Founders of women’s self organised group win equality award

Kate Bendelow accepted the award at UNSON’s Croyde Bay Holiday Resort.

Kate Bendelow pictured with Lesley Discombe accepting a glass award for equality at UNISON's Get Active award ceremony.

While a global pandemic ground lots of activity to a halt, it wasn’t going to stop Belinda Dunmall and Kate Bendelow organising in their union to campaign for women’s rights.

The winning pair, who work for Devon and Cornwall Police, picked up the Equality award at our annual Get Active awards ceremony.

Last year, they developed a survey to focus on the factors that have a direct impact on women members. the results of this survey highlighted a level of misogyny never understood before and seeing this empowered the pair to organise regular group meetings whereby women members were invited to take about their experiences freely, and at ease. In turn they used this knowledge and information to engage with the employer directly to address this force wide issue.

By raising this issue directly with the employer, they have secured the opportunity to make a difference for all women members within the force, by highlighting that inappropriate behaviour is taking place within a law enforcement environment.

With the tragic death of Sarah Everhard in London, the police service is now heavily focused on violence against women and girls. because of the work undertaken by our women self organised group members, the employer approached them to be a key partner in the discussion around how the police service can best support women members from becoming victims of crime.

As a direct result of the work undertaken by our winners our women’s self organised group now has a seat on the highest level group within the organisation and regularly advise the force on key matters. Our chief officers sits on the national policing group which means that our UNISON women’s self organised group is now influencing at national level.

Congrations to the winners of our Equality award, Belinda Dunmall and Kate Bendelow!