One of our values is Inclusive, ensuring that we take steps to understand others, welcome the diversity they bring and to encourage an inclusive system. As an organisation we stand by this value both internally within Energize and externally with everyone we work and partner with. During National Inclusion Week 2022 (26 September to 2 October), we have shared below some of the actions we are doing internally to support making our work and delivery as inclusive as possible.

National Inclusion Week 2022 logo

Five of the Energize team are currently enrolled on the Inclusive Employers 12-month programme providing learning and development opportunities to help form a solid foundation for embedding inclusivity into our strategy and activity, with the purpose of making inclusion an everyday reality. This programme is contributing to our ongoing Inclusive value, ensuring that we take steps to understand others, welcome the diversity they bring and to encourage an inclusive system.

As part of our ongoing work around Inclusion, we have connected with SAND (Safe Ageing No Discrimination) which is an inclusive LGBT+ community-facing organisation working across sectors to enhance LGBT+ health & wellbeing in later life. SAND’s vision is: A future where Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans people in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin are fully integrated into the community. A community that values their experiences, meets their needs and offers appropriate personalised care as they age.

We have signed the SAND covenant, joining other organisations in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin who have signed up to the 5 commitments, which are focused on providing the best possible quality services for older LGBT+ people. Working with SAND will further increase our understanding and awareness of what older LGBT+ people can experience and the inclusivity of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans people in the community. You can find out more about SAND and the covenant here:

Safe Ageing No Discrimination logo

Thank you to our local Deaf Awareness Charity Signal who provided a great interactive learning session for us all at Energize recently. They provided us with great insight to help us have a more inclusive understanding of people who are living with hearing loss, tinnitus or are profoundly Deaf. Signal’s session is aimed at anyone who may meet, know, or work with people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and would like to offer an inclusive and accessible service.

The session provided our team with a better understanding of how to communicate with someone who is Deaf or struggling to communicate due to their deafness and how we can make effective changes individually and as an organisation, to be more inclusive.

Just one example of how our improved understanding is being implemented in our work is within our Elevate strength and balance classes for people aged 60 and over. More understanding of the acoustics within a room in which exercise classes are taking place, the positioning of light and people within a room to avoid harsh shadows and less visibility of a person talking which impacts on the ability for people with hearing loss to lip-read. In addition, not using hands or objects in front of mouths whilst talking which also affects the ability to lip-read. Signal are working to end the isolation, discrimination, and stigma of this hidden disability by improving the life chances of people with hearing impairments. Our session showed us how we can be even more deaf aware within our work.

Signal's work is focused in Shropshire providing practical help and support to the 64,000 people in the county who are living with hearing loss, are profoundly Deaf British Sign Language Users and those with tinnitus. To find out more, visit their website:

Below is a photo of Energize’s Chief Executive, Chris, wearing his deaf aware badge after our learning session.

Chris wearing deaf aware badge after our learning session delivered by Signal.