AIREDALE NHS Foundation Trust has pledged its backing to a new anti-racism campaign.

The organisation – together with fellow members of the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts – is backing Root Out Racism, due to be officially launched next month.

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership and West Yorkshire’s violence reduction unit are behind the initiative, which aims to tackle racism as well as health and social inequalities.

Dr Sal Uka, medical lead for the acute trusts’ association, said: “Following the online racial abuse faced by three young and black England footballers recently, I know that many of our staff will have been affected by the disgraceful actions of those who perpetrated the abuse.

“The saddest part for me – and I do not believe I am alone in this – was the inevitability of the abuse taking place.

“That is why it’s so important that as a group of hospitals we continue to do all we can to root out racism and prejudice from society.

“This is about doing the right thing and contributing to positive change.

“We have all seen the support the footballers received following the abuse and I think that shows the majority of people are prepared to stand strong in the face of racism.”

At Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, a so-called reciprocal mentoring programme was introduced two years ago.

As part of the programme, minority ethnic staff mentor board members as learning partners – and vice versa.

Joanne Harrison, director of people and organisational development at the trust, said: “We know, having run the programme for reciprocal mentoring, that there is a real need not only to offer support and development to our minority ethnic colleagues but also for the senior team to understand how it feels for them to work here.

“Our people told us that minority ethnic colleagues were having a different and worse experience than other staff groups and this was also reflected for colleagues with other protected characteristics. The aim of the programme is to understand those experiences and tackle, where possible, the root causes.

“I know from my own experience – and from similar initiatives at other trusts across the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts – that sharing these experiences is powerful and the best way to lead to real and enduring change.”

Organisations interested in signing-up to Root Out Racism can register for free resources pre-launch at