SSI Debbie Callaghan, County PRO
Today the National Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Col Darren Hughes and his team ran a very thought-provoking Army Cadet Diversity Allies Training Course. A great turnout of over 200 adult volunteers from across the Army Cadets.
The learning outcomes of the course was to give everyone a better understanding of what being a Diversity Ally is and why allies are important and necessary. A discussion was held around the 9 protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010.
Throughout the day breakout rooms took place to discuss different topics. Such as:
What does being an Ally mean to you and how it can improve our organisation?
What does the term Active Bystander mean to us and why it is so important?
What did we think are the main barriers to intervention?
We heard about Micro Behaviours and reflecting on these.
We heard about the 4 D’s to positive intervention; which are: Direct – Distract – Delegate – Delay.
A great video was shown on this to give examples.
The additional D to this was it being useful/important to Document as soon as possible after any incident you may witness as this may/can be used at a later time. As well as offering support to the person affected.
The afternoons session was listening to some brilliant speakers. SI Rochelle McGavin, LCpl Hamish Gorsuch-Wright and Major Tom Foote.
It was particularly heart wrenching to listen SI Rochelle McGavin and the discrimination she faced growing up. SI McGavin spoke how this changed when joining the Army Cadets and was treated as an equal (rightly so). It was then heart-warming to hear how her confidence has grown in the Army Cadets and in her work life. SI McGavin, amongst her other roles in the Army Cadets is now a valued speaker with the Diversity & Inclusion Team helping to spread the important message of Diversity & Inclusion of all.
It was great to see Brigadier Stuart Williams, Deputy Commander Cadets and ACF Col Cadets, Col Clinton Riley in attendance. Both are Diversity Champions and Advocates.
In attendance from Greater Manchester ACF was our Commandant, Col Catherine Harrison, RSMI Dougie Craddock and myself.
The next Diversity Allies course is on the 8 May. If you have not booked on to the course yet I would highly recommend it.