British Heart Foundation launches EDI strategy to ‘ignite change’

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has launched a new equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strategy with the aim of "igniting change".

The EDI strategy, which details the BHF’s plans up to 2025, articulates charity’s commitment to ensure equality and diversity runs through every area of its work.

The strategy focuses on "igniting change" by:

- Creating an environment where everyone at the BHF can succeed, regardless of their background.
- Speaking out about heart health inequalities to influence change that ensures nobody receives poorer care because of who they are, or where they live.
- Striving for a more representative and inclusive cardiovascular research community, and by being more inclusive in how research funding decisions are made.

The strategy was created in consultation with a wide group of BHF colleagues, including its Kaleidoscope group, which oversees diversity and inclusion within the charity, and engagement with representatives from its medical research community, patients and supporters.

Charmaine Griffiths, chief executive of the BHF, said: “The BHF has been tackling inequalities for over six decades but today for the first time we publish our EDI strategy to ignite change, not just for our organisation but for the 7.6 million people living with heart and circulatory diseases across the UK.

“People are at the heart of everything we do, whether that is our staff, volunteers, supporters, patients or researchers, and I’m proud our people are at the heart of our strategy - both in its development and in the vision of the world we want to live in.

“By bringing together our first BHF roadmap for equality, diversity and inclusion, we hope to provide clarity on what we want to achieve, how we will measure progress and how we can hold ourselves and others to account.

“We have built a strong foundation, but we know there is still so much more to do. Now, the real work begins as we turn words on a page into action.”

The strategy sets out seven long-term objectives for accelerating change over the next three years and includes:
- Achieving fair progression opportunities for every colleague at the BHF
- Increasing the diversity of the BHF’s trustees, committee members and colleagues
- Embedding an open and inclusive culture at the BHF
- Encouraging inclusivity in how research funding decisions are made, and how BHF funded research is designed
- Achieving a more representative and inclusive cardiovascular research community
- Continuously monitoring and highlighting cardiovascular inequalities to drive and influence change
- Engaging and involving people in ways that are inclusive, relevant, and accessible

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