him) I am Andrew, an Inclusion Champion and the Grant Delivery Manager for the non-Government funded programmes. I’ve been with Family Fund for 1.5 years and I’ve worked in the charity sector for 25 years at British Red Cross in Scotland, then Alzheimer’s Society and Marie Curie in Yorkshire. Working for the charity sector really highlights the importance of recognising people as human beings first and foremost: It’s important we challenge those behaviours, stereotypes and organisational cultures or procedures that creates prejudice, often happening through ignorance rather than malicious intent (although that still happens sometimes). In grant delivery for example, it’s essential to focus on the facts presented to us and remain fully supportive of all examples of ‘family’ and ‘community’. At the moment I am always happy to see the McCain adverts on TV, because they seem to show a diverse range of families. This representation is vital. As a gay man, adverts that I saw in my younger days would never ever show same-sex relationships and for a period of time at school it was illegal to talk about homosexuality because of the Government’s Clause 28 law at the time. Heart breaking for me in my developing teenage years, with a legacy today of middle-aged men still hiding who they really are. Times change, and in many ways we ‘grow up’ a little, as we reflect and understand that ‘difference’ is to be celebrated, not feared. There is still more to do, for those who continue to feel excluded. Being in an organisational Inclusion Champions group is quite a thing. Remember, if I wanted this during high school I would have been breaking the law to talk about certain subjects! That said, the past helps to shape the future, and I am all for that. As long as it’s inclusive. Chris Rulton (He/Him) Hi, I’m Chris. I joined Family Fund in 2019 following roles as a Paralegal specialising Social Housing, working within a Job Centre, and in various positions for a Registered Social Landlord. As the Group’s Risk & Compliance Manager it is my role to assist the Head of Audit & Compliance in all manners Information Governance, Data Protection, Corporate Risk, and Compliance. My team of specialists is essential in achieving this. The value placed on people and their life experiences has been important to me for as long as I can remember, probably a result of the social projects various family members were always involved with. This is shown in both the causes and media I feel connected with, and with the roles and organisations I have felt drawn to as my career has progressed. With 15 years’ experience of analysis, development, and line management within roles with a social purpose, I now use that expertise to help protect the rights and freedoms of all who come into contact with Family Fund. Becoming an Inclusion Champion helps me achieve this while also promoting equity, fairness, and kindness. Alice Serne (She/Her) Hi, my name is Alice and I work in the Service Delivery Team. I’ve been working for Family Fund group for 4 years (in 3 different roles!), and I’m an Inclusion Champion. There’s a lot of chatter about this in the wider world, and I know sometimes people worry that it’s all about what you can and can’t say and not a lot else, but I think it can be misunderstood. Inclusion isn’t just a buzz word for me, it’s really important. In fact, underneath the title, if you work for a charity like Family Fund, and you’re passionate about supporting families, really, you’re an Inclusion champion too. Our mission is all about removing societal barriers for the people we work with, and that’s how I see equity and diversity work generally. No one should be at a disadvantage or made to feel they can’t be themselves freely, because of their age, gender, race, religion, disability, sexual identity or socio-economic status. It’s simply not right that in 2022 that’s still the case, and I know from first-hand experience that it can still be a challenge. No matter where we work, where we socialise, we can always do better to support each other and lift each other up. We’re all learning, and as long as we’re willing to do that, we can make a difference. I want to be part of the positive changes Family Fund are making to ensure we continue to develop our commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion both for our families and our team. I look forward to talking about all things Inclusion, and working with others to make a difference. Tasha Taylor (She/Her) I’m Tash, and I am so excited to join the Inclusion Champions team. I started working at Family Fund in July 2020 during the pandemic and currently work as a Safeguarding and Policy Officer. Inclusion is always something I am mindful of, and even though I am queer myself, I am still learning more and more all the time. It matters a lot to me that there is equity across all marginalised groups; I am proud of the strides being made each day, and I owe a lot to those that paved the way for the LGBTQ+ community before I was even born. As a charity that helps those with disabled children, I believe that Inclusion should always be a consideration and we can continuously strive to improve to this end. Representation matters so very much, and disabled children currently have very little representation in popular culture and media. As a Safeguarding Officer, I know that there are a lot of LGBTQ+ children who suffer from mental health difficulties as a result of discrimination, being invalidated or being bullied because of who they are. This is something quite personal for me, and so I am determined to do what I can to improve their quality of life. I believe being an Inclusion Champion can help me to that end.