The work of the council to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations is not limited to the published objectives. We have a long standing approach of mainstreaming equalities.
This means that officers take responsibility for implementing the Public Sector Equality Duty as part of their core day to day role. The following are examples of this approach in practice.
Battersea Mentoring Project
The Battersea Mentoring Project was developed as part of our Aspirations Programme. This project targeted mentoring at NEET BME young men in order to support them into employment or training.
We developed this in response to higher unemployment rates amongst BME young men and this resulted in 55 young men receiving mentoring with 34 accessing employment or engaging in training as a result
GAP Youth Club
Support for the GAP Youth Club for LGBT young people was continued when the youth service was tendered, and 2015 has seen an increase in membership and weekly attendance.
The Youth Service contract contains targets to increase participation from under-represented groups. This reflects the approach we take when developing service specifications, in that service user profiles targets are included to increase participation from under-represented groups.
Faith Direct is a multi-faith event held every 1-2 years for local secondary schools. It is an opportunity for young people to ask questions, in an informal setting, of representatives from the main faiths in the Borough.
The aim of the event is to challenge stereotypes and increase understanding of different faiths.
On average 100 pupils attend each event with evaluation demonstrating that the learning from the event is shared back within schools, including pupils holding their own mini versions.
A number of projects to support unemployed residents into employment have been developed through our Aspirations Programme.
While not explicitly targeted at individuals with a protected characteristic, evaluation of these projects highlights that they have been effective at engaging female residents and in particular BME residents:
- 58% of individuals supported by Work Match were BME residents and 35% were female.
- Analysis of the QUEST employment project highlights that 82% were BME residents and 27% were female.
In addition Work Match will establish an Older Workers Employment Network (OWEN) to:
- identify and address the barriers faced by older people who are looking for work
- provide a platform for 150 people over 45 to explore and address their personal barriers to work, and
- to find individual and collective solutions to these.
The Workright Scheme, which is based within the DESS Commissioning Unit, supports unemployed disabled residents by offering work experience and employment support to disabled people who may not have worked before or have not worked for sometime.
Since May 2012 this scheme has supported 84 work placements resulting in 63 disabled residents gaining employment.
Tackling inequality is also embedded in the strategies we produce:
- The Wandsworth Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2015-2020 contains a commitment to target early interventions towards Black, Asian or Minority Groups who have been identified as being more likely to have mental health problems and receive late support and interventions.
- The strategy also contains a commitment to ensure that groups of people with the worst health needs, including older people, people with mental health problems and the unemployed, are identified and provided with the right services to address their needs.
In addition the Wandsworth Housing Offer contains a commitment to support the development of bespoke forms of housing that assist in meeting the housing requirements of vulnerable local residents. This will include delivering up to 80 units of Extra Care Housing for the frail elderly and delivering the learning disability development programme and bringing forward at least another two housing support schemes for development.
Young Leaders Project (Active Challenge Foundation)
This scheme is open to applicants from years 11 & 12 and is intended to be complimentary to their schooling. Those who take part are taught skills which help them combat street, drug and gang crime, domestic violence and bullying, as well as being given the tools to assist them in preventing radicalisation and violent extremism. There have been 28 participants who have attended 11 workshops over a four month period followed by a four day residential trip to Bedfordshire University, Luton.
Young People’s Social Action Plan
A young people's social action project has been procured which aims to engage young people and young adults (13-30 years) in Roehampton to provide training and volunteering opportunities around social action, building their skills to support their local community. It targets young people and young adults that are NEET or at risk of becoming NEET, ex-offenders, ex-gang members, those at risk of getting involved in gangs or crime and those trying to exit gangs. The contract was awarded to Regenerate and the project is now managed by the Community Development team.
Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs)
Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) are also routinely submitted to committee and the Executive as part of the decision-making process.
Since 2012, over 100 EIAs have been submitted in order to ensure that Members are able to take the Public Sector Equality Duty into account when making a decision.