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Who We Are

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Diversity Living Services (DLS) aims to promote social and cultural integration, equality and diversity. We strive to eliminate discrimination towards asylum seekers, migrants, refugees and people from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities.

We aim to relieve poverty and prevent social exclusion by developing community level social development and advocacy on issues relating to socio-economic disadvantaged communities; in particular people with disability, women, children and other marginalized and vulnerable groups.

Our aims

We aim:

  • To work towards a cohesive, well integrated and inclusive society
  • To combat all forms of discrimination and inequality in accessing essential services
  • To combat structural barriers to the integration of refugees, ethnic minority and migrant communities
  • To challenge the stereotypical perceptions of refugees, ethnic minority and migrant communities which hamper their full participation in society
  • To develop and provide further services to meet the needs of refugees, black and ethnic minority communities, especially those who are hard to reach
  • To ensure refugees and ethnic minority communities’ issues and concerns are given a high profile within all sectors
  • To influence mainstream services on how to meet the needs of refugees, black and ethnic minority communities
  • To implement community activities in the most deprived parts of the UK where most members of ethnic minority communities live
  • To facilitate refugee and minority ethnic communities’ access to essential services including training and employment opportunities.

Our values and principles

  • We work for and with the disadvantaged to improve their lives and achieve their full potential.
  • We share our learning and field-based experience through education, training and communication.
  • We join with partners in the voluntary sector to promote and achieve equity, justice and inclusion for all.
  • We go to the people, learn from them, plan with them, work with them, start with what they know and build on what they have.
  • We reframe practice to focus on the strengths, aspirations and ambitions of minority ethnic and refugee families.
  • We intend to influence future policy and guidance in relation to the needs and aspirations of ethnic minority and refugees communities.
  • Actively involve service users in all aspects of our work
  • Demonstrate openness, accountability, and professionalism
  • Operate in a simple and transparent way
  • Undertake research and critical analysis to inform and add value to our work
  • Raise awareness of the needs and aspirations of our targeted group
  • Achieve real excellence for ourselves and our customers.

Our vision:

  • To become a leading organisation that facilitates, advances and supports the full economic, social and cultural integration of refugee and minority ethnic communities
  • To become a leading organisation that advocates and lobbies on their behalf so that their problems are understood and action is taken to address these
  • To narrow the gap between neglected and socially excluded people and the rest of society.

Our approaches:

  • Assessing the needs of individual clients and families
  • Dialogue and consultations with mainstream service providers on how to meet the requirements of asylum seekers, refugees and ethnic minority communities
  • Working with, and on behalf of, communities who define themselves as ethnic minorities
  • Promoting networking and mutual support among refugee and minority groups and organisations, where possible
  • Serving as a help point for refugee and ethnic minority groups and organisations to discuss local needs as well as encouraging co-operation
  • Conducting research into the needs of specific communities and barriers to integration
  • Ensuring black and ethnic minority people have access to information services
  • Ensuring mainstream services are more relevant to the circumstances of people from minority ethnic communities
  • Seeking out those who are most in need of help – not waiting for them to come
  • Linking and networking with pertinent agencies and organizations
  • Serving as a connection between our clients and relevant agencies and services
  • Combining direct client servicing with action research, advocacy and lobbying
  • Providing an access point that enables our target groups to find solutions to their problems and needs
  • Assessing and reviewing continuously the needs of our target groups.

Our Key Priorities

  • Providing advice, guidance, signposting and information to refugees and asylum seekers and BME communities to enable them to effectively integrate into society and to access services and opportunities
  • Raising awareness amongst refugees and asylum seekers and disadvantaged people from BME about available services and how services can be accessed
  • Facilitating and supporting the participation of refugees and BME communities in local activities for leisure, learning, volunteering and decision-making processes
  • Organising public awareness on issues relevant to social integration, equality and inclusion
  • Representing our service users in decision-making and consultations arrangements to ensure they reflect the make-up of local communities
  • Organising access to appropriate training (e.g. ESOL and employability skills) and other community learning opportunities that contribute to providing new skills, increasing confidence and motivation
  • Supporting refugees and people from BME communities to overcome barriers to learning, employment and training
  • Assisting children and young people in overcoming any barriers they may face by offering information, advice, advocacy and practical support by brokering access to services that individuals might need including leisure and sports facilities
  • Providing advocacy for – and support to – young people with their education, training, employment and social needs
  • Promoting and encouraging young people to develop their creativity and confidence, technical and performance skills
  • Act as a facilitator to promote self-help in the community.