Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is pleased to announce that it has achieved Level Three ‘Leader’ status in the Disability Confident scheme.
In becoming a Disability Confident Leader, the Service joins approximately 360 other organisations who have achieved this level, of over 20,000 organisations who have signed up to the scheme. This achievement is testament to the work of colleagues across all areas of the Service to ensure that it is fair and inclusive for all colleagues and members of the local community.
The accreditation involved the submission of evidence of the Service’s disability inclusion work, and was validated by Leonard Cheshire, an existing Disability Confident Leader organisation. The Service became a member of the Disability Confident scheme in 2018, before becoming a Disability Confident Employer, the second level of the scheme, in 2019.
In order to become a Disability Confident Leader, organisations must demonstrate how they are a leading organisation regarding disability inclusion, as well as committing to reporting on disability, mental health and wellbeing. Over the past few years, we have undertaken a number of activities to demonstrate our commitment to the scheme, including our involvement with Leonard Cheshire’s Change100 scheme, the first fire and rescue service to join. We have also engaged with other organisations as well as regional and national networks to share learning about disability inclusion, and have reviewed many of our organisational policies and processes to ensure that they are as inclusive as possible.
Diane Lightfoot, CEO of the Business Disability Forum, said: “We are delighted that our Member, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, has achieved “Leader” status in the Disability Confident Scheme. Reaching this level – the highest Disability Confident award – is testimony to the hard work of many colleagues across the Service and their commitment to getting it right for disabled people. My congratulations to all involved in this great achievement and we look forward to continuing to support you on your Disability Smart journey.”
Councillor Colin Dudley, Chairman of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, said: “I’m delighted that the Service has been awarded the status of Disability Confident Leader. This affirms the Fire Authority’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion within the Service and the communities of Royal Berkshire, and forms one part of our ongoing work to ensure that the Service is representative and inclusive of everyone in Royal Berkshire.”
Nikki Richards, Deputy Chief Executive, said: “We’re proud to have achieved the Disability Confident Leader accreditation in recognition of our work to make our Service inclusive for disabled people. This forms part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring a fair and accessible Service for all our teams and our communities, and we look forward to continuing to ensure that we are inclusive of everyone.”
To find out more about the Service’s commitment to equality diversity and inclusion, please visit rbfrs.co.uk/equalitydiversityinclusion.