In a spectacular evening of culture, diversity, and recognition, Cardiff’s City Hall played host to the Cultural Competence Certification Scheme Awards, celebrating the achievements of organisations that have committed to improving their services through the Diverse Cymru Cultural Competence Certification Scheme. With 150 guests in attendance, the event was nothing short of a triumph, a testament to the importance of fostering inclusive and culturally sensitive environments.

The event was compèred by Diverse Cymru’s CEO Chris Dunn, Suzanne Duval Cultural Competence Scheme Manager and Dr. Charles Willie; the founder of Diverse Cymru. Their commitment to promoting diversity and cultural competence has been instrumental in creating a more inclusive Wales.

Guests were treated to a three course meal and entertainment was provided by the enchanting Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir, whose harmonious melodies filled the hall with an ethereal ambiance. Hubert Placide (Wahda) of DUO-FLEX Sounds of Steel played throughout the evening, bringing the spirit of the Caribbean to the heart of Cardiff with authentic steel band music. The audience was transported to distant shores as the music transcended boundaries, reinforcing the theme of the evening.

The event’s guest speakers were no less impressive, with the Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister of Wales, and Jane Hutt MS, Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip, sharing their insights and expressing their unwavering support for the cause of cultural competence and its importance to the Anti-Racist Wales action plan. We also heard from speakers Professor Emmanuel Ogbonna and Vaughan Gething MS.

Awards were presented to 20 organisations and were presented by Oliver John from the Royal College of Psychiatrists Wales, Councillor Bablin Molik, The Rt Hon Lord Mayor of Cardiff, and Dr. Gaynor Legall, Chair of The Heritage & Cultural Exchange (HCE). Each award served as a symbol of recognition for the organisations that have embraced and implemented culturally competent practises, and are committing to the process of continual improvement in this area.

We’d like to thank all who attended the event and made it a success, and offer our congratulations to the organisations who are participating in the scheme and received their awards.

Here are some quotes from the evening…

“The Diverse Cymru Certification Scheme remains a key element of our work to deliver an Anti-racist Wales.”

“The Anti-racist Wales Action Plan makes a specific commitment to improving cultural competency and improving access to services and support in Wales for the Black Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, on our journey to becoming an Anti–Racist nation by 2030.

“Our Anti-racist Wales Action Plan shows Welsh Government’s commitment to tackling this long-term systemic and structural racism.

“We are working towards a Wales where the voices and lived experiences of our Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic communities are not only seen and heard, but also acted upon.”

“Our Anti-racist Wales Action Plan offers us all an incredible opportunity to commit to and lead the systemic shift we need to see in to eradicate health inequalities in Wales.

Racism has no place in Wales, and the Plan sets out our collective responsibility to be the change we want to see – within Health and Social Care, and a range of other policy areas.

I look forward to continuing to work together as we deliver the tangible actions in the Plan to create an anti-racist nation by 2030.”

Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister of Wales

“Many congratulations to all those who are receiving their very well-deserved certificates today. Diverse Cymru’s mission is to eliminate discrimination and inequality, and this aligns closely with the Welsh Government’s commitment to create an Anti-racist Wales by 2030 through our Anti-racist Wales Action Plan. And I am pleased that we are able to fund the Certification Scheme to show our commitment to Cultural Competency.

Our plan which was launched on the 7th of June is built on the values of Anti-racism and calls for zero tolerance of all racial inequality. The plan identifies a vision and values for an Anti-racist Wales with goals, actions, timelines, and tangible outcomes which will help us move from rhetoric on racial equality to ensure we deliver meaningful action. Work is already underway to achieve this, and Diverse Cymru’s Cultural Competence Scheme plays a vital part in helping this work by meeting the goals of our Anti-racist Wales Action Plan.”

Jane Hutt MS, Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip

“…the Cultural Competency training that we are running through [the Anti-racist Wales Action Plan], through Diverse Cymru, is very important. Because what it does is it forces people and organisations to scrutinise their behaviours, to scrutinise their policies, their processes, and procedures to identify the sources that may appear ok to everyday life, but in reality, may have aspects that discriminate racially against people and such discrimination may have consequences that may be profound to the individuals concerned. And this is why it is very important to support this work.

“The organisations that have completed this training which are being honoured today, deserve our gratitude. You have become exemplars of the change that we are trying to encourage as part of the Anti-racist Wales Action Plan, and I congratulate you today on your award.”

Professor Emmanuel Ogbonna, Professor of Management and Organisation, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Co Chair, External Accountability Group, Anti-racist Wales Action Plan

“Diverse Cymru’s Cultural Competence Certification Scheme is proud to be a pillar in the Wales Anti-racist Action Plan providing participants with key information to create a better understanding of unconscious bias and cultural competence and the impact these issues can have on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people, not only to the services they provide but also how they treat and interact with their diverse staff.”

Suzanne Duval BEM, Cultural Competence Certification Scheme Manager at Diverse Cymru

“Congratulations to all those who received their awards. As many of our awardees have highlighted, Diverse Cymru’s Cultural Competence Certification Scheme works with you, not telling you how to run your organisation but offering ideas, sharing best practice, and discussing solutions to the inequities face by many Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community across Wales. Each awardee should be proud of their commitment to creating a culturally competent organisations and taking meaningful steps in the journey working toward an anti-racist Wales.”

Chris Dunn, Chief Executive Officer at Diverse Cymru

List of Award Winners:

Gold Award
The University of Kent – Student Support Services
Tenovus – Head Office and Shops
Public Health Wales – People and Organisational Development Department
Adferiad Recovery – Swansea Head Office

Silver Plus Award
Wales Millennium Centre – Senior Management Team
SCVS – Swansea County Voluntary Service
New Horizons Mental Health
NHS Wales – National Collaborative Commissioning Unit
Mental Health Matters Wales
Interlink Rhondda Cynon Taf
Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) – People, Workforce and Organisational Development Leadership
Glamorgan Cricket
Cricket Wales
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – Therapeutic Support Service, Mental Health and Learning Disability Division

Silver Award
Wye Gymnastics & Galaxy Cheerleading
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council – Community Safety Department
BAVO – Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations

Bronze Award
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board – South Wales Interpersonal Psychotherapy Training Centre

Ruby Award
Cardiff and the Vale Regional Partnership Board – Dementia Learning and Development Team
Adferiad Recovery – Colwyn Bay Head Office

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors…

Event sponsors: Adferiad Recovery and NHS Wales and Health Education Improvement Wales (HEIW)

Feature sponsors: Mind Cymru and Royal College of Midwives

Category sponsors: NHS Wales – Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board and Platfform

Thanks also to all businesses who contributed to our raffle which raised over £600 for the “Christmas for Care Homes” project  who distribute hundreds of presents to older people in Cardiff.