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Equality North East



Again the standard was extremely high.
Thank you to all those who entered and congratulations to the finalists and winners: -

Award for Employers of Between 51 and 250 Staff


The Judges observed excellent all round practices including working with prisoners - an initiative which helped productivity “shoot through the roof”. Traidcraft also demonstrated outstanding policies, training and support for staff.

Award for Employers of Up To 50 Staff


GVOC is a Voluntary and Community Centre Infrastructure Organisation. GVOC take equal opportunites seriously and put it at the very heart of everything they do from policy development to service provision, monitoring, training - they do it all!

Award for Learning Providers of Up To 50 Staff

ETEC (Sunderland) Limited

This organisation recognises that at the end of the day it is about the learner but they understand that in order to get that right they need to make sure that staff are treated equally and fairly and allowed to reach their full potential so that they in turn can help others. In addition, ETEC put inclusion and diversity right at the heart of their mission – and build their learning provision around that.”

Award for Learning Providers and Colleges of Over 50 Staff

Bishop Auckland College

The judges were impressed with the innovative and comprehensive range of measures to engage and support a diverse workforce, student body, and their local community. Through a dedicated community team, they have engaged hard to reach adults, young people and families in a range of settings including village halls, doctors’ surgeries, and Sure Start Centres.”

Award for Larger Organisations That Have Made an Outstanding Contribution in Promoting Equality and Diversity in the Community


The ASPIRE Grants programme, the Construction Challenge, the Bridge Project and the Positive Action Days – just a few of the many initiatives carried out by GENTOO in order to achieve their aim of having a positive effect on the way people and communities live. What particularly impressed the judges was the work carried out on a continuing basis to make sure what they did addressed the needs in the community .

The TUC ~ unionlearn Award

Northumbria University UCU Branch

UCU’s Northumbria University Branch has introduced and is delivering an exciting, innovative and highly motivated model focussing specifically on the equalities agenda for the benefit of their members, the workplace and the students. This nomination showcases the kind of integrated equalities practices that unions, employers and individuals should sit up and take notice of - the very reason we want to promote this award.

Individuals Who Have Made a Difference

Tom Keogan ~ NRASS

18 months ago Tom was approached to take over the North Regional Association for Sensory Support - NRASS - an organisation that works to increase the participation of people who are deaf, hearing impaired or deaf ~blind.
Funding was running out, they were about to go to the wall and to put it simply, he turned it round. Although he was officially retired Tom successfully obtained the funding that would keep the organisation going. He also realised that if the organisation was to continue on the road to success it would need the proper policies and procedures that would give the staff the structure to go forward. Whilst doing all of this he continued to carry out his work supporting prisoners who are deaf.

The ‘Innovative Working Practices’ Award

North East Chamber of Commerce

As an SME the NECC demonstrates some innovative working practices comparative to larger organisations and has a comprehensive approach to flexible hours and flexibility of location. Utilising the internet has meant that many staff can now work from home. This is as many as 50% in their international office. They have found that these new policies have given flexibility in recruitment and led to excellent retention.

The ‘Work~Life Balance’ Achievement Award

Carol Barwick Associates Limited

With a staff of 8 CBA deliver training designed to enhance motivation and skills. There are no barriers in CBA in fact a member of staff described the company as quote ‘the most forward thinking and understanding employer that it has been my pleasure to work with’. Certainly the lengths that CBA has gone to in order to support the diverse needs of the staff is commendable.
The benefits to the company are 100% staff retention, loyalty and need we say it - increased business!

Outstanding Practice

Tyneside Cyrenians

Tyneside Cyrenians provides vital housing support for homeless people. They don’t have to give them employment but they do. They take innovative and positive action by employing previously homeless people many of whom have offending backgrounds and are recovering drug and alcohol users. Currently 33% of their work force (35 people) is made up of previously homeless people. Not an easy task but guess what - it has a positive effect on the service they offer and therefore the business.