Over the last 2 years we have been engaged in a consultation process with clubs, who provided us with information which identified and addressed under representation in Community Departments. From the feedback received we identified the following:
Appreciate the importance of your local demographics and compare with the national demographics. It is also important to understand that it is a forever changing picture so you should keep in place a mechanism to keep ahead of the changes and act accordingly. Link with the local authority who produce data and/or use a data collation software package as a way of keeping up with changes in demographics.
Identify and establish if there is a need to engage in the BAME communities – work with community partners and skilled staff to recognise the need, then work together to create programmes to suit. Worker knowledge and influence within the area is an important factor when trying to engage with the BAME groups. It is imperative to maintain strong links with community agencies (statutory and voluntary).
Introduce a strategy for inclusion of BAME groups, this has to be in consultation with the BAME group(s) and local agencies. Those working on the strategy need to have an understanding of the issues, barriers and concerns that the BAME group(s) may face to sustain engagement. Ensure that the workers involved are competent and confident to deliver to the funding guidelines.
POLICY and PRACTICE
Develop information on policy and best practice which promotes equality and diversity and ensures that all policy and procedures have a strong CSR focus that helps to increase ethnicity participation.
Partnering with key agencies (statutory and voluntary) is recognised by all clubs as important to the engagement of BAME communities and can facilitate effective collaboration of knowledge, expertise and resources in order to widen participation and increase the reach into the broader community.
Engage with community leaders at “ground level” who know the people and the area - this may involve having Trust/Foundation representation at agency team meetings to share information and maintain constant dialogue with community groups and the local authority as part of community focussed meetings and decision making processes.
Consult at all levels to share key knowledge, funding, efficient use of resources, which in turn bridges the gap between the different sectors, organisations and service providers, whether it’s the local authority, statutory or voluntary organisations or the football club who work with the different ethnic and faith communities.
TARGET BAME GROUPS
Ensure that key marginalised and excluded BAME groups are engaged in your programmes. The key to engaging BAME and/or marginalised groups is to have high quality staff who are trained in all areas of inclusion and equality and can link with the community. These programmes may require specialist workers (i.e. Asian Women’s Programme) where they may need to recruit Asian women because of the importance of cultural understanding.
Utilising the initial hook being football but the outreach work is still required in the identified areas and needs to be targeted and ongoing to gain the trust after the engagement has been made through development programmes. It is important to listen to the community and linking what is being asked for to what other statutory and voluntary agencies are delivering to prevent duplication.
The PFA’s commitment to its Corporate Social Responsibilities programmes continue to be at the heart of the union’s work as we seek to effect positive change in society.