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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Services

Great Places is proud of the increasingly diverse communities in which we work, and is committed to doing all we can to promote equality, diversity and inclusion in all our services.

At Great Places we value the fact that our customers are all individuals. It is important for us to understand our customers to make sure that we can shape our services to meet each individual customer’s needs.

We know that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to shaping our services and we aim to ensure that everyone gets the support they need.

Inclusive Services Team

The Inclusive Services Team (IST) has been formed to help us better understand our customers’ individual needs, and to help us identify opportunities to improve our services as a result.

The team is actively contacting customers, initially asking questions linked to our ‘You Share, We Shape’ campaign, and gathering key information about everybody living in our homes, to understand where customers may have certain support needs either for themselves or for those living with them.

We have Specialists in place who are skilled with handling sensitive information and can offer support either through tailored services directly from Great Places, or by signposting to relevant services that may be able to support further. Calls with the team take around 10 minutes on the phone, however customers can also complete the initial questionnaire themselves within the MyPlace portal, which may lead to a follow up call from one of the team.

If customers tell us about disabilities or ill-health conditions, we will contact them again to check in within six months. For customers with accessibility needs surrounding communication preferences, we will reach out again within 12 months. For any customers who have no specific needs, we will contact them again within two years.

If our Inclusive Services Team contacts you, please share your information if you’re happy to do so. This will allow us to properly understand your circumstances so that we can make sure you get the right support from us as your landlord.

You Share, We Shape

We’d like you to share your information with us to help us provide services and support that matter to you.

The information that you share with us will be kept confidential and only used to help us provide services and support tailored specifically for you, this is called customer profiling.

When speaking with our colleagues either over the phone or face-to-face you may be asked for information such as your race and ethnicity, religion and belief, carers, LGBT+, disability, gender, customers and age.

The information that you share with us will also help to create valuable customer communities.

Share your information

How we will use your information

Great Places will only collect and process this data where we have a legitimate and lawful purpose to do so. You can find out more about how we protect and use your data in our Privacy Policy including how to request information on the data we hold, or how to update or remove information you have provided us.

This will be held on our records until you advise us it needs to change. We will contact you every few years to ensure that we have the correct information for you, but it’s really easy for you to update your information within the MyPlace customer portal.

Every customer counts – get involved

We believe it is your right to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect regardless of gender, disability, ethnicity, religion and belief, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, age, or pregnancy or maternity, marriage and civil partnerships.

Our Everyone Customer Counts Diversity network gives customers the opportunity to share views and help us improve our inclusive services. Get involved by contacting us at: EDI@greatplaces.org.uk.

Translations and interpretations

Being able to communicate is something many of us take for granted; speaking and understanding, reading and writing are skills that most of us use every day. However, for some of our customers, there may be barriers in doing this. Interpretation (the act of explaining something to someone in their first language) and translation (the process of translating words or text from one language into another) can help to overcome such barriers.

Our colleagues are committed to understanding the needs of all our customers, and work to recognise any such communication barriers, so that we can support customers to access our services effectively. As part of our customer profiling we collect information about ethnicity, preferred language and communication methods to help tailor our services for each customer.

Personal interpretations

If your first language is not English, and you require support in person or virtually, we can arrange for a professional interpreter. If you would prefer to have a family member, friend or an advocate to interpret on your behalf, this may be possible, however in some circumstances this may not be appropriate and a professional interpreter may be required. We will provide professional interpreters and signers where needed, especially when dealing with sensitive and confidential issues such as legal matters, rent arrears, eviction, domestic violence, anti-social behaviour or harassment. When responding to interpreting and translation requests, we will consider personal preferences and will aim to provide female interpreters where required.

You can email us at translations@greatplaces.org.uk or call our contact centre to request any of our translations and interpretation services.

Written translations

We can provide translations for key documents, such as tenancy agreements, rent statements and legal documents upon request. If you prefer digital contact, you can communicate with us using your preferred language, via email or web chat and we will use translation services to understand and respond to you. Our website also provides the option to translate content via the ‘select language’ option shown in the blue header below the menu bar on all pages.

You can email us at translations@greatplaces.org.uk or call our contact centre to request any of our translations and interpretation services.

Visually Accessible Communication

If you require information in embossed print, such as Braille or Moon, we can arrange for this to be sent to you, either as a specific request, or as our standard way of communicating with you. Alternatively, you may prefer all communication to be sent digitally to enable read aloud functionality to be used, just let us know if this is better for you. If you need to contact us you can do so over the phone, but we can also support via email or web chat where you are already using dictation software.

You can email us at translations@greatplaces.org.uk or call our contact centre to request any of our translations and interpretation services.

Auditory Accessible Communication

Digital services such as text talk, email and the website including webchat and the customer portal will help to support you to access information or support without the need to verbally communicate with our colleagues over the phone. Where you do need support communicating face to face with any of our colleagues, we can provide BSL signers either in person or virtually via a Microsoft Teams meeting.

You can email us at translations@greatplaces.org.uk or call our contact centre to request any of our translations and interpretation services.

Ensuring accessible services

To help us to ensure equality of access and service provision for all our customers, Great Places makes the following commitments –

  • We will capture and maintain up-to-date communication needs and customer preferences at sign-up, and also as and when customers inform us of any changes to these.
  • We will use plain English in all our communications, clearly explaining any technical terms and avoiding the use of jargon.
  • We will utilise various partner organisations to provide skills and support to assist us to communicate with customers.
  • We will work with local colleges, community organisations and partners to help promote ‘English as a second/other language’ training in our areas and support our non-English speaking customers to access these courses.

Aids and adaptations

If you or someone living with you has a disability or is struggling to live independently, we may be able to help you adapt your home to make everyday tasks easier.

Aids and adaptations
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