Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

The Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN):

  • recognises, respects and values diversity in our membership;
  • accepts that in society certain groups or individuals are denied equality for reasons of age, disability, gender, gender identity, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and social class;
  • welcomes the statutory requirements laid down in the Equality Act 2010;
  • recognises that we have moral and social responsibilities that go beyond the provisions of the above-mentioned Act, and that it needs to support and contribute to the wider process of change through all aspects of its work and practices in order to eliminate discrimination and promote equality and diversity;
  • is committed to taking positive steps to ensure that:
    • all people are treated with dignity and respect, valuing the diversity of all;
    • equality of opportunity and diversity is promoted;
    • activities and services are accessible, appropriate and delivered fairly;
    • traditionally disadvantaged groups within the voluntary sector research community are encouraged to participate in all aspects of VSSN including in the governance of the organisation.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy Procedures

This policy applies to all our paid workers, volunteers, trustees (Steering Group members), members/users and the general public.


Equality and diversity are central to the work of Voluntary Sector Studies Network. We will:

  • treat all people with dignity and respect, valuing the diversity of all in our work;
  • promote equality of opportunity and diversity;
  • work to tackle social exclusion, inequality, discrimination, and disadvantage.

For this policy to be successful, it is essential that everyone is committed to and involved in its delivery. The VSSN aims to embed its commitment to equality and diversity in all its policies, procedures, day-to-day practices, and external relationships.


The VSSN aims to:

  • provide activities and services that are accessible and inclusive;
  • promote equality of opportunity and diversity in all aspects of our work;
  • create effective partnerships with all sectors of our community.


We will work to meet its aims by:

  • sustaining, regularly evaluating and continually improving its activities and services to ensure equality and diversity principles and best practice are embedded in our performance;
  • working together with the voluntary sector research community to provide accessible and relevant activities and services that respond to members’ needs;
  • recognising and valuing the differences and individual contribution that all people make to the organisation;
  • challenging discrimination;
  • providing fair resource allocation;
  • being accountable and transparent.


Responsibility for Implementation

This policy covers the behaviour of all people involved in the organisation or participating in its activities and sets out the way they can expect to be treated in turn by the organisation. The overall responsibility for ensuring adherence to and implementation of this policy lies with the Executive Officer and the Steering Group members.

Method of Implementation and Action Plan

We intend to implement this policy by:

  • ensuring that Steering Group members, are made aware, understand, and are willing to uphold, this policy, and make this a condition of standing for election;
  • provide relevant training;
  • monitoring the activities, services, publicity and events we provide, to ensure that they are accessible as possible to all and do not discriminate, taking steps to ensure that participation is inclusive;
  • actively reaching out to marginalised communities in the promotion of VSSN activities and opportunities;
  • reviewing our EDI-related actions annually, update our action plans, and report back to the membership through the Annual Report;
  • other initiatives agreed by the Steering Group.