We’re glad to announce that Friends House won the ‘Best Venue for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ (EDI) award at the London Venue and Catering Awards 2023. The ceremony took place on Friday 24 November, with fellow London venues and caterers shortlisted. This award is a testament to our commitment to EDI and the inclusive event experience we offer.
Placing EDI at the centre
As a Quaker venue, we uphold values such as equality, peace, truth, justice, and simplicity. They help shape a culture of inclusive events. We want everyone to feel respected and valued in their identities, regardless of their faith, sexual orientation, gender, class, background, ethnicity, or disability. This led us to host events and conferences for very diverse groups and organisations over the years.
EDI in action
We have implemented EDI initiatives and trainings to create a safe and welcoming space for all. We produced a detailed accessibility guide in collaboration with AccessAble, a leading website for accessible guides for venues. Our staff attended ‘Race Equity workshops’, including three sessions focusing on power and privilege, micro-aggressions, and how to have challenging conversations safely. They also attended EDI workshops. On top of our fair and ethical employment practices, we also improved our flexible working and family friendly policies.
We know there’s always room for improvement. We plan to train some of our front of house staff in British Sign Language. Our Facilities team is currently in the planning phase to create a changing places toilet in one of our accessible toilets. Being an inclusive venue is in our DNA, and we know that it benefits our staff, our clients, our stakeholders, and the wider community. This is the way forward for events.
If you’d like to read or find out more about our EDI initiatives: