Barnardo’s calls for more diversity in charity sector


91 per cent of the charity sector’s workforce is white in the UK
91 per cent of the charity sector’s workforce is white in the UK

A LEADING children’s charity in the UK has called for more diversity in the charity sector and has urged people from BAME communities to apply for jobs in charities.

Barnardo’s, the UK’s largest children’s charity, stressed the need for more diversity, pointing out that a majority of the charity sector’s workforce is white. Statistics shows that 91 per cent of the charity sector’s workforce is white in the UK .

At Barnardo’s, more than 80 per cent employees are white and around 20 per cent of the people it supports are BAME. The organisation is working towards increasing the number of BAME people it employs. It also has an emerging leaders programme aimed at increasing diversity at manager level and above.

Barnardo’s CEO Javed Khan said: “The UK is increasingly diverse, and the children we support have changed over the last 153 years, with one in five now from BAME backgrounds. It’s time the sector reflects that diversity from the inside out so it can provide better support to the people it serves.

“Barnardo’s has a long and proud history of helping vulnerable children, regardless of their ethnicity or other factors. We strive to ensure equality, diversity and inclusion runs through everything we do. But while 10 per cent of our paid employees are from BAME backgrounds, the number drops to around five per cent when it comes to our volunteers.

“We want to change this by encouraging more people from Black and other ethnic minority communities to consider charities like ours when applying for jobs or voluntary placements, not just in frontline services, but across a range of disciplines.”

Khan made these comments at an event to mark Black History Month at the University of Westminster on Thursday. At the event, Barnardo’s showcased archive photographs of Black children supported by the charity more than 100 years ago.

Guests included DJ Pandora Christie, Barnardo’s vice-presidents Floella Benjamin OBE, Bruce Oldfield, reverend Joel Edwards, actor Kate Holderness, Radio One’s Adele Roberts and singer Heather Small.