Sutton becomes first UK local authority to be awarded Silver Trailblazer Status by Race Equality Matters

31 Oct 2023

The London Borough of Sutton has received Silver Trailblazer Status by Race Equality Matters. The Council has become the first local authority in the country to be awarded silver status that recognises organisations who have made a meaningful impact on tackling race inequality. 

In 2020 the Council embarked on a journey to change its approach to equality, diversity and inclusion. By listening to colleagues' experiences and through education activities, the Council has changed its policies and procedures whilst at the same time continuing to challenge the ways things are done, breaking down racial barriers to create a more inclusive and equal environment. 

The Council has overhauled its recruitment processes, offered training and career pathways to staff to progress in their careers, implemented a reverse mentoring policy, as well as creating an inclusive language guide that focuses on race and all protected characteristics. The inclusive language guide has proven so successful that it has been shared with schools and voluntary and community sector organisations to support residents in treating each other in a more inclusive way helping to make Sutton the best place it can be.

In accepting the status from Race Equality Matters, Emily Nice, Assistant Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development said:

“We have been working hard to do the listening and learning in order to make the necessary changes to our organisation and I’m delighted for everyone at the Council that are hard work has been recognised with the Silver Trailblazer Status. 

“Are we done, absolutely not. There is still lots to do and we recognise this. We must continue to learn from the lived experiences of our workforce, providing safe spaces where colleagues can share, where they are heard and as a result action is taken and our approaches are changed.  

“This recognition is by no means the end of our journey and we will use it to drive us forward as a collective group, working together to change our organisation for the better as well as for the residents we serve.”  

Councillor Sunita Gordon, Lead Member for Resources said: “We are committed to making Sutton a place where people from all backgrounds feel included and get on well together. We want Sutton to be an inclusive place for everyone and this recognition is a step in the right direction. I look forward to continuing to work with officers and our residents to do the listening and learning to ensure Sutton remains and continues to be a place where everyone feels welcome and can thrive. Congratulations on this fantastic achievement.” 

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