Posted: Tue 11th Jun 2024

Welsh Ambulance Service wins award for tackling workplace discrimination initiative for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

The Welsh Ambulance Service has received a prestigious award for its efforts to tackle discrimination in the workplace.

The Trust has won a HPMA Cymru Award 2024 for its Bystander to Upstander initiative, which was designed not only to raise awareness among staff of equality, diversity, and inclusion but give them practical tools to challenge discrimination and inappropriate behaviours.

It is one of several initiatives and changes introduced by the organisation in the last couple of years to promote a culture of inclusion.

Paola Spiteri, the Trust’s Retention Lead, said: “When people are at their lowest ebb, we are the people to whom they turn, so we expect the highest professional standards of everyone in our organisation.

“Thankfully, the majority of our hard-working people uphold our values and behaviours, but there is always more we can do to promote an inclusive organisational culture, and this initiative is a symbol of our commitment to do just that.

“By equipping staff not only with knowledge but the practical skills to safely intervene in a problematic situation, we’re transforming from passive bystanders to pro-active upstanders.”

Over 200 staff across Wales have completed active bystander training since May 2023.

Ninety per cent of colleagues who completed the full-day training programme said they had learned from the session, while 93 per cent said they would apply the learning often.

Angela Lewis, Director of People and Culture, said: “We do not tolerate inappropriate or discriminatory behaviour, bullying or harassment of any kind, but saying this is simply not enough, which is why we are taking full ownership of the problem and approaching our culture change very differently.

“We are so grateful to colleagues who have found the strength and courage to speak up as we navigate these issues together and continue to listen.

“Creating a diverse and culturally aware workforce that demonstrates respect, empathy and understanding for others is a priority.

“And when everyone can bring their whole self to work, it helps us to deliver the best possible service to the people of Wales.”

You can read more about the Welsh Ambulance Service’s ambition to create a more inclusive working environment in its newly-published Strategic Equality Plan, here.

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