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Club News

EDI: Diversity, Mental Health and EFL Code of Practice update

Work done and more to come

1 September 2023

Club News

EDI: Diversity, Mental Health and EFL Code of Practice update

Work done and more to come

1 September 2023

In August 2022 the EFL launched its new Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy ‘Together’, which aims to make the League and its clubs more reflective and representative of the communities in which they serve.

Click HERE for more on that. 

An integral and key part of that is the EFL Equality Code of Practice. 

It is a mandatory requirement for all EFL clubs to achieve a minimum Bronze standard by 30 June 2024. 

We will be making our submission on 27 October 2023. Click HERE for a downloadable copy of the EFL Code of Practice document in PDF format.

In January 2023 the club underlined its commitment to achieving the standard, as seen HERE

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion officer Nigel Davidson has provided an update.

“Our Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Mental Health journey began in earnest during the 2021/22 season, but it was last season, the 2022/23 season, where it really came into its own,” he said.

“The club has made massive strides in its aims to welcome people from across the community in Carlisle, Cumbria and further afield.

“We have developed relationships with many organisations and individuals. Undertaking initiatives hasn’t always been easy and we have faced some challenges over understanding what we are doing, and why, and also awareness of the issues in certain parts of the community.

“However, we know that to embrace all the communities within our supporter base is the right thing to do  to make Carlisle United a safe and welcoming place for all.

“We have had many visits to Brunton Park in recent months from a range of groups, organisations and individuals and CUFC EDI has been involved in many meetings and activities as a result.”

These include:

  • ‘Cumbria Pride’ / ‘Outreach Cumbria’ with some of the members providing comments and photos for an article during pride Month in February.
  • ‘Workington Super Diamonds’ who held their awards ceremony in Legends after a game.
  • ‘Cumbria Scouts’ engaging with such a cross section of the community, boys, girls and different ethnic groups.
  • ‘Cumbria Mental Health Services’ with some service users who found the experience of visiting a game very therapeutic and aided their recovery.
  • Ukraine - cementing relations with the existing and new Ukrainian community by hosting a Ukrainian Independence Day celebration in August 2022 in a collaboration with CUFCCST.
  • Worked closely with Carlisle Refugee Action Group (CRAG) and Carlisle City of Sanctuary to welcome refugees and people seeking asylum to Carlisle. ‘CRAG’ even gave the club and EDI an award in recognition of its help with resettlement events for refugees and people seeking asylum.
  • Facilitated opportunities for women from countries such as Afghanistan and Kenya to play for the Carlisle Ladies Development Team.
  • We continue to build our relationship with Kick It Out and the Fans For Diversity
  • A major ongoing project is around Neurodiversity and the relocation of the Wheelchair viewing area. EDI has undertaken many meetings pulling together connections across Cumbria and beyond to take this really important venture forward.
  • We’ve had discussion and events around Pandisability and are making inroads with discussions around Blind and Partially Sighted supporters and their needs to help them enjoy the experience at Brunton Park.
  • We have facilitated the provision of Period Products for our women and girl supporters and look to develop this in a sustainable way.
  • Working closely with Every Life Matters and Carlisle Eden Mind to support those suffering with mental health issues, along with partners such as the Cumberland
  • We celebrated International Women’s Day with a get together of some of Carlisle’s influential women in sport, politics and blue light services.
  • Partnered with Cumbria Police on an important project relating to Violence Against Women & Girls which we look forward to developing further this season.
  • Followed, developed and promoted the Carlisle United Ladies Team and were so proud to see them win the Cumberland Cup at the end of the season.
  • Walk To The Match was held in February, with a walk from Carlisle Cathedral to Brunton park via Rickerby Park to promote Men’s Mental Health and combined with Sustainability around Football’s Green Weekend – we plan to do more of both next season so get involved!
  • Wellbeing Through Football – a new venture in conjunction with Cumberland Council, Carlisle United Community Sports Trust, Border City Greens FC, Tubby FC, Every Life Matters, Carlisle Eden Mind, Cumbria Mental Health Services,
  • In April we had a range of guests from Cumbria Scouts, Parkinson’s UK Carlisle & Cumbria, Be Unique, Refugees/People seeking asylum from the hotels in Carlisle – to see so many People of Colour stood in the Paddock that day was a defining moment in the progress of this football club.
  • Linking with Carlisle United Football Club Community Sports Trust (CUFCCST) on so many projects across the season, ensuring that the club and CUCST are working well together on areas that crossover between the organisations such as EDI, Disability, Sustainability and Mental Health. ‘Carlisle United EDI’ and ‘CUCST’ extended their commitment to the LGBT+ community by attending Pride in 2022 with the club joining Friends of Cumbria Pride in 2023. The CUCST and EDI attended Multicultural Cumbria’s Culture Bazaar hosted by Carlisle College where we were part of an dazzling array of cultures and communities celebrating the tapestry of cultures that exist in modern day Cumbria.

Chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “We have an active Equality Action Plan in place which we are implementing [click HERE] and we are making progress in this area. 

“As we come up to our first EFL Code of Practice assessment, the journey is by no means at an end and there is much work to do in the coming season and thereafter.  

“We will shortly be issuing a survey of season ticket holders and other supporters on our ticket database to gain an understanding of the diversity within our fan base. Please take part and help us to understand our fans better, and meet your needs.

“Also with the increased activity, we will shortly confirm the addition of a Women and Girls Rep, we also look forward to a new season of developments and growing relationships across the community.

“If any fan wants to get involved in any aspect of club EDI work please get in touch with Nigel Davidson [see HERE on how to make contact].

“The Code of Practice reassessment process will continue every two years – so it’s an ongoing process. As we know from football, to stand still is to fall behind, and that’s the case here as well.

“From an EDI and Mental Health perspective it has been a challenging yet largely successful year and we are all looking forward to seeing what developments come our way in 2023/24.”

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