A message from our CEO Diana Jupp
In the last few weeks, following the horrific death of George Floyd and the subsequent anger, shock and protests we have both experienced, and witnessed, the staff and trustee team here at Pancreatic Cancer UK have taken the time to reflect on the stark inequalities that persist and pervade in our society. We have challenged ourselves to look at our work and our charity to understand what we need to change and what our role is in making our society a better place for all, and in particular for everyone affected by pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic Cancer UK’s vision is that everyone with pancreatic cancer lives long and well. And yet there are unacceptable known health inequalities that exist for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities when it comes to cancer treatment and care. This is alongside the systemic inequality and racism that impacts the lives of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues, families and friends on a daily basis. I know we have not done enough to help address or highlight this unacceptable truth and I want us at Pancreatic Cancer UK to change and do more.
We’ve reflected on the situation - where we’re at as an organisation, and where we need to get to, and we’re taking action to get there. This is both a personal commitment and an organisational commitment that all staff and trustees are signing up to.
So what are we going to do?
We have already begun to challenge ourselves in how we can make Pancreatic Cancer UK better, more inclusive, and ensure that all voices and experiences are heard, listened to and embraced. The more diverse our organisation, the more effective it is in making the greatest difference and having the most impact in society.
In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, there are four key areas in which we know we can do better, and we will commit to making change:
Breaking down barriers, building inclusive services: We are committed to improving our connections to diverse networks, developing partnerships with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups and organisations, and building trust with these communities. We will identify groups who are under-represented in using our services, and we will conduct outreach work and listen to experiences, so that we can understand - and remove - the barriers to accessing our services.
Using our position to influence: We will use the platform and privilege we have as a national charity to proactively and collectively influence, lobby and campaign for improvements in health policy and practice for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. We have already begun to analyse the health outcomes data that exists for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic pancreatic cancer patients and have concluded that there is not a sufficient quality or quantity of data to reach definitive conclusions about the incidence, diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer by ethnicity in the UK. We will work hard to improve that. Working with partners in the cancer charity sector, we will also ensure we do not take a blanket approach to inequalities but instead are focused on specific populations and their needs.
Amplifying our diverse voices: We will also use the platform and privilege we have as a national charity to amplify Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic voices within the pancreatic cancer community. We will magnify stories, experiences and opinions, on our social media channels, website, literature and other platforms, and we will show our community that Pancreatic Cancer UK is here for everyone affected by pancreatic cancer.
Putting equality, diversity and inclusion right at the heart of Pancreatic Cancer UK: We will become a more diverse and inclusive organisation across all our structures and work - from our governance, our volunteering programmes, our supporter care and fundraising work to our staffing structures. We have established a Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Group - with the emphasis on ACTION. We are now working on an action plan to address and prevent inequalities across our charity and our work that we will be held accountable to. We will listen to, and act upon, the experiences of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues, and we will empower our staff to broaden their knowledge, learn and understanding of structural inequality through shared resources, hearing from people with lived experience and active learning.
These commitments are here for everyone to hold Pancreatic Cancer UK to account. We want to be transparent and open in our work, collaborating and working with partners to build a better and more inclusive charity for all. We will embed these commitments in our own personal objectives and the accountability and reporting mechanisms for our Board of Trustees.
This is only the start of our conversation - not the end. We have a long way to go, and the change we need will not happen overnight. It is clear that we have not done enough in the past, and I am truly sorry. But, I promise you that we will do better, and together we will build a better future for all and especially for people affected by pancreatic cancer.
Diana Jupp, CEO at Pancreatic Cancer UK