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Palace for Life appoint new members to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team

Palace for Life are committed to taking equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) very seriously and we have reaffirmed this by creating new staff leads for Race and LGBTQ+. The two new posts will join our existing Women and Girls and Disability leads to complete our EDI team, who will collectively ensure best practice and ongoing commitment to making Palace for Life fair and open to all.

Our new Race Equality Lead is Cigdem Turkan, our Education, Training and Employment Manager. Cigdem will be the driving force behind all EDI projects around race, starting with October’s Black History Month.

Regarding her new responsibilities as Race Equality Lead, Cigdem said: “Celebrating and protecting EDI is and must be at the heart of everything we do, for both internal and external stakeholders. We are committed to driving equality across both the Club and Foundation. Black History Month is the first of many milestones we hope to raise awareness about and celebrate.”

In addition, LGBTQ+ Equality Lead, Angelica Nabadda, joins the EDI team. Angelica is our National Citizenship Service Programme Manager. Speaking about her new role, Angelica said: “I’m proud to be taking this role, proper representation and visibility is an important step on the path to equality and I am proud to be part of an organisation that takes this so seriously.”

Angelica and Cigdem join our three existing EDI staff in a growing team. EDI Strategic Lead, Duncan Robinson said of the roles: “A massive congratulations to Cigdem and Angelica who will both be fantastic additions to the team and I look forward to working closely with them. They will join Michael Harrington, Roxanne Bennett and myself on the EDI team and we will be meeting regularly to ensure that equality is at the heart of everything we work towards as an organisation.”

Roxanne Bennett is our Women and Girls Equality Lead, as well as being our Community Sports Manager. Speaking about her role in the EDI team, she said: “I’ve been working in the area of women and girls’ development for 20 years and I’m passionate about inspiring the next generation. I’m delighted that Palace for Life shares this vision and hope that we can develop participation opportunities and infrastructure within the Foundation. We have strong female representation across our workforce, but this is something I am keen to increase further, both in terms of new employees but also development opportunities for our existing staff.”

Our Disability Equality Lead is Michael Harrington, Foundation Deputy Head of Sport and Wellbeing. Michael said of his role in the EDI team: “At the Foundation, we strongly believe that everybody should be treated equally and have the same opportunities. One of the main goals of my role is to give every person living with a disability the opportunity to participate in and receive the many benefits of sport that a lot of us take for granted.

“I have played and been involved in football all my life and it has opened many doors for me and brought me many friendships on the way. I think everyone should have the opportunity to do likewise, building their self-esteem and providing them with opportunities to interact with new friends and the wider community, all through Disability Sport.

“I am also here to make it easier for people who have a disability to become involved with the Foundation in other ways, whether that is through becoming staff members, accessing our education and training programmes or becoming influencers in our local community.”

Everyone at Palace for Life is excited to have Angelica and Cigdem joining the EDI Team, with the exceptional work that they consistently bring to the Foundation.

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