Sanctuary celebrates diversity in all its forms. In fact, diversity is one of our values that guides how we act every day.

We recognise that ensuring we deliver services that are accessible to all and treating everyone fairly is not about treating everyone the same. It’s about appreciating that each person is an individual and understanding their needs in order to create an inclusive environment. To help us achieve this, we have created 'Fairness For All', Sanctuary Group's equality scheme.

Our Fairness For All scheme helps us in weaving equality, diversity and inclusion into the way we plan, develop and deliver all our services. We want to do this, not only because of our regulatory duties but because we believe it is good for our customers, good for our staff and good for society.

'Fairness For All' is supported by comprehensive action plans for the various parts of our business, that show how we will work towards achieving our equality, diversity and inclusion objectives. Progress in achieving those actions is monitored regularly and all action plans are renewed annually.

We report on progress against the actions contained in these action plans to Sanctuary’s Group Board.

Equality monitoring

At its simplest, monitoring is a process of collecting, storing and analysing demographic data about our customers and using this data to improve our services. We monitor what are known as protected characteristics which include:

  • race
  • sex
  • age
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • religion/belief
  • sexuality
  • gender identity
  • disability.

On the basis of information gathered, we are able to make improvements based on which groups may or may not be using our services.

It is not always obvious why we need this information and why we are asking such personal questions. The What's it got to do with you? brochure (PDF 439KB) can help with this as it explains the benefits of equality monitoring and just what the information is used for in an easily understandable way.

Stonewall Diversity Champions

Sanctuary is dedicated to achieving sexual orientation and gender identity equality in the workplace. In order to assist in achieving these aims, Sanctuary is a member of the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme, a best practice employers’ forum with over 750 members.

The Programme provides opportunities to enhance employee engagement, improve processes and procedures, and access new pools of talent through targeted recruitment.

Sanctuary recognises that all staff have a role to play in creating an inclusive environment for colleagues and the Programme will assist Sanctuary in ensuring that this approach is embedded across all of the Group’s operations.

Sanctuary is a member of the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme

Disability Confident Employer

In 2016 we became a Disability Confident Employer, registered with the Government as a business which recognises that many disabled people have the skills, talents and experience that we are looking for.

This voluntary scheme, which replaces the previous Two Ticks standard, aims to help employers value the work of disabled people and those with long-term health conditions and ensure they have opportunities to fulfil their potential.

As part of our commitment, we conduct self-assessments to ensure that we are meeting our responsibilities in recruiting and retaining disabled people, and that we are also:

Disability confident employer logo in black.

  • actively looking to attract and recruit disabled people
  • providing a fully inclusive and accessible recruitment process
  • flexible when assessing people so that disabled applicants can demonstrate that they can do the job
  • making reasonable adjustments (such as adaptations to premises or equipment) as required
  • supporting staff to manage their disabilities or health conditions
  • encouraging suppliers to be Disability Confident

Since then we have also become a member of the Business Disability Forum, which is the world’s leading business organisation for improving disability confidence with employers.

The Equality Inclusion Zone

The Equality Inclusion Zone is a focus group open to all Sanctuary staff to explore issues affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans ('LGBT') people at Sanctuary and support staff in the workplace. Since being established in 2016, the group's membership is growing and over the past 12 months the focus has been on improving Sanctuary's practices and procedures as an employer with specific projects including:

  • contributing to the review of Sanctuary's mandatory equality and diversity staff training;
  • ensuring office protocols, announcements and Sanctuary publications are free of gender biased wording;
  • suggesting improvements to the way that Sanctuary collects and stores diversity data;
  • the development of a communications plan to promote inclusion at Sanctuary; and
  • the Sanctuary launch of Stonewall's 'Don’t be a bystander' campaign, promoting a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and hate crime.

Our group uses an online Microsoft Yammer forum to communicate to ensure that issues are raised and dealt with quickly.

We are also developing a network of role models and allies to support staff in the workplace.