A brewery, a bakery and university were among the latest 18 organisations to receive the ‘Gloucestershire Inclusive Employer Award’ at a celebration of inclusivity and diversity at Stroud Brewery yesterday.

Each employer was recognised for embracing and creating a culture where diverse groups of people feel valued, confident and able to be themselves, and have seen incredible benefits as individuals contribute their very best to the organisation.

The awards were hosted by Inclusivity Works, launched by the GEM Project, aims to inspire more employers to work in partnership with the campaign and through the support on offer, take advantage of fantastic, talented and motivated potential employees who may not have previously been considered.

Bringing your whole self to work

Colin Beard, Managing Director at Prosperity Care and Wellbeing said: “We at Prosperity Care and Wellbeing are delighted to receive an award which recognises our commitment to promoting inclusivity within the workplace.

Our company tagline is #creatingchampions and this can only be achieved by encouraging people to bring their whole selves into the workplace. We believe a diverse culture provides diversity of thought, enabling us to unlock the potential of all employees and drive a positive change in the care sector.”

Prosperity Care and Wellbeing receiving their Gloucestershire Inclusive Employer Award

Hosts of the event Stroud Brewery also received an award.  Managing Director Greg Pilley said: “It was fantastic to receive an Inclusive Employer Award.  As a team we are very supportive of our colleagues, which for many is their first place of work.

The award ceremony was a lovely showcase of enterprises embracing a culture of care and kindness, celebrating diversity and the contribution we all bring to the workplace. For us success is creating a great place to work.”

The Inclusivity Works event was held at Stroud Brewery

What you can do, not what you can’t

The event also saw a panel discussion hosted by GEM participant Karen Bucknall, a cancer survivor with a brain tumour who campaigns for greater awareness around hidden disabilities.

Karen interviewed representatives from Gloucestershire employers, GFirst LEP and Gloucestershire County Council, as well as another previous participant James, who found employment at Specsavers through the project five years ago and said employment had changed his life.

Panel discussion hosted by GEM Project participant Karen Bucknall

It’s a business imperative

Since 2017 the GEM Project, managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council and funded by the European Social Fund and National Lottery Community Fund, have been working to support individuals in overcoming barriers preventing them from gaining education, training or work.  In October 2022 they launched their Inclusivity Works campaign aimed at employers.  Its ambition is to make the county a beacon for inclusivity in the UK.

Jason Dunsford, Project Manager for the GEM Project said: “Inclusivity Works was created by employers telling us how great for business this was, not just a nice extra. This business imperative is even more stark in today’s labour market. There are a number of things that can be done to “grow the pie”, to improve productivity, but one thing that is essential is including our whole community in the economy, breaking down the barriers to employment and utilising those strengths and skills. So if the altruistic argument doesn’t win you over, the pragmatic argument should.”

Jason Dunsford, Head of Employment and Skills at Gloucestershire Gateway Trust

The 18 latest Gloucestershire Inclusive Employers

  • Hobbs House Bakery
  • Prosperity Care and Wellbeing
  • Kingfisher Treasure Seekers
  • Commercial
  • Young Gloucestershire
  • Cirencester Town Council
  • Creative Sustainability CIC
  • Gloucestershire Constabulary
  • Royal Agricultural University
  • Gloucester City Homes
  • ExtraCare Charitable Trust
  • Gloucestershire Youth Support Team
  • Forest Voluntary Action Forum
  • Stroud District Council
  • Create Gloucestershire.
  • Gloucestershire Gateway Trust
  • G4S
  • Stroud Brewery
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