Cultural Diversity

Youth Homeless North East seeks to challenge the discrimination within society that contributes to youth homelessness.  Working to Centrepoint’s Equality and Diversity Policy we aim to actively protect the young people we work with, paid staff and volunteers from sexual, racist, sexist, homophobic and any other type of abuse or harassment.

What is Racism?

Although you cannot categorise people into separate races, we are all different and can sometimes be the target of racism because of these differences. There are four parts of a person’s identity that if targeted, would be classed as racism, they are:

  • Skin Colour
  • Religion
  • Culture
  • Nationality

Racism is extremely negative for society. People may experience racism as a result of an individual’s actions or because an institution’s procedures disadvantage them (institutional racism).

Information from Show Racism the Red Card. For further information please click here

What forms does racism take?

Racism can take many forms, ranging from verbal abuse to outright physical attacks to a person or property. Racism can also be non-verbal, for example denying a person from a minority ethnic background a job or entry to a restaurant or shop, purely on the grounds of their colour, nationality or religion. This is known as race discrimination and is illegal.

There is also ‘institutional racism’. This is when an organisation’s procedures and policies amount to disadvantaging people from minority ethnic backgrounds. It is defined by the Stephen Lawrence enquiry as ‘the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racial stereotyping which disadvantages minority ethnic people.’

To combat this type of racism, laws have been put in place to try and ensure that bodies like schools, universities, hospitals, the police, government departments and local councils take action (pro-active rather than reactive) to make sure they are not discriminating against people from minority ethnic backgrounds, whether they are employees or members of the public. This will help to ensure that public services meet everyone’s needs.

Information from Show Racism the Red Card. For further information please click here

What should I do if I experience racism?

If you see, hear or feel any form of racism, from verbal abuse to physical violence, the first thing that you must do is tell someone. This could be a teacher, an older friend, a parent or carer, a football coach, or anybody who you can trust and feel comfortable talking to. It can be difficult to admit that you have experienced racism or name calling, but it is extremely important that you don’t ignore it as it will continue happening and probably get worse. Of course, if you are the target of violence then the police should be contacted straight away.

Any racism experienced in the workplace should be reported to management, and there should be procedures in place to quickly and effectively deal with it. There is legislation to protect everyone from experiencing prejudice and discrimination and employers must take any reports seriously, offer support, and begin a thorough investigation.

Information from Show Racism the Red Card. For further information please click here

Immigration Myths

“We have found that there is a large amount of negativity when young people are asked questions about “immigration” or “Muslims”,’ he said. “This survey shows that this is fuelled by a totally distorted view of the number of immigrants and Muslims living in the UK.”
– Ged Grebby, Chief Executive, Show Racism the Red Card

There are widespread misconceptions about the number of immigrants and non-white people living in England as well as negative attitudes towards Muslims and those born overseas. Many young people overestimate the percentage of immigrants and Muslims in the UK. Read more on this here

A flyer by Show Racism the Red Card provides answers to some of those difficult questions regarding immigration. Click here for the flyer

Information from Show Racism the Red Card. For further information please click here

Further Information

The Attitudes of Young People – SRtRC study

For further help and guidance on tackling, preventing and reporting racism please contact Show Racism the Red Card here



“In 2014, almost nine in ten secondary school (86 %) and almost half (45%) of primary school teachers surveyed for Stonewall’s YouGov poll said pupils in their school, regardless of sexual orientation, have experienced homophobic bullying.”
– Stonewall

The Equality Act 2010 aims to ensure that providers of goods, facilities and services cannot discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is possible for some organisations and services to be exempt, based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but there are strict rules governing these exemptions.

What do the regulations cover?

  • Education (schools)
  • Healthcare
  • Restaurants
  • Housing
  • Hotels
  • Campsites
  • Shops
  • Leisure centres

For example:

Education: Schools cannot refuse to take a pupil because they or their parents are LGBT. Schools cannot deny LGBT pupils opportunities and facilities that they would offer to heterosexual or cis students, for example the chance to be head girl. There is no exemption for faith schools.

Healthcare: GPs cannot refuse a patient because they are LGBT, or refuse to offer then treatments that they would offer to other people.

Housing: A landlord cannot turn away a tenant or refuse to sell or rent their property to someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Councils should act to tackle the homophobic, biphobic or transphobic abuse of a council tenant, just as they would act to tackle racist abuse.

Hotels: A hotel or B&B cannot refuse a same-sex couple a double-room.

Information from Stonewall. For further information please call Stonewall’s Information Service on 08000 502020, tweet to @StonewallUKInfo or email

Homophobia at Work

The Equality Act 2010 protects lesbian, gay, bi and trans people from direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation at work. It applies to anyone who is perceived to be lesbian, gay, bi or trans, or anyone who experiences discrimination because they associate with LGBT people. However, there are some instances, specifically regarding ‘occupational requirements’, where exemptions may apply, although these are limited.

All employers have to adhere to the Equality Act, regardless of the number of staff they employ or the amount of money they make.

Staff are protected throughout the application and interview process, as well as throughout the term of their employment, including any probation or notice period.

The rules apply to all paid employees including:

  • Those with full time contracts
  • Those with temporary contracts
  • Contract workers (unless they are genuinely self-employed)
  • Partners
  • Agency staff (in most cases)
  • Vocational trainees
  • Work experience students.

Responsibility for ensuring these rules are not breached lies with the organisation you feel has acted unlawfully. This means that agency staff placed with an organisation that acts unlawfully, or employs someone who acts unlawfully, should follow this up with that particular organisation. If the agency acts in a discriminatory way this should be followed up directly with them.

Information from Stonewall. For further information please call Stonewall’s Information Service on 08000 502020, tweet to @StonewallUKInfo or email

Further Information

“Homophobia: Let’s Tackle It” Educational Resource

For further help and guidance on homophobia, visit the Stonewall website here


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Ellison Place
Newcastle upon Tyne

Tel: 0191 255 1911


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