Diversity and inclusion2022-03-30T09:40:27+00:00

Diversity and inclusion

The countryside should be an open and welcoming place where no one is disadvantaged, regardless of background.

Rural communities can be imagined as overwhelmingly white and populated by people who are often older and asset rich. But beneath the surface, the countryside is home to a mix of people, of various backgrounds and of different life circumstances.

The difficulty with this popular perception is that it can accentuate feelings of isolation, or worse still, experiences of exclusion or discrimination by minority groups and individuals – often on top of other challenges associated with living in more remote parts of England.

Combating this narrative and actively creating opportunities for everyone to participate in rural life is essential for making sure the countryside is more inclusive.

ACRE Network members strive to improve conditions for everyone in the countryside. Whilst much of their time is spent responding to requests for support from community groups that request it, they also deliver proactive projects and campaigns promoting greater diversity and inclusion in rural areas. This includes campaigns raising awareness of diversity in the countryside as well as more targeted support for those at risk of disadvantage – from supporting dementia groups to language connect schemes, linking non-native English speakers with volunteers.

ACRE is also working with network members to develop new projects and programmes that give voice to those who often go unheard, promote mutual understanding and respect between people, and tackling systemic issues that hinder diversity and inclusion such as access to affordable homes and access to a range of employment opportunities.

We believe that Government has a leadership role in driving out unequal treatment towards anyone from a minority community who experiences long term and systematic discrimination within the UK.

We ask Government to help rural communities achieve this by:

  • Putting in place a campaign to actively retain/create a diverse rural population with opportunities for young people and other parts of the wider community who are under-represented in rural communities. This should especially focus on new industries related to the achievement of carbon net-zero and the foundation economy of rural areas.

ACRE Member Case Study – Yeovil Together, Somerset

Take a look at the first Yeovil Together community event. An initiative supported by the Community Council for Somerset which is run by the ethnic diverse community groups in Yeovil who bring the whole community together to enable intercultural dialogue

Publications and resources