WDES Bid Facilitated Workshops

Ambulance line up blue sky

We are pleased to announce that the Trust has recently bid for, and been awarded, funding through the Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) Innovation Fund.  

 For our bid we chose to focus on: Improving disabled staff experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The first stage of the project is to hear from our disabled staff across the Trust to find out about your experiences of working during the COVID 19 pandemic.  

To do this we will be running several workshops in January. These workshops will be facilitated by an external consultant and they are an opportunity for you to talk about your experiences of working through the pandemic: the positives, the negatives, the challenges, and the learning.

You will also be able to discuss the difficulties and barriers you may have faced, overcome or are still dealing with. The workshops are also intended to be a forum to generate ideas and suggestions on ways to improve or address the challenges and to think about what support or information you need going forward. 

Six workshops will be held during January with a maximum of 5 participants at each 1¼ hour session. These workshops will be run ‘virtually’ over Teams at various times of day.  One session will be for male staff only and one will be for female staff only (or those who identify themselves as male or female) as we recognise some disabilities may be more gender specific. The remaining sessions will be mixed. 

When are the workshops? 


Wednesday 20th January

10:00 am – 11:15 am

2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Female Group)


Thursday 21st January

10:00 am – 11:15 am

2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Male Group)

Evening session: 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm


Monday 25th January

Evening session: 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm


How do I get involved? 

Firstly, speak with your line manager and request time to attend one of the workshops. 

Email the Wellbeing Team on: wellbeing@eastamb.nhs.uk by Monday 18th January at the latest stating which workshop (date and time) you would like to attend. In case of high demand please offer an alternative date.  

A Teams invite will be sent to you for workshop attendance. 

We really want to hear from you, but spaces are limited.  Please do everything you can to attend once you have requested a place.  Let us know if anything changes so we can re-allocate the space and get your feedback in an alternative way. 

What if I can’t attend a workshop?

We want to capture the experiences of as many people as possible so we will be producing a questionnaire for you to complete to enable you to contribute to this project.

If you would like a questionnaire, please email the Health and Wellbeing Team wellbeing@eastamb.nhs.uk and they will send one out to you. Please ensure it is returned by midnight Monday 25th January.


We are also very keen to hear about the experiences of our Volunteers who have a disability, and a questionnaire can be sent out to you for you to complete. Please email the Health and Wellbeing Team wellbeing@eastamb.nhs.uk and they will send one out to you. Please ensure it is returned by midnight Monday 25th January.

What Next? 

Once the workshops are competed our external facilitator Jag Poonia will collate your experiences from the workshops and also from the completed questionnaires to produce a report that will include your ideas, suggestions on proposed improvements and any support or information that will help. This will then feed into the next stage of our project.  All will be confidential and not attributed to any one person.

Our delivery timescales are very short so these are the only workshop sessions that will be available. 

About Jag Poonia: 

Jag, our external consultant, has extensive experience of working with the government (a major project for the Cabinet Office on minority talent progression), regulators such as Ofcom (for those under the protected characteristics), the NHS, and also across the private sector in the area of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.  She has worked on a growing number of COVID-19 related projects during 2020 - all relating to minority groups - through her own organisation, Ethnic Dimension and a partnership consultancy, the Cultural Intelligence Hub.  

Published 7th January 2021