“I’ve been reflecting on the news over the last couple of weeks following the tragic death of George Floyd and the events around the world and in the UK that followed.  In doing that I have been helped enormously by listening and talking to black people about the anger and frustration they feel about the discrimination they face every day of their lives. 

I’m sure many of you, as I do, feel angry and deeply saddened that so many people still experience racism and other forms of discrimination on a daily basis.  I recognise that as a white, middle class heterosexual man I can’t understand what it feels like for people who face this. 

CHS is an anti-racist organisation and I have always been proud of our zero-tolerance approach to racism against staff, residents and our communities.  We are also very aware of the inequalities that some people face that restrict people’s life chances and we devote significant resources to supporting people counter these whatever they are.  This has always been a big part of our work.

But and it is a big but, I’m clear that we can, should and will do more. 

I want our Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic staff, residents and communities to know that we in CHS stand together against racism.  We can all make a commitment, and I make it personally now, to challenge racism in the workplace just as readily as we challenge unsafe behaviour.

I want people to know and feel that CHS is a safe space in which they can express their feelings and views.  So lets reach out to our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic friends and colleagues and ask how they are feeling and what we can do to support them.  We should all be able to express our individual feelings about discrimination; there is not a black or a white view.

We need to do better to ensure we understand the lived experience of BAME people in this country.

There are big and difficult questions that CHS as an organisation will ask itself.  We don’t have all the answers, but we must make finding them a priority and we will.”

Nigel Howlett – Chief Executive CHS Group