Welcome to Josh White as our Inclusivity Coordinator
At our committee meeting in October 2023, we discussed ways the CNCC could support and promote greater inclusivity, both within our organisation, and northern caving more widely.
This was partially prompted by feedback that some of the information on our website, particularly some of the text aimed at those who are relatively new to caving, was challenging to interpret by those who are not already familiar with the caving world, are neurodivergent or have a learning disability.
A few months earlier, we sponsored our new Youth Development representative, Aila, to attend an inclusivity workshop run by the Bendrigg Trust, to gain knowledge in how she could support inclusivity into youth caving.
We also acknowledged at our October meeting the distinct lack of diversity within the room, trending towards middle-age (an arguably generous statement), male and white, an imbalance that has been a challenge to address in many organisations and sports, not just caving.
We’re delighted to welcome all volunteers, but the risk of having a less diverse team is a lack of awareness of the challenges a more diverse population might experience.
We agreed that it would be beneficial to bring someone on board with experience in this area, to help us to understand what more we could be doing to make our resources more accessible to all, and to support greater inclusivity in caving. This could be through more careful choice of language, clearer information or specific services.
At our January meeting, we were delighted to welcome on board Josh White as our new Inclusivity Coordinator.
Josh is well positioned to take on this role. His day job is as a tutor at a residential activity centre which aims to get disabled or disadvantaged people into the outdoors. He is also a former BCA Youth Development Officer.
We have no idea, at this stage, what is going to evolve from this role. This is new territory for us, but we look forward to seeing what comes, and we hope this will be a useful learning experience.
Josh has decided as his first step in the role to develop a team of volunteers to broaden the range of input, skills and experience. If you are interested and feel like there is something you can bring to the table, or if there is something that’s been bugging you from an inclusivity standpoint, please reach out to him at email@example.com
This comes at a time when CNCC is active on social media, has about 660 mailing list subscribers, and our web resources such as cave descriptions, new to caving and training information, are accessed by thousands of people each month. Anything we can do to make that content more inclusive and accessible, can only be a good thing.