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Be The Change

Be the Change: How to tackle racial inequalities in health and care charities, looks back over three years of National Voices’ work on this issue and draws together the collective insights of our members, captured through roundtables.

  • Health inequalities
  • Lived experience

The need for effective action  

National Voices is committed to tackling racial inequalities – in healthcare, health status, within our own organisations and across the charity sector. We continue to read unacceptable statistics, like black women are four times more likely to die around pregnancy than white women, and black babies are almost three times more likely to die than white babies. The need for effective action could not be stronger. 

Our inclusion plan

That is why, a few years ago, we created an inclusion action plan to do our bit to try to narrow the gaps in racial inequalities by driving improvements in our recruitment practices, organisational culture, influencing activities and work with people with lived experience. 

A key part of that plan was convening our members to learn from each other, so we organised a series of four, members-only roundtables for focused, pragmatic and open discussion in the following areas: 

  • How to effectively diversify Boards of Trustees and staff teams 
  • How to establish and maintain inclusive organisational cultures 
  • How best to work with people with diverse lived experience in insight and influencing activities 
  • How to ensure inclusive service delivery 

The key recommendations 

The report highlights the main learnings in each of these areas and draws out general advice from all these conversations. We have collated this advice into four key recommendations:  

  • Remember why diversity and inclusion are vital 
  • Identify the strengths of your organisation and what needs improvement 
  • Remember that change will not happen overnight, but you need to start somewhere 
  • Keep practising co-production – it’s the key to meaningful change 

Moving forward and taking action 

This report is by no means a comprehensive guide to tackling racism within either the health or voluntary sectors but we hope it provides ideas for what you could do, alongside practical tools to take action. 

Please do read and share this report with your colleagues, teams and organisations, and further afield within the charity and health sectors. Our hope is that if we work together to pool our resources and talent, we can turn help the tide on racial inequalities in both the health and voluntary sectors.  


We would like to thank those National Voices’ members who participated in our ‘Be the Change’ roundtables, sharing their valuable insights with us, and especially those who led and facilitated these important but difficult discussions.  

The roundtables were funded by Pfizer UK. Pfizer has had no oversight of the roundtables or editorial input into the report.