At FOCUS, we consider diversityinclusion and a sense of belonging for all stakeholders as integral to achieving a fairer space, where all can thrive. Exploring the way we recognise, approach and deal with issues of oppression has been an exciting journey.

In 2020, we formed an Anti-Oppressive Practice group to help us review, challenge and change, if necessary, the way we work. In January 2024, this group met with our staff and trustees to decide on our Diversity and Inclusion Goals – which we discussed in our last bulletin.

One goal identified was to provide more accessible services. We have since built new links with different organisations across the city, improving collaboration with diverse communities. One example is Leicester’s Haymarket Shopping Centre. FOCUS has been able to deliver community project events and volunteer training in units made available by the Haymarket. Thus, we have reached young people and the public where they are most-often located and spend their time.

Some of the successful and well-attended events we have held at the Haymarket have been Halloween, Festive FOCUS (during the winter holidays), and the ‘Only Fool and FOCUS’ show as part of Leicester’s annual Comedy Festival.

By working together with new people and organisations, FOCUS is adapting. FOCUS is becoming more visible, and accessible to more people where they spend their time. We aim to be a place where a genuine sense of inclusion and belonging for all those connected can be achieved.