HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network

About HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network

HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network is a network of voluntary and community sector organisations across London working for equality, rights and social justice and against discrimination. We are currently funded by City Bridge Trust, Trust for London and the National Lottery.

Under our Bridging Divides funding we work to ensure that specialist equality and human rights groups, particularly the smaller and user led ones, and the Londoners they work with, can connect and work together across London and across equality specialisms. With our members we work to make equality issues central in local and regional decision making, and to raise awareness and work more closely with universities, think tanks, professional bodies and business. This funding also supports our core activities as a network: regular bulletins and information provision, knowledge sharing, signposting, website and networking.

The Trust for London project funds our Policy and Campaigns work, which supports organisations to campaign together on equality and rights issues of joint importance. Currently campaigns are focused around support for Deaf and disabled refugees and asylum seekers, hate crime, mental health equality, LGBTQI+ diversity and Digital Exclusion. We lead for Disabled customers on the National Asylum Stakeholder Forum Equality Sub-Group, who work alongside the Home Office to ensure the rights of asylum seekers are protected, and facilitate Charities Challenging Hate Crime, the London pan equality hate crime network.

In the NetEquality project, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund Reaching Communities, through the Cornerstone Fund, dozens of smaller user-led and ‘grass roots’ equality groups and equality partners in London are working together. Over an initial two years, to mid 2021, we will design, test and pilot exciting new ways to use networking and online tools to strengthen our connections and quickly and easily share information and knowledge. We will be exploring ways to join up our voices for solidarity and influence and for more coordinated, effective campaigning to fight discrimination and improve equality in London. Through Stronger Together, funded by Awards for All, we provide activities and support for individual campaigners and those in the smaller, user-led and grass roots groups.

Find us online

Visit our website at http://www.HEARequality.org.uk/

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Latest posts

Digital Exclusion: another type of virus! case study from People First

HEAR’s 7th Digital Exclusion case study comes from People First:Digital Exclusion: another type of virus!

By People First

People First is a national user led self-advocacy organisation working with people with learning difficulties and their self-advocacy groups. Recognising the additional barriers and risks people with learning difficulties face during the pandemic People First quickly mobilised their Supporting Each Other Equals Power (SEOEP) service to find out how best to communicate, supported individuals connect, get online to join meetings, activities and attend appointments. They trained people with learning difficulties to facilitate online meetings. This peer support helped people who would have otherwise been socially isolated, provided safe online space for people to share concerns, information and ideas. It was also an opportunity to discuss the coronavirus guidance, which many people found confusing. You can listen to People First Director Andrew Lee talk about the group here.


Commissioners and providers to fund digital support for social inclusion activities…

Government and local authority to have the expertise in place to produce accessible public health guidance for all at the point of publication.

A national funded programme of digital inclusion and digital skills development…

Resource self-advocacy groups to provide the support necessary to ensure people are digitally connected…

Ensure there are alternative routes for people to access support and services and stay connected to their communities.

Establish Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) relations with tech companies to increase access to internet and devices.

Accessibility standards for websites to be better promoted and enforced under the Equality Act and Human Rights Act”

Catch up on all case studies so far here

Wed 23 Sept 2pm - Experts in access - digital mapping and networking expenses reimbursed!

Experts in access - digital mapping and networking focus group

Wednesday 23rd September 2pm

HEAR runs NetEquality with partners the Refugee Council, Inclusion London, (LGBT) Consortium and Superhighways.

In this project dozens of smaller user-led and ‘grass roots’ equality groups are working together to design, test and pilot exciting new ways to use networking and communications tools to quickly and easily share, and explore ways of joining up our voices for solidarity and influence to fight discrimination and improve equality in London.

Next week HEAR is running a focus group for disabled and excluded experts to bring your knowledge and expertise to make mapping, networking and connecting online more accessible for everyone.

You can reclaim your expenses for participation in this meeting, HEAR can pay up to £80 to help with the costs of taking part, for example towards paying a PA, extra data costs, contribution to a device. If you need more expensive adjustments or support like BSL interpretation, please also let us know so we can help.

To discuss claiming expenses please email Christine@hearequality.org.uk

The session will be recorded.

To find out more and tell us about any access or communication needs please contact Mhairi on mhairi@HEARequality.org.uk

Register in advance for this meeting:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Deadline Fri 2/10//20 - contracts to support individuals complete digital first 2021 Census - count all Londoners

Help support individuals to complete their 2021 Census application. Apply for a contract to deliver the Census Support Service opportunity. Deadline Friday 2 October. Good Things Foundaation's Online Centres have an exciting opportunity for partners to apply for funding to support the delivery of the 2021 Census.The census takes place every 10 years in the UK - and the next one is due to take place in March 2021. It’s a compulsory survey that gives the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. The information collected from the census helps inform local authorities and government about demands for vital public services such as school places, hospital and GP services and social care provision.

Census 2021 will be ‘digital first’ and accessible through an online platform. Good Things Foundation is working with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to build a network of Census Support Centres who can support people to complete the census both online and offline, ensuring everyone has the chance to complete the census digitally. They are looking for organisations who can deliver support to people wishing to complete the census between March and May 2021. You’ll be required to deliver the service across a set amount of hours each week with the possibility of additional delivery covering evenings, weekends and the census weekend. https://www.onlinecentresnetwork.org/news-and-activity/news/census-support-service

More information about the requirements, including what is expected from Census Support Centres here.

London Challenge Poverty Week-Call to Action

London Challenge Poverty Week is taking place

12th-18th October

This year HEAR will be making sure that the voices, concerns and priorities of our members are clearly raised around all aspects of poverty. We invite you to be involved in this important week and leading up to it, in whatever way is relevant to your work and capacity.

We want to hear from you! Get involved!

There will be a number of topics and ways to get involved-

Digital poverty: we will be highlighting this sometimes over-looked aspect of poverty, even more important in the times of 'digital by default' and virtual living and working. We will be sharing HEAR's recently published digital exclusion case studies and finding other ways to shout about this. We will be doing some of this in partnership with our colleagues at Superhighways.

Socio Economic Rights; taking a rights based approach to poverty is important and we plan to do work in this important area, working with 4 in 10 Poverty Network (who are leading the programme of work for London Challenge Poverty Week as a whole) and Just Fair.

Creative Project: 4 in 10 are coordinating a creative project to help those with lived experience of poverty find new ways to raise their voice.

-Make a video: 4 in 10 are coordinating opportunities for those with lived experience to create videos.

Other aspects our members and colleagues have raised:

-How do we support those who don't identify as being in poverty

-Food poverty

-'Information' poverty

-Intersection of race and poverty

-Insecure housing and homelessness

-Child poverty

If you would like to get involved in any way, share your own campaigns, attend a workshop (or suggest one), get creative or anything else please get in touch!!!


Don't delay, let's make some noise about poverty

Stop Changes to Access to Work Campaign

StopChanges2AtW – cases closed for workers on furlough & evidence needed for campaign

Last week, campaigners became aware that from 14 August Access to Work (AtW) was closing cases for Deaf and disabled workers still on furlough. What this means is that when furlough ends, any workers who need AtW to returnto work will have to re-apply for their support package. This will increase the burden on Deaf and disabled workers on top of the many other barriers they face to staying in employment. There is no obvious reason why the Department for Work and Pensions shouldhave to close rather than pause their furloughed caseload. We can only assume this is a cynical attempt to save money by making it more difficult for workers to claim support from AtW in the hopes that some will simply give up. Once again, we see the governmentstacking the decks against Deaf and disabled workers and exposing the emptiness of their rhetoric about wanting to help Deaf and disabled people into employment.

This is also just the latest example of problems with AtW that have been experienced since Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown.

StopChanges2AtW wants to hear any and all examples of difficulties with AtW since 1st March 2020 that you've experienced since early March 2020. These could have negatively affected Deaf and disabled workers as wellas interpreters or Personal Assistants paid through AtW.

Please email or send BSL videos to:


We will keep all examples we receive anonymous and use them to produce a mini report which we can use to raise awareness of the types of problems people have faced and to campaign for improvements.

Please note we have also done a BSL version that's on our website.


Older Londoners Access to Food Summit 1st October

Older Londoners' Access to Food Summit

The GLA and Sustain will be holding an online summit exploring food access amongst older Londoners on Tuesday 1 October from 10am to 12pm to mark this year's International Dayof Older Persons.

At this event:

· The GLA will launch its report on Food Insecurity amongst Older Londoners, before and during COVID-19.

•Sustain will launch its report on Meals on Wheels services in London, exploring innovative community food projects during COVID-19 and how to sustain these.

•Interactive workshops will reflect on the research findings, discuss ideas and solutions to improve access to good food for older Londoners and explore policies to put these into practice.

The event is relevant to those working in local government, policy-making, community food projects, campaigning, advocacy and anyone who wants to contribute to this agenda.

Please click here to book:


Charity Commission Public Meeting 1st October

The Charity Commission for England and Wales is hosting its Annual Public Meeting 2020.

Our Chair, Baroness Stowell, Chief Executive, Dr Helen Stephenson and other directors invite you to our Annual Public Meeting on Thursday 1st October 2020 at 11am.

At this year's event, Baroness Stowell will speak about the role of charity in a post Covid-19 world, while Dr Helen Stephenson will provide insight into the Commission's work and how we are delivering support and services through the current pandemic, and our priorities as we look to the future.

We will also invite a live virtual audience to join us on the day to ask our Chief Executive and directors questions during an interactive Q&A session.

About this Event

Due to the impact of Covid-19 this year's meeting is a virtual event open to all members of the public and charity representatives.

We will be broadcasting live on our YouTube channel from a location near our Liverpool office.

If you wish to join us for the event, please sign up here


Datawise London Getting Your Data on the Map Training 11th September

HEAR is pleased to be part of the Datawise London project led by Superhighways and funded by City Bridge Trust through the Cornerstone Fund

The project is finalising an exciting programme of training leading through to December, more news soon.

In the meantime, here is an upcoming session for this week:

Getting Started-Putting Your Data on the Map

Friday 11th September at 10am

Do you collect post code data from your beneficiaries / clients?

Are you interested in analysing this geographical data against other internal or external data to spot trends, illustrate your reach or evidence gaps?

Robust, data informed decisions can help with your service planning and show what's already working to funders, commissioners and your key stakeholders. It can also help you make the case for change, evidence need in your funding applications and share your impact with the world.

This Demo and Q & A online session will introduce free / low cost and easy to use tools to get started putting your data on a map.

We can then provide follow up support when you start creating maps with your own organisational data.

We'll also share some more advanced mapping tools, should you need to map more complex data in future.

Is this training for me?

This course is for anyone working in a small charity or community organisation in London, responsible for developing projects, monitoring and evaluating outcomes and designing services.

You will need good basic computer skills.


Click the link above to register

London School of Economics Free Online Public Event-Talk on Lived Experience of Being Gay and Christian, 10th September

Savitri Hensman will talk about combining her Christian faith with her sexuality, working at the Black Lesbian and Gay Centre and being chair of LGCM (Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement). Find out more

Thursday 10th September at 6.30pm via Zoom

Click the link above to find out more and access the booking link

Liberty Campaign and Petition -Coronavirus Act

Please see details of a campaign by Liberty regarding the Coronavirus Act and the protection of human rights:

"The Act was rushed through Parliament in just one day, creating radical new policing, border control and data collection powers, and watering down fundamental human rights protections – hitting some of the most marginalised people hardest"

Liberty conducted a poll with members of the public:


• More than three quarters (76 per cent) of respondents want their human rights protected during a national crisis.

• 73 per cent are concerned about homeless people being fined during lockdown. Many rough sleepers received fines for being outside.

• Two thirds (66 per cent) believe everyone should have access to state support during a pandemic – which contrasts with the Government's response that cut off support for some people, even at the height of the outbreak.

• Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) are concerned about Government data collection.

• Almost three fifths (58 per cent) were concerned about the "heavy-handed" policing of lockdown.

• Less than two in five (38 per cent) trust the Government and private companies with their medical data.

Sign and share the Liberty petition