Engaging equalities organisations

Engaging equalities organisations or networks – either local or national – can be a good way of making initial contact with people from equalities groups.  When redesigning a service, they can help you understand the needs of people from particular equalities groups, and develop appropriate ways of engaging directly with communities.  Sometimes such organisations will help you with your engagement activities – like letting you use their community spaces for workshops or events.  In some areas - particularly in urban locations - you will find a wide range of voluntary and community organisations in operation.

The Scottish Government’s Same Difference? resource highlights that finding out which organisations are in operation in your area can be difficult.  It suggests a number of ways of scoping local groups and organisations: 

  • Contacting local umbrella groups - in some cases, one local organisation may act as a key contact point for a range of different groups in your area.  
  • Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs) - many CPPs have thematic sub groups which focus on particular equalities themes. In some areas these are underpinned by projects or groups which work directly with equalities groups.
  • Community Learning and Development Partnerships - in some cases, CLD Partnerships may already have established structures for involving people from equalities groups in decision making.  
  • Contacting national voluntary organisations - often national organisations focussing on equalities issues can provide contacts at a local level.
  • Internet searches - in some cases, a simple online search - for example for Sikh or Jewish groups in your area - can provide you with an initial contact for organisations already working with equalities groups.

Source: Taken from Scottish Government, Same Difference? Resource

Contacting equalities organisations

You will probably find that in some cases, making contact with one organisation, will lead to a contact with another and another.  In this way you can build up your network of organisations and contacts.