Scottish Fire and Rescue Service sign visible differences charity’s ‘Pledge To Be Seen’

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The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is proud to announce it has signed up for Pledge To Be Seen,’ a campaign run by visible difference and disfigurement charity Changing Faces.

DACE Farquharson holding Changing Faces pledgeBeing the first UK fire service to partner with the charity, it means the SFRS will work to increase the representation of people with a visible difference in recruitment campaigns  and strive to be an inclusive workplace. Scotland’s national fire and rescue service will commit to promote change and ensure more people with a visible difference feel seen, heard, and included.

Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Bruce Farquharson signed the pledge on behalf of the SFRS, in his role as Disability Champion.

He said: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service actively promotes diversity. A diverse workforce allows us to bring talent and strengths from all parts of our community regardless of background.

“No one should be judged on how suitable they are for a job based upon what they look like, and I am proud as the SFRS Disability Champion that we are committing to the Changing Faces ‘Pledge To Be Seen campaign. Signing up to this pledge will better equip our employees to engage with people with visible differences, improve understanding and remove bias in the workplace so that we are seen as an employer of choice.

“We aim to be inclusive, and people-centred. By removing barriers and recognising the value and importance of a diverse workplace, we can achieve that aim.”

The UK’s leading charity for people with a scar, mark, or condition on their face or body, Changing Faces launched the ‘Pledge To Be Seen’ campaign to actively promote diversity in the workplace.

Research commissioned by Changing Faces shows that 1 in 5 people in Scotland identify as having a visible difference. Facial disfigurements can result from birth, from scars or burns caused by fire, as a result of a medical condition.

54% of people with a visible difference feel ignored by organisations and institutions, and over a quarter of those people have been victims of a hate crime. 70% of victims don’t report the crime which means that the scale of the problem may be much bigger than we imagine.

Angela Harris, Head of Devolved Nations, Changing Faces, said: “We’re delighted that Scottish Fire and Rescue has committed to being a Pledge to be Seen organisation. We’re looking forward to working together so the team at SFRS can learn more about the experience of living life with a visible difference or disfigurement.

“We know seeing yourself represented can have a positive impact. That’s why part of the Pledge To Be Seen commitment is to agree to feature more people with visible differences in external communications, like public information campaigns and job adverts. As an inclusive employer, it makes sense that the SFRS is joining a growing movement of organisations that have backed our Pledge To Be Seen campaign. We look forward to more Scottish organisations and businesses following their lead.”

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