Be the change you want to see: the Black and Ethnic Minority Members (B&EMM) School was held this year from October 27-29 at Wortley Hall near Sheffield. In this report the founder member says the need is greater than ever for equality and diversity issues to be robustly addressed for the betterment of the Service.(Learning & Development)

ONE OF THE BEST KEPT SECRETS within the UK Fire and Rescue Service over the last ten years has been the fact that the Black and Ethnic Minority Members (B&EMM) of the Fire Brigades Union hold an annual school for its members.

The school is essentially a trade union based event but quite heavily incorporates socio/economic concerns from both a global and national perspective.

In the past special guests to the school have included: Sir Graham Meldrum, Bob Purkiss, (ex Senior Commissioner CRE) and Gerald Simon (a black chief officer from the USA). Invitations are also extended to a limited number of equality advisors and relevant community engagement officers from fire and rescue services around the country.

The theme of this year's school was 'Be the change you want to see'. In planning the event it was felt that the delegates had to experience a journey over the course of the weekend concluding with a target to achieve in the coming year. This target would be devised by the delegates themselves according to their own personal requirements with a reminder to be sent out to them from the B&EMM National Committee in six months time of their commitment.

Packed Audience

The school commenced on the October 27 to an almost packed audience, despite a number of potential delegates unable to be released from duty due to staffing levels. …

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