Make-A-Wish UK

Embedding diversity and inclusivity at Make-A-Wish UK to help reach every child, regardless of their background, and diverse talent to help achieve the mission

Make-A-Wish UK is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to grant life-changing wishes for children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. From meeting their favorite celebrity, to being a zookeeper for the day, Make-A-Wish UK’s inspirational work has made over 15,000 wishes come true for critically ill children in the UK since 1986.

Diversity audit

With an increasing focus on diversity and inclusion and embedding EDI into everything they do, Make-A-Wish UK engaged with EW Group in Autumn 2020 to conduct a diversity audit to gain insights into their current levels of diversity and inclusion. They knew that in order to reach every child, they needed to start with internal aspect of the EDI work.

EW Group Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, Victoria Dale, conducted a desk review of Make-A-Wish UK people policies and processes, and worked closely in collaboration with the team to facilitate focus groups with colleagues and volunteers. These conversations were designed to encourage discussion and participants to share their personal experiences and views in a safe space. From these findings, Victoria’s comprehensive report identified Make-A-Wish’s strengths and areas for improvement, providing a roadmap of actions to be taken to create a more inclusive culture.

Victoria helped create an open and honest atmosphere where all people  felt comfortable sharing their views and experiences. The team really enjoyed the process and learning opportunity, and the report provided us with practical recommendations we could take.

Joanna Sopylo-Firrisa, Organizational Development Lead at Make-A-Wish UK

EDI training program

Following the audit, the Make-A-Wish UK team proactively took a number of recommended actions including undertaking an EDI training program. Delivered between May and December 2021, EW’s experts hosted interactive virtual training courses for the board members and senior leadership team, extended leadership team, and all employees.

A great informative session. Look forward to all colleagues accessing this training so we can work together on the EDI principles

Course delegate

With engaging exercises and break-out groups, the sessions focused on sharing practical applications of EDI principles and weaving EDI into every part of the organization. EW Group’s bespoke approach to Make-A-Wish’s requirements resulted in a unique program tailored to their individual needs.

Diversity and inclusion is directly linked to our mission at Make-A-Wish UK. It is crucial that we recruit diverse talent and nurture an inclusive culture to help us reach children from the communities we are currently not reaching to. The work EW Group has conducted has been eye-opening and broadened my understanding of EDI. The training was a useful reminder of unconscious bias and of the importance of recognizing your assumptions and active listening.

Joanna Sopylo-Firrisa, Organizational Development Lead at Make-A-Wish UK

Embedding diversity and inclusion into organizational culture

In addition to the training delivered, EW Group reviewed Make-A-Wish UK’s job descriptions and adverts for inclusivity and prepared templates for both to use in the future.  best practice guide to use for future recruitment drives.

Looking forwards to the coming year, Make-A-Wish is working to develop partnerships in local communities and are currently in the process of setting up an EDI & Communities Committee which will lead on forging meaningful community partnerships, DE&I initiatives and embedding inclusivity throughout the organization.

Our vision is to grant a wish for every child with a critical illness. We can only achieve this if children from all communities have equal access to a wish. This is not currently the case. The audit and training carried out by EW Group has provided us with a foundation to embed EDI principles across all that we do. This is an essential step forward towards the achievement of our vision.

Jason Suckley, CEO of Make-A-Wish UK

It was an absolute pleasure working with Make-A-Wish UK to help them identify areas for improvement, highlight where the organization is already making progress and support them to make further strides in their journey through facilitating discussions with the Extended Leadership Team who came up with some really tangible actions and raising awareness and understanding of EDI at Make-A-Wish through the all-employee sessions.

Victoria Dale, EW Group Facilitator

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