The Bluetits Inclusivity Policy
The Bluetits Inclusivity Policy
The Bluetits Chill Swimmers is a community made up from directors, paid workers and volunteer staff at The Bluetits headquarters (in St Davids, Pembrokeshire), volunteer admins and moderators within our Facebook community groups (worldwide), volunteers at events, and our community members.
We are committed to valuing and celebrating difference, and fostering an inclusive community, with the elimination of all forms of discrimination within our Bluetit community.
We will promote inclusivity, respect and kindness in all that we do, also ensuring that inclusivity is embedded in all policies, practices, decision-making and evaluation processes.
All members of our Bluetit community will be treated equally and fairly, irrespective of their sex, marital status, civil partnership status, trans-gender status, sexual orientation, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, national origin, culture, religion, religious belief, age, or disability. As stated within the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010.
Adults of all ages are welcome to join our Bluetit community and to swim/dip with us.
During the warmer summer months, Bluetit groups may welcome accompanied children and we sometimes have specific swims for children (fledglings), who must always be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Due to the nature of the outdoor environment, we acknowledge that some swim spots are more accessible than others and there may be swims that are not accessible for everyone.
There are some swim spots that are more easily accessible, and we endeavour to use a mixture of swim spots to remain an inclusive community. Inclusivity does not just relate to physical disability but also mental health difficulties, learning disabilities and sensory disabilities affecting sight and hearing, it covers all the challenges that individuals may face.
Everyone swims/dips at their own risk, and everyone needs to take responsibility for their own access in and out of the water.
The Bluetits are passionate about disability inclusivity and are working with partners to improve access to the sea for all.
We understand that biological sex is not straightforward binary so all humans are welcome within the Bluetit community including both males and females, and anyone who identifies as between, or questioning their sex or gender.
Gender Reassignment/trans-gender status and/or Sexual Orientation
We are fully LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer, plus) inclusive. We welcome all transgender individuals regardless of their transitioning status. We aim to not assume people’s gender or pronouns and we will endeavour to use gender neutral language, understanding that some people use ‘they’ rather than ‘he’ or ‘she’.
Pregnancy and Maternity
We advise individuals to seek personal medical advice regarding cold water swimming/dipping during pregnancy.
Race and/or religion
We have a diverse swim community and that welcomes everyone from all cultures and ethnic minorities, as well as all religious or belief backgrounds. We know that we are stronger when we have a rich diversity of opinions, backgrounds, lifestyles and circumstances, but we do not expect or support anyone pushing personal or political beliefs within our community.
We are also financially inclusive, and this is an important part of our ethos. There are no membership fees to join our community and every member receives a free Bluetit welcome pin badge. We offer a range of Bluetit kit available to purchase from our website, at a wide range of prices to enable Bluetits to purchase some kit within their own budget. There is no special kit required to join our groups, any swimsuit, covering or wetsuit can be worn.
We are passionate about social inclusion and the opportunities for strengthening communities and friendships that our Bluetit communities bring to wider local communities.
Having a diverse community of individuals and the values of inclusivity are at the core of the Bluetits ethos, so it is in everyone’s interests, within The Bluetits community, to be inclusive, respectful, and kind. Although we would like to think that this is always the case, it is recognised that inappropriate behaviour and discrimination, can and does take place.
Discrimination can either be direct, by association, by perception or indirect and none of these forms are acceptable within our community.
The Bluetits community is committed to tackling incidents of inappropriate behaviour and discrimination, taking a strong stand on inclusivity and acceptance of individuals as their true selves.
This policy aims to ensure that, if inappropriate behaviour does occur within the community, once reported to The Bluetits Headquarters, it will be dealt with in a serious, sensitive and confidential manner, so that the matter can be resolved as quickly as possible for all concerned.
The Bluetits Chills Swimmers HQ will deal with all complaints of discrimination, harassment or bullying within the community, promptly, fairly, and in confidence. The emphasis will be on resolving issues informally. It is recommended that a record is kept of any known alleged instances of harassment, discrimination, or bullying, including:
- the date, time and place of the incident(s)
- the name of the person(s) carrying out the harassment/bullying
- the full details of what actually happened and/or what was said
- the names of any witnesses
- any other relevant information.
We encourage anyone who feels that they are being treated inappropriately to take charge of the situation themselves by informing the harasser that his or her behaviour is unacceptable and that it must stop. If this is not appropriate then there should be a report made to The Bluetits Headquarters, either via Facebook messenger or email, so that action can be taken.
We often have enquiries about swearing and skinny dipping within our Bluetit groups, so here is our stance:
Everyone makes a personal choice to be a member of our adult Bluetit community and, without intending to cause any direct offence to individuals, swearing is most likely to be expected, especially when entering freezing cold water.
Skinny dipping is a personal choice. We expect Bluetit community members to have regard for the law, and to not deliberately try to cause offence to others.
The Bluetits Chill Swimmers directors have overall responsibility for this Inclusivity Policy. However, all community members are responsible for maintaining the principles of inclusivity within this policy. The policy will be made available to the full Bluetits Chill Swimmers community on the website and Facebook groups.
The Bluetits community members have a duty to act in accordance with this policy and treat others within The Bluetits Chill Swimmers community with inclusivity, respect and kindness. Community members to do not foster these principles may be removed from the online community Facebook groups.
The Bluetits Chill Swimmers will educate the Bluetit community and take proactive steps to further inclusivity through inclusivity training, and awareness of the Equality Act 2010.
The Bluetits Headquarters staff and volunteers will be given inclusivity training, and all The Bluetits Chill Swimmers volunteer admins will be encouraged to undertake the same training, through online inclusive training sessions, encouraging community members to embrace their own responsibility for inclusivity.
All partners working with The Bluetits Chill Swimmers will also be made aware of this Inclusivity Policy and will be expected to adhere to it.
The Bluetits Chill Swimmers marketing materials and Facebook communications will aim to be inclusive by positively promoting diversity and equality of opportunity. We will continue to develop and strengthen our ongoing commitment to inclusivity, valuing individuals and welcoming and celebrating difference.
The Bluetits Chill Swimmers will continue to review the effectiveness of this policy to ensure it is achieving its objectives.
Inclusivity is about including all types of diverse people and treating them all fairly and equally, especially people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalised because of a difference. It’s about deliberately including everyone.
Inclusivity is not about agreeing with other people or not offending other people.
Equality is the right of different people to receive the same treatment and opportunities.
Diversity is the fact that there are many different people with different backgrounds, cultures, lifestyles, beliefs and opinions.
To respect is to show politeness, honour and care to others.
Kindness includes being generous, helpful and thoughtful of others.
Discrimination relates to treating a person or group of people differently, especially in a worse way from the way in which you treat other people. Discrimination can be either:
- direct discrimination
- discrimination by association
- perception discrimination
- indirect discrimination
Direct Discrimination relates to when someone is treated less favorably than another person because of a protected characteristic they have or are thought to have, or because they associate with someone who has a protected characteristic.
Discrimination by association is direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic.
Perception discrimination is direct discrimination against an individual because others think they possess a particular protected characteristic, even if the person does not actually possess that characteristic.
Indirect discrimination occurs when there is a condition, rule, policy, or practice that applies to everyone but particularly disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic.