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Supporting Diversity and Inclusion

The Communities of Greater Manchester are diverse, if we are to create equal involvement opportunities for all we need understand the values and needs of these communities and create better ways of enabling their voices to be heard.


In our sessions on diversity and inclusion, we heard some inspirational talks on how our community leaders and community groups from diverse backgrounds are working with research teams to improve access and inclusion.


Key learning from the sessions:

  • Building relationships and trust is more important than ever. 
  • Respecting the value of community champions and their trusted links to their communities will pay dividends. The cultural insights and knowledge that community champions bring enables far more depth and understanding and more honesty from participants. The subtly in the meanings of what participants shared and could not share is also better understood.   These trusted links are built up over many years and should be truly valued for the impact they can bring to successful inclusion.
  • There are thousands of voluntary organisations in Greater Manchester to link in with, but many are small teams with no communication support. There is mutual value to be gained in linking voluntary groups with each other and with larger organisations
  • Some communities feel voiceless and don’t see themselves as having a seat at the table. We need to change this and tell people they have a voice.  
  • Intersectionality is a key concept. nobody is one thing, we need to understand the many layers of our communities and the people within in them
  • Communities aren’t hard to reach we have poorly designed approaches. Explaining the purpose and process for involvement in a way that resonates with the culture and values of different communities is essential.
  • A hybrid approach to future involvement activities is needed to be truly inclusive. On the one hand moving things on line during the pandemic opened up opportunities for some, but closed them down for others
  • Creating a safe environment to raise concerns and being prepared to listen and address these concerns is key to improving things in the future  
  • 1 in 5 people will have communication disabilities at some point in their life and improving access means being open to all methods of communication. Give it time, ask how to makes things better for that person, be prepared to listen and keep trying if the approach chosen isn’t work

Presentations from the Diversity and Inclusion sessions

Public Involvement work on the Experiences of Black and Ethnic Minority women using maternity services and having a baby during the COVID-19 pandemic

Isabel Adeyemi, NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre & Nasrine Akhtar, CEO of Awakening Minds 


Wai Yin Society’s work and experience in supporting and empowering ethnic minority groups

Yen Siang Tan, CEO of Wai Yin Society

Talking about my Generation – telling the story of the Keeping Well at Home Campaign

Jane McDermott and the Greater Manchester Older People’s Network

Co-creating an inclusive research online training package for researchers and public contributors

Bella Starling (Director of Vocal,

How to support those living with communication disability and their immediate family and care givers.

Julie Marshall (Manchester Metropolitan University)