Inclusion Advisory Group
Inclusion Advisory Group (IAG)
Every county FA has an Inclusion Advisory Group (IAG) in place to help the FA to support more inclusive environments for people to participate across our footballing communities. The IAG helps to support CFA on the ways to reach people who may feel excluded or find it difficult to access football. This could be on the basis of age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital status or civil partnership, race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or belief, ability or disability, pregnancy and maternity.
Every IAG is different depending on specific demographics and priorities. Here in Cornwall we recognise that the rural nature of Cornwall sometimes makes it hard for individuals to access football, with very different diversity profiling to that of highly populated inner city areas. The IAG works to raise awareness of inclusion matters, support solutions to break down barriers to participation and help CFA build on some of the important work already taking place across the County around the inclusion agenda.
It is important to note that The IAG Chair, Rachel Williams, is also on the Board of Directors helping to ensure the feedback from the IAG is fed upwards to the Cornwall FA Board of Directors.
What is inclusion?
Really simply, it means treating people openly, honestly, with respect and according to their needs, so people feel they are engaged and a welcomed part of our footballing community.
Rachel Williams - Director for Inclusion and Diversity and IAG Chair
Rachel is an experienced Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) professional, currently leading the I&D agenda for the House of Lords. Driving forward significant culture change within the House of Lords for both its employees, the public and the House's Members. Beginning with a blank page, in 2016 she began by making the economic case for inclusion to senior stakeholders with the same informed zeal as the compelling social case. Key parts of her current role involve providing strong corporate leadership, championing inclusion and diversity internally and sharing best practice externally, whilst influencing and changing the culture of the organisation.
As the leading source of expertise about I&D within the House of Lords Administration and owner of the comprehensive ‘Focus on Inclusion Strategy’, her role is to identify potential issues, risks and develop effective interventions and creative initiatives. Since 2016 Rachel has lead the House of Lords to achieve the following accolades: Disability Confident Leadership Status, Ranked 15th in the UK’s Top 50 Inclusive Employers, Achieved Gold status in the Inclusive Employers Index, recognised as the Highest new entry to Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index (64th) and Placed 47th in the UK Social Mobility Foundation’s employers Index. Rachel was also shortlisted for Inclusive Companies, Head of Inclusion and Diversity of the year award in 2019.
Previously, Rachel worked in the financial services arm of EY (Ernst and Young), delivering projects such as the firm's first Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic development and retention programme and social mobility outreach schemes. Rachel started her career in inclusion in a consultancy role at Inclusive Employers advising private, public and third sector organisations such as the Royal Navy, Macmillan Cancer and the Co-op designing various initiatives and culture change projects.
Rachel is an avid football fan experiencing the highs and more frequently the lows that come with following Preston North End, whilst occasionally dusting off her own boots at St Agnes Women’s FC .
Richard is the Governance Manager at CFA and has supported the development of the IAG. He plays an important role advising the IAG around governance issues and keeping the group aligned to FA requirements and initiatives. Richard is responsible for ensuring the rules and regulations of The FA and County FA are upheld and enforced as well as leading on disciplinary matters. Richard is a valued member of the IAG with valuable input also from a workforce perspective.
Darren Reski – IAG Member
Darren has been involved with youth football in Cornwall for the last ten years managing a youth team. He is also program manager within the engineering department for the Cornwall College group where inclusion is at the forefront of our everyday learning environment.
Darren added, "I feel very proud to be part of CCFA inclusivity action group and look forward to ensuring football in Cornwall is inclusive for all".
Sharon Redman - IAG Member
Passionate about football, (although some would say questionable being a Crystal Palace fan and an ex referee), fairness, and equality the role within the IAG is one that I am looking forward to fulfilling, ensuring that values are at the core of all our decisions and future journeys!
Vicky Fisher – IAG Member
Vicky is passionate about ensuring that football is for ‘all’ and that everyone has access and opportunities be involved in the game. With vast experience working within football as Womens, Girls and Disability Officer at Cornwall FA and now current Regional Coach Development Officer (Women & Girls) for the South West, Vicky has lots of experience in developing and providing opportunities for all to participate in football.
Vicky added, "being on the IAG allows me to support my county in its continuous work to grow, develop and support the game".
Diane Smith – IAG Member
Diane has a range of experience within Inclusion & Diversity. She started her teaching career of 15 years in inner city London teaching in a secondary school of 71 different languages and enjoyed, as Head of RE and Citizenship, the opportunity to work with and celebrate different communities, many of whom had often been under represented. She now works in a North Cornwall school supporting students with high level behavioural needs, and values the opportunity to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds access the curriculum and other activities, such as sport, to help improve their physical and emotional well being.
Diane is an avid Chelsea and Plymouth Argyle fan, who until recently ran Southgate Football Club in Launceston at both youth and adult level. She is now enjoying her role as Respect and Assistant Welfare Officer for the Adrenalin Devon and Junior Minor League, catering for youth football in Devon and North and East Cornwall. This role has allowed Diane to take the initiative by putting into place league Respect and Covid support and protocols for clubs, whilst also developing the opportunities where Respect and diversity can be celebrated across the league. She enjoys playing a range of sport and as a person with a less visible disability understands the benefits of sport to her health and well being, but also some of the challenges faced when accessing sport as a spectator and a participant. She embraces the opportunity to work alongside Cornwall FA and combine all her passions as she carries out this role within Cornwall IAG.