Representation and diversity

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It is important to ensure that your group is as representative of the local community as possible and is not captured by particular interests or groups. Try to involve a mix of different ages and genders and people from different neighbourhoods and cultural and professional backgrounds. This will help to ensure different interests are accounted for, different needs are met, and in turn that support for your project is maximised.

Targeting underrepresented groups. It is not always easy to involve those who are less represented if they are disengaged and harder to reach. One option is to try to personally invite people from underrepresented groups to become involved or to advertise for roles across a wide range of outlets which will reach a variety of different groups.

Group structure and elected members. A group made up of elected individuals will help to ensure that those running the project better represent members’ interests. How representative this outcome is depends on how representative your membership is of the wider community, but it is a step in the right direction. Building representation into your group structure, by requiring the group to include a certain proportions of individuals from different interest groups, for example, will also help.

Offer diverse roles. Having a diverse range of different roles available makes it more likely that a more diverse range of people will be interested in getting involved. See the Roles and responsibilities suggestions for ideas.

Case Studies
Country: UK

Stroudco Food Hub is controlled by a voluntary management group elected from its members. The management group is designed to ensure it is representative of both its consumer and producer members, aiming for a mix of roughly 50% consumer members and 50% producer members.