Liberate

1 July 2018

The final orders have been passed by the States of Jersey today that mean that from 1 July 2018 Jersey’s new marriage law is in effect.

Broadly, this means that –

  • same sex couples can get married;
  • transgender people can get married as their recognised gender without the need for a Gender Recognition Certificate (there is no ‘spousal veto’ in Jersey’s law);
  • all couples may choose the location of their marriage and ask to have it approved, meaning couples may marry in their home or garden, on a beach or headland, or almost anywhere that has significance for them; and,
  • recognised religious organisations have to opt-in to perform marriages (and associated services) for LGBT+ couples (meaning that clergy are not placed in the position of having to marry LGBT+ couples where their religious beliefs and/or religious organisation forbid it).

There are very few religious organisations that have opted-in so far. For same sex couples or couples where one partner is transgender and who would like a Christian service/blessing for their marriage, we advise speaking to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), the United Reformed Church or the Methodist Church (although Methodist ministers cannot marry LGBT+ people in Methodist churches, many are prepared to do a blessing for the marriage away from church premises).

Alternatively, if you are looking for a marriage service without religious content, that can be spiritual and tailored to you, the Channel Islands Humanists would be happy to hear from LGBT+ couples.

There is still work to do to address amendments to the law that were not covered in the first wave of drafting around certain Church of England property anomalies, surrogacy, civil partnerships and adultery/divorce. Liberate will be keeping an eye on these issues over the coming months.

We will also be supportive of any moves by religious organisations to opt-in to performing LGBT+ marriages. We hope that those LGBT+ activists working inside religious organisations will see their allies grow, and soon their particular religious organisation will opt-in to performing what is, in essence, a celebration of the love and commitment by one person to another for the rest of their life.

It has been four years of campaining, consulting, educating, debating and legislating, some false starts and some delays, but you can now get out your hats and enjoy a 2018 summer marriage season in Jersey that is now, truly, open to all!

First charities to be awarded a DIFERA+ grant announced

Liberate is pleased to announce the first charities to take advantage of the DIFERA+ Pay It Forward Grant Scheme are Beresford Street Kitchen and Citizens Advice.

The ‘DIFERA+ Pay It Forward’ grant scheme was suggested by Standard Bank, one of the first DIFERA accredited organisations in the Channel Islands. The scheme enables DIFERA accredited companies to ‘pay it forward’ by sponsoring a charity to participate in the scheme. The initiative was launched at Liberate’s CI Equality and Diversity Awards in March this year and charities were invited to submit an application.

The grant scheme received eight excellent applications from a variety of charities working with a range of clients, some with fewer than 25 members of staff and some with close to 100. The judging panel, consisting of representatives from Liberate and Standard Bank, had a tough job selecting the two charities that were chosen to receive the grant.

The chosen charities were Beresford Street Kitchen and Citizens Advice. While Beresford Street Kitchen is a relatively new charity that provides quality training and employment for people with learning disabilities and autism through their Beresford Street cafe, Citizens Advice is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. They offer free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to all islanders facing problems. The two charities couldn’t be more different and yet they share a desire to be inclusive and to treat everyone with respect.

Tina Monro, Head of Human Capital, Standard Bank Wealth International which connects Africa to international markets, said: “Standard Bank is delighted to be supporting Beresford Street Kitchen and Citizens Advice to participate in the DIFERA accreditation scheme. The applications from both charities demonstrated the work that they are already undertaking in the six DIFERA areas and also an enthusiasm to go through the DIFERA process and gain the accreditation. We are delighted to be making this announcement on Africa Day”.

Vic Tanner Davy, CEO Liberate, said: “We are looking forward to working with Beresford Street Kitchen and Citizens Advice to share our view of the value in diversity and the importance of creating an accepting workplace with two organisations who are already well on the way to delivering those inclusive spaces where people can thrive and be their best.”

To find out more about the DIFERA scheme, please go to: https://liberate.je/difera/

Liberate’s 2018 election survey results are in

Liberate has asked all the 2018 election candidates, who were not elected unopposed, for their opinions on a number of issues related to diversity, equality and inclusion that affect minorities in Jersey. The results are now available online.

Vic Tanner Davy, CEO Liberate, said: “Liberate first surveyed the election candidates in 2014 and we had a good response then, so we thought we would repeat the exercise this year. We are delighted that 49 candidates took the time to reply and that a number of others were interested enough to take a look at the survey questions.”

The survey questions ranged from support for the living wage, to what to do about civil partnerships (now that equal marriage has been passed), to birth certificate registration for lesbian parents, to how to assist workers from abroad to integrate into Jersey life, to the addition of religion and philosophical belief as a protected characteristic to the discrimination legislation.

The questions that saw the greatest agreement by respondents were:

  • Would you support a change to individual personal taxation rather than the system at present of joint taxation of married couples and those in civil partnerships? (This would make no difference to the amount of income tax collected.) (93.62% of respondents said, yes)
  • Would you support the introduction of a system that allows a transgender individual to self-report their gender to the Royal Court in order to register their recognised gender legally (in much the same way that a change of name by deed poll is self-reported and passed through the Royal Court in order to register the change of name legally)? (92.11% of respondents said, yes)
  • Jersey Association of Carers estimates that one in seven people are currently fulfilling an unpaid caring role. Would you support a carers’ law (similar to the Care Act in the UK) that sets out carers’ legal rights to assessment and support, and values carers properly for the work they do and the financial burden they remove from government? (97.50% of respondents said, yes)
  • Evidence shows that the oldest members of society can gain significant physical, mental and emotional health benefits from being with the youngest members of society. Would you support a joined-up approach to day care provision for the over 65s and under 5s that created/enabled centres caring for both groups simultaneously? (95.00% of respondents said, yes)

The questions that split the candidates were the trickier problems of how to solve the gender pay gap and disability employment gap, which require multiple approaches to improve the situation, with candidates selecting several preferred approaches and suggesting many of their own.

Candidates were completely split on the question of adultery. When asked which options would have their support, respondents were equally divided between “removing adultery as grounds for divorce in a marriage altogether (the grounds could instead be given as unreasonable behaviour, or similar)” and “retaining adultery as grounds for divorce in a marriage and include it as a grounds for dissolving a civil partnership, but create a new legal definition of adultery that covers infidelity for all couples: same-sex or opposite-sex, married or civil partners (i.e. find a means to remove biological specifics of how adultery happens from law)”.

Vic Tanner Davy, CEO Liberate, said: “We hope that the addition of the survey results to the information that is already out there about candidates’ views will assist the electorate with their choice of candidate. Some of these issues have been touched on in candidates’ manifestoes, but the talk at the hustings has, unsurprisingly, not been about minority and inclusion issues. If you are someone from a minority and would like a candidate that will support your particular case then you need to know which candidates are likely to do that for you.”

To find out more and see the complete survey results, please visit www.liberate.je/election18

Election 2018 survey results

Liberate has asked all the 2018 election candidates, who were not elected unopposed, for their opinions on a number of issues related to diversity, equality and inclusion that affect minorities in Jersey. These are the full results that can be downloaded as pdfs.

Summary of responses

This is a summary of all responses given to the questions by the candidates. It does not include any comments that they might have added in response.

Key to individual responses

This shows who responded and which number answer they provided. It can be used in conjunction with the report below to see what your preferred candidate’s answers were to the questions. It is in order of position being sought and district.

Individual responses

The full unedited response provided by individual candidates to all the questions.

For more information about the candidates and the 2018 election, please go to vote.je

Deputies manifesto review

Having taken a look at the manifestos (as published on vote.je) of the candidates for Deputy in Jersey’s election, there were a few pledges that caught our attention as aligning with Liberate’s vision.

You can find out more about all the candidates and read their manifestos here.

Mary Ayling-Phillip (St Helier – District No. 3/4): “To challenge discrimination at all levels and create opportunities for everyone to reach their potential; I support the move to independent taxation, ending the need for a husband to sign off their wives’ tax information.”

Jamie Boylan (St Saviour – District No. 2): “The island now has a need for food banks and apps that allow people to collect food at the end of the day so families are fed. This can only be countered by better wages be it the minimum wage or the start of the living wage.”

Jacqui Carrel (St. Helier – District No. 3/4): “Help residents who are isolated through disability or language”

Linda Dodds (St Helier – District No. 2): “Equality in education”

Louise Doublet (St Saviour – District No. 2): “Equality – Improved parental leave, flexible working for both parents. I am currently undertaking work to establish the extent of the gender pay gap locally.”

Cloe Freeman (St Clement): “The demand for support of our ageing population and the rise of dementia place ever-growing pressure on mental health services. It is time for major adjustments both to funding and to the means by which we can deliver really effective care in the community.”

Inna Gardiner (St Helier – District No. 3/4):

“ – Equality of opportunity for all residents. I strongly believe that together we can make a difference in our community and economy by supporting every man and woman and enabling them to contribute to their potential. We are stronger together.

– Policies which create greater economic and political diversity.

– Social inclusion of immigrants who are already residents of Jersey – they should be seen as a resource and not a burden to help improve our economy and society.

– Help for parents return into work. I have many ideas, for example, to help “mompreneurs” – mothers who start their own small businesses.”

Kevin Lewis (St Saviour – District No. 2): “I have campaigned tirelessly with others for the introduction of an insurance scheme for people in later years, to ensure they won’t be forced to sell their homes, should one of the partners succumb to long term medical care.”

Judy Martin (St Helier – District No. 1): “Another Proposition of mine gave under 16s with severe disabilities their “care component” back through Social Security. This debate lead to an overall strategy for people with a disability in Jersey.”

Yann Mash (St Helier – District No. 1): “Vote to raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour by 2022 – our minimum wage is now lower then Guernsey and the UK while our cost of living is higher.”

Kevin Pamplin (St Saviour – District No. 1): “I believe we need to invest in the provision of 24-hour care for the elderly. Over the next decade we face a crisis dealing with dementia, which is predicted to be the 21st Century’s biggest killer. We need to refocus on the mental health front, not enough is being done to coordinate third sector provision to primary care.”

Susie Pinel (St Clement): “In my two terms I have:

–  fulfilled my previous election promise with the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Law along with discrimination laws on race, sex, and age. These laws bring benefit to our community and almost every Parishioner or family in Jersey.

– brought in the legislation positively extending maternity and paternity rights.”

Barry Shelton (St Helier – District No. 2): “I would also support 4 measures to help the lower paid and aged.

1   Abolition of GST on food.

2   Reduced doctors’ bills for the over seventies

3   Reintroduction of the Christmas bonus for all pensioners

4   2 year freeze on States/Andium rentals”

Monty Tadier (St Brelade – District No. 2): “Working with my three Reform Jersey colleagues, we have had many successes, including:

  • Preventing the abolition of the Pensioners’ Christmas Bonus for the poorest pensioners
  • Achieving free bus passes for disabled Islanders
  • Introducing an Ethical Care Charter for home care
  • Moving Jersey towards a voluntary living wage”

Graham Truscott (St Brelade – District No. 2): “We need to provide more dedicated nursing homes for dementia sufferers and additional respite facilities to support their carers.”

Sarah Westwater (St Lawrence): “There is no doubt that the States is unrepresentative of the Jersey electorate, with few women, young people, or minority groups. This sense of disconnection results in our low voter turnout, one of the very lowest in the world for any small jurisdiction.”

Senatorial manifesto review

Having taken a look at the manifestos (as published on vote.je) of the candidates for Senator in Jersey’s election, there were a few pledges that caught our attention as aligning with Liberate’s vision.

You can find out more about all the candidates and read their manifestos here.

Simon Bree: “The fact that we have a high degree of unseen poverty with its direct impact on children, and the increased use of food banks, is something that shames all of us. We have seen the economic divide between the “haves” and the “have nots” steadily increasing. I believe that we need to undertake a complete review of our personal income tax system, social security contributions, and current and potential user pays charges. It is wrong that the financial burden is being increasingly borne by middle and lower income families.”

Ian Gorst: “Improve the lives of Islanders by:… Lifting standards of living and promoting family friendly legislation to support working families…  Supporting vulnerable children and adults, the elderly and people with mental ill-health…  Eliminating discrimination in all its forms…  Giving legal recognition to carers…”

Anthony Lewis: “My commitment to you: Equality:

  • I will be a Champion in the States for equality in our society.
  • I want everyone, disabled and able bodied, treated the same. I feel a stigma. I want to remove the barriers in society. We need more support.
  • I want to see a Minister for Equality in the States.
  • I want to move mental health higher up the political agenda. More understanding and reduced stigma. One in four people have a mental health issue.”

Sam Mezec: “The work I am most proud of has been:

  • Championing Equal Marriage
  • Fast-tracking the timetable for raising the Minimum Wage”

Kristina Moore: “In placing our island community at the heart of my manifesto, I will work towards tackling some challenging issues, such as:

  • Reducing poverty in Jersey…
  • Championing the needs of our elders
  • Greater funding for Family Court & Mental Health provision…
  • Embracing diversity & cultural inclusion”

Moz Scott: “Improving co-ordination between the public, private and voluntary sectors to:

  • help those in need
  • reduce isolation amongst the elderly and improve all Islanders’ well-being
  • improve educational standards through early years education and parental support.”

Gordon George Troy: “I am passionate about helping the senior citizens in our society. The Jersey Pensioner has for a long time been politically overlooked, the pension scheme is meant to help people achieve and maintain financial independence. In my opinion it falls well short of this. One of my main political aims if elected will be to assist pensioners to get better Pension Benefits, better Health Care and better Housing designed to meet their needs.”

Be reasonable!

This week, the States of Jersey has, finally, voted to add disability to its list of characteristics protected under the Discrimination Law. The law will be in force on 1 September 2018. This is a long overdue and important piece of legislation that will protect some of the island’s most vulnerable residents and visitors.

The Jersey Disability Survey published in 2016 found that there are about 14,000 disabled people in Jersey, if you use the UK Equality Act definition of disability. This rises to about 33,000 if you use the social model of disability, which Jersey’s law does. According to the results, people most likely to be disabled in Jersey are:

  • older (especially 75 and over): For example, 13% of respondents aged 16-34 are disabled compared to 51% of respondents aged 85 and over;
  • on low incomes (especially below £25,000): For example, 35% of respondents on low income (household income under £15,000 per annum) have a disability compared with 9% of respondents with a household income of £75,000 or more per annum;
  • living in social housing: For example, 35% of respondents living in social housing have a disability compared with 16% of respondents that own or privately rent or 12% of respondents that live in non-qualified accommodation;
  • not in employment (or not actively engaged in education or as a homemaker): For example, 70% of unemployed respondents or those unable to work have a disability compared with 11% of employed/engaged respondents or 30% of retired respondents;
  • living alone: For example, 26% of respondents that live on their own have a disability compared with 15% of other respondents.

Instead of heralding the disability discrimination legislation as an important step forward in equality for disabled islanders that might enable them to get an interview for a job at the very least, the headline in the Jersey Evening Post today is: “Improving disabled access ‘could bankrupt small firms’”. This is sensationalist reporting that takes no account of what is actually written in the new law.

Under the new disability part of the Discrimination Law, businesses are going to be required to make reasonable adjustments to their provisions, criterions or practices (‘PCPs’) and/or their physical premises to remove a substantial disadvantage for a disabled employee or customer. The key word in all this is ‘reasonable’. Responding to the comments in the JEP, it is not reasonable to ask a small business to put in a lift in an old building that they tenant, and this is covered by the part of the law that says:

“In determining whether the person has taken reasonable steps to avoid the substantial disadvantage, matters to be taken into account may include –

(a) the extent to which –

(i) the likelihood of the substantial disadvantage was reasonably foreseeable, and
(ii) any steps which are, or would be if taken, proportionate to such degree of likelihood;

(b) the extent to which any steps are, or would be if taken, effective to prevent or remove the substantial disadvantage;
(c) the extent to which any steps are, or would be if taken, practical;
(d) the cost of any steps that have or might be taken;
(e) the extent of the financial, administrative and any other resources available to the person, including any provided by a third party, for the purpose of taking any steps; and
(f) characteristics of the person such as the nature of the person’s business, if any, and size.”

Reasonable adjustments can generally be made at little or no cost to the employer. Many adjustments will cost absolutely nothing to implement, such as allowing for flexible working, changes to the dress code or allowing someone to sit instead of stand (or vice versa). According to The Disability Rights Commission in the UK, the average cost of adjustments is just £75.

So, before we put up “closing down sale” notices in all the St Helier shop windows, please consider what the law is actually asking businesses to do.

Take an example: You own a small boutique in town in an old building with a narrow front entrance. Your margins are small, rent is high and you struggle to make any profit after paying yourself and your one member of staff. You do not have the resources to widen your doorway and put in a ramp for wheelchair users.

One day, you see a wheelchair user looking at your window display. They see something they like, wheel to your front door and attempt to come in, but cannot do so. What would be a reasonable course of action in this case? Make a big show of calling your architect and builder to widen the doorway? Of course not.

The reasonable action is for either you or your member of staff to approach the wheelchair user, ask them what item they were interested in and take the item to them to look at. This is simply good customer service. You are considering the particular needs of that customer and responding to them. You could go further and offer to deliver a selection of similar items to the disabled person’s home so they could try them on and choose one. The result of this personal service is that you are likely to get repeat business and great references.

And how much did that reasonable adjustment cost you? Nothing – just a little bit of time and effort.

The following day, a person with autism walks into your shop, purchases an item and walks out again. Remember: not all disabilities are visible or require lifts, ramps, hoists etc! The majority of disabilities that you will encounter in your workplace will not be because a person is using a wheelchair.

Reasonable adjustments require us to all think about how we can resolve the barrier being put in front of the disabled person. We may need to ask the disabled person to help us adjust, we may need to be creative, we may need to ask an expert, but it is not difficult to adjust if we empathise with the disabled person and ask ourselves what would I like someone to do for me in the same situation?

So, let’s celebrate the fact that Jersey has done the right thing by its disabled islanders, and remember that we will all grow old and, one day, we might find ourselves disabled and need someone to make a reasonable adjustment for us.

Standard Bank Wealth International announces DIFERA+ “Pay it Forward”

Standard Bank Wealth International, the Channel Islands first DIFERA accredited bank, announced a new charity initiative at the Channel Islands Equality and Diversity Awards ceremony on Friday 16 March 2018.

Standard Bank Wealth International are offering to ‘pay it forward’ by sponsoring two Jersey charities to join the DIFERA scheme and get their DIFERA accreditation.

Charities are invited to apply using the DIFERA+ application form here. The closing date for entries is 14 April 2018.

The winning charities will be selected by a panel composed of Liberate and two representatives from Standard Bank Wealth International. To be announced on 25 May 2018.

Interested charities can find out more about the DIFERA scheme here or by emailing paddy@liberate.je

2018 Liberate Channel Islands Equality and Diversity Awards winners

The 2018 Liberate Channel Islands Equality and Diversity Awards winners represent a cross-section of Channel Islands organisations and the variety of work being carried in this field.

Vic Tanner Davy, CEO Liberate, said: “The winners are organisations of different sizes, working in different industries, supporting different minorities and in different Bailiwicks. Appropriately, our winners are as diverse as the groups they are helping.”

The awards are hosted by Liberate, but judged by an independent diversity panel.

The 2018 award winners were:

Best Small to Medium Employer (up to 80 employees) (as nominated by their employee(s)) – BCR Law – the first DIFERA accredited law firm in the Channel Islands, the judging panel were impressed by their early adoption of DIFERA and their involvement with the ‘Every Child Our Future’ scheme;

Best Medium to Large Employer (more than 80 employees) (as nominated by their employee(s)) – Deloitte – the judging panel were moved by the personal stories of two employees who had been supported by Deloitte’s inclusion initiatives for Muslim employees and women;

Best Service Provider (as nominated by themselves or the general public) – The Channel Islands Co-Operative Society – the CI Co-Op’s autism hour is not related to the core business of the CI Co-Op, but is a genuine attempt to include an excluded minority in a day-to-day activity. As such, the judging panel felt that it was exactly the sort of initiative that the awards were set up to encourage;

Best Educational Initiative (as nominated by themselves or the general public) – Guernsey College of Further Education – the depth and variety of educational activities undertaken by the college to promote inclusion across the campus impressed the judging panel (award being collected by Hugo Forrester of Liberate Guernsey);

Best Not-for-Profit Support Initiative (as nominated by themselves or the general public) – Helping Wings Jersey – the time and effort taken by this small charity to get the permission necessary to install a hand control in their aircraft so people with lower limb disability can experience flying made the judges’ decision in this category.

Vic Tanner Davy said: “Again, the judging panel had a difficult task and almost all the categories came down to a split decision. The quality of work being undertaken across the islands is outstanding and Liberate are pleased to provide the platform on which to celebrate it.”

Two awards that are in the gift of Liberate were presented, too. The Liberate Special Award was given to the States of Guernsey, Alderney and Jersey in recognition of their work in introducing same-sex marriage legislation to the Channel Islands. The Liberate Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Margaret McDonaugh MBE in recognition of her service to youth theatre projects in Guernsey (award being collected by  Deputy Emilie Yerby of States of Guernsey).

For many years, Margaret taught drama in Guernsey Schools. She started the Guernsey Youth Theatre in about 1977 – as a by-word for inclusion. She continues to gather in youngsters of all abilities to her workshops, productions, summer schools and theatre trips – all to promote, foster and facilitate drama and theatre for young people and the wider community. Margaret was made an MBE in 2006 for services to youth theatre.

The awards ceremony will be held in Guernsey in 2019.

To find out more about the awards, please visit www.liberate.je/awards

CI Equality & Diversity Awards 2018

Since we last gathered for the awards, Liberate has launched its DIFERA accreditation scheme for organisations across the islands to show that they are diverse, inclusive, fair, equal, respectful and accepting places to work. The response to the scheme has been very positive with five Jersey and two Guernsey organisations now accredited, some of whom were represented at the awards night, and a number of other organisations in line for this year and next.

The Channel Islands first accredited bank, Standard Bank, attended the awards ceremony. Liberate has been working with Standard Bank for a few months now and in our discussions about how organisations can do more with the DIFERA accreditation, Standard Bank came up with a great idea that we are calling DIFERA+ Pay it Forward. You can read more about it here. We were delighted that Standard Bank chose to launch DIFERA+ at the awards night.

At the heart of DIFERA is the message that diversity makes groups and organisations stronger. With the implementation of Brexit, it is predicted that the islands’ populations will become more diverse as people come to the islands to work from further afield than the EU.

In what is an election year for Jersey, it is vitally important that we have politicians who understand what it means to be from a minority group in society and who remember to think about the few when putting in place policies for the many. Youth parliaments show the kind of creative thinking that happens when you ask a different group of people the big questions.

This year, a very – by his own admission – different candidate will be attempting to become a States of Jersey Senator – Anthony Lewis, our keynote speaker at the 2018 awards evening. At the time of the awards evening, both Bailiwicks had yet to pass anti-discrimination legislation to protect disabled islanders. Jersey has now done this with an addition to the Discrimination Law coming into force on 1 September 2018. Ant’s speech was, therefore, very timely as we consider the way in which we select our politicians. Does it need some reasonable adjustments to level the playing field not just for those with aphasia, but for others who may suffer from conditions that mean a gruelling physical schedule of pounding the streets with leaflets and doing the rounds of the polling stations is beyond their ability?

If we want to encourage more diverse voices in our States that reflect the diversity of these islands, we need to ask how we enable those with caring responsibilities, those for whom English is a second language and those who do not have the disposable income to run a political campaign to stand successfully. At the moment, the system favours – well, you can see who the system favours.

Ant’s speech got a standing ovation at the awards and we wish him every success in his bid to become a Senator.

The evening opened with a preview of the Jersey Green Room Club’s production of “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” and closed with Laydee and the Amp taking to the stage.

We owe a huge debt of thanks to Channel Television, especially to Karen Rankine, Hannah Bechelet and Lydia Hamilton who agreed to allow us to use their already formed Diversity Panel as our judging panel for the awards. Thank you also to panel members who gave their time to read the nominations and make the very difficult decision as to who should receive the award in each category. The judging was incredibly tight and it came down to one or two tiny factors in determining the winners.

The Liberate Committees of Guernsey and Jersey would like to thank the Pomme d’Or for their support and sponsorship. We would like to thank our main sponsors, Lloyds Bank and Citi – we really could not have done this without you. We would like to thank those who nominated organisations and those who were nominees – the awards are all about the amazing work you are doing.

Awards presented

Best Small to Medium Employer (up to 80 employees) (as nominated by their employee(s)) – BCR Law – the first DIFERA accredited law firm in the Channel Islands, the judging panel were impressed by their early adoption of DIFERA and their involvement with the ‘Every Child Our Future’ scheme;

Best Medium to Large Employer (more than 80 employees) (as nominated by their employee(s)) – Deloitte – the judging panel were moved by the personal stories of two employees who had been supported by Deloitte’s inclusion initiatives for Muslim employees and women;

Best Service Provider (as nominated by themselves or the general public) – The Channel Islands Co-Operative Society – the CI Co-Op’s autism hour is not related to the core business of the CI Co-Op, but is a genuine attempt to include an excluded minority in a day-to-day activity. As such, the judging panel felt that it was exactly the sort of initiative that the awards were set up to encourage;

Best Educational Initiative (as nominated by themselves or the general public) – Guernsey College of Further Education – the depth and variety of educational activities undertaken by the college to promote inclusion across the campus impressed the judging panel (award being collected by Hugo Forrester of Liberate Guernsey);

Best Not-for-Profit Support Initiative (as nominated by themselves or the general public) – Helping Wings Jersey – the time and effort taken by this small charity to get the permission necessary to install a hand control in their aircraft so people with lower limb disability can experience flying made the judges’ decision in this category.

Two awards that are in the gift of Liberate were presented, too. The Liberate Special Award was given to the States of Guernsey, Alderney and Jersey in recognition of their work in introducing same-sex marriage legislation to the Channel Islands. The Liberate Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Margaret McDonaugh MBE in recognition of her service to youth theatre projects in Guernsey (award being collected by  Deputy Emilie Yerby of States of Guernsey).

For many years, Margaret taught drama in Guernsey Schools. She started the Guernsey Youth Theatre in about 1977 – as a by-word for inclusion. She continues to gather in youngsters of all abilities to her workshops, productions, summer schools and theatre trips – all to promote, foster and facilitate drama and theatre for young people and the wider community. Margaret was made an MBE in 2006 for services to youth theatre.

The awards ceremony will be held in Guernsey in 2019.

To find out more about the awards, please visit www.liberate.je/awards