I want to share with you some new information and ask for for the support of our staff and volunteers in completing a new survey.
First, many of you will be aware of the work BfN is doing to be more inclusive and support diversity with the goal that we would want to be able to genuinely support anyone who needed the charity’s help.
While our focus has been on race prompted by the Black Lives Matter Movement, we have also given attention to disability and cultural/religious issues and our work in these areas will continue. We are also very much aware of the need to give care, consideration and respect to parents who need our support but who do not identify with the traditional gender categories.
Most recently this has prompted early conversations around choice in use of pronouns and also enquiry into our understanding of how our training and support translates to people who chest feed. What has been stand out from those conversations, is people’s willingness to want to be able to support anyone who needs our help but perhaps there being some hesitancy or worry as to how to do this without causing offence.
To help here the BfN team have compiled some information including links that you may find useful to help build your knowledge. We will also be considering training for key members of the team and staff in BfN and of course we will develop this information. Here is the link: https://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/genderdiversity/
Second, as a peer support charity our aim is to be as representative of the mothers, parents and families we support across our board, workforce and volunteers.
However, at present we have no comprehensive way of knowing how diverse or inclusive we are as a charity in respect of our workforce and volunteers so we would like to undertake an annual survey of our staff and volunteers to understand this better.
By knowing this we can see where the gaps are and look to address them.
The survey is voluntary and confidential and will proactively seek consent as we understand the data we are asking is both sensitive and personal.
We urge as many staff and volunteers as possible to complete the survey by 31st July 2021 to help us understand your needs better and take action to make reasonable adjustments that address the visible and invisible barriers people face.
Only with this information can we be truly proactive to make sure people of different backgrounds, experiences and identities feel welcomed, respected and fully able to participate.
If you are a BfN volunteer or member of staff and have not received an email inviting you to complete the survey, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a copy.
With thanks for your support for BfN.
Chief Executive Officer
The Breastfeeding Network