Sewell Construction Ltd, Broadacre Primary School for the initiative Equality, diversity and inclusion

Opened in March 2022, Broadacre Primary School is Hull’s first purpose-built base for children with autistic spectrum condition (ASC). Delivered by Yorkshire based Sewell Construction, this project was not just about constructing a building, it was about helping break down barriers and championing diversity, fairness and respect. Passionate about giving back to the communities it works in, Sewell Construction used this unique project as a platform to educate people about autism and transform the way its clients, site team, subcontractors and wider communities embrace equality, diversity and inclusion.

The key objective was to create an inclusive learning environment for all, so the site team began engaging with visitors and workers from the outset to educate them about the impact of the project, whilst enabling them to act as champions for inclusivity and diversity. Working with the University of Hull all site inductions, signposting and resources visible in site cabins were updated to raise awareness.

Engaging with local charity, the Goodwin Development Trust, Sewell Construction invited young autistic artist Luke to work closely with children from the ASC base to create caricatures and posters to raise awareness of the initiative. As a result, Luke has now become a role model for pupils and an ambassador for Autism Awareness, which had a positive effect on both the students and Luke’s wellbeing.

The initiative involved the school itself as much as possible with events and activities for the whole school community, including steel signing, site tours, topping out ceremonies and an official opening event.

Demonstrating the responsibility of one firm’s efforts in highlighting equality, diversity and inclusion, through this project Sewell Construction have created a positive lasting legacy beyond the boundaries of its own workforce, through its supply chain and local community. In total, 795 inductions took place over the course of the project with positive feedback from staff and site visitors. Many people expressing how the initiative has helped with their overall wellbeing and how it’s made them more accepting and better equipped to approach and discuss autism.

The initiative has sparked a new corporate initiative with mental health talks rolled out across the company including Andy’s Man Club sessions, Man’s MOT workshops, Suicide Awareness Workshops, Rachael Alexander presentations, and Prostrate Cancer awareness, amongst others.

This initiative is a shining example of the power of education to encourage diversity, fairness and respect.

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