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- Newsletter | WE CREATE SPACE
Our Newsletters QUEER LEADERSHIP & QUEER-INCLUSIVE SPACES WE HAVE YOUR INBOX COVERED. Choose the newsletter that aligns with your interests and needs. Select either our Community Newsletter or our Corporate Newsletter , or why not both? It's all about providing you with the content that matters most to you. Subscribe today and stay informed on the topics that resonate with you! 🌈📩 Queer-365 Membership Models Community. The Queer Leadership Community Newsletter serves to empower the through Queer Community and equip you through inspirational ideas to become future Queer Leaders. ✓ E xplore LGBTQ+ education ✓ Personal pieces from our We Create Space Collective ✓ Wellbeing guide s ✓ Queer leadership ✓ Allyship ti ps ✓ F ree community events ✓ And more! Subscribe now Go to Corporate. The Queer-Inclusive Spaces Corporate Newsletter is tailored to help change agents grow to facilitate the integration of DEI best practices within their workplaces. ✓ Delve into DEI-led articles ✓ Think pieces from our We Create Space Collective ✓ Client success stories ✓ Research & Case studies ✓ Behind-the-scenes at WCS ✓ Exclusive client-only events ✓ And more! Subscribe now Go to Queer-365 How to make LGBTQ+ initiatives a priority all year round. We've come up with eight powerful ways you can practice queer inclusion and advocacy within your own organisation. And how you can confidently activate each of them using our Queer-365 solutions. Find out more Read more reviews Any other Questions? For any more information or enquiries please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Get in touch
Queer Allyship Lexicon The AN INTERSECTIONAL LGBTQ+ GLOSSARY OF TERMS Our glossary of terms: AAVE AAVE is a way of speaking typically seen in African American and Black Canadian Communities. AAVE may be considered a dialect, ethnolect or sociolect. While it is clear that there is a strong historical relationship between AAVE and earlier Southern U.S. dialects, the origins of AAVE are still a matter of debate. (See: Black and Blaq/Blaqueer) ADHD Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that impacts the parts of the brain that help us plan, focus on, and execute tasks. ADHD symptoms vary by sub-type — inattentive, hyperactive, or combined — and are often more difficult to diagnose in girls and adults. AFAB / AMAB Acronyms for: Assigned Female at Birth Assigned Male at Birth AIDS AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is the name used to describe a number of potentially life-threatening infections and illnesses that happen when your immune system has been severely damaged by the HIV virus. During the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, primarily gay men were persecuted in connection with the illness, as it was perceived that only gay men could contract HIV. However, nowadays, for the first time, more heterosexual people are HIV positive than Queer people. And statistically over 50 per cent of all adults living with HIV currently identify as women. Ableism Beliefs or practices that rest on the assumption that being able-bodied is “normal” while other states of being need to be “fixed” or altered. This can result in devaluing or discriminating against people with physical, intellectual or psychiatric disabilities. Institutionalised ableism may include or take the form of un/intentional organisational barriers that result in disparate treatment of disabled people. See: Accessibility, Inter-able, Neurodiverse & Autism. Abolition The action of putting a stop to a system, practice, or an institution, typically to make way for more progressive legislation and ways of working to reflect the liberalised views of mainstream society. Abuse Abuse is the improper usage or treatment of a person, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit. Abuse can come in many forms, such as: physical or verbal maltreatment, injury, assault, violation, rape, unjust practices, crimes, or other types of aggression. Historically marginalised groups are disproportionately impacted by the effects of abuse. Accessibility The "ability to access" the functionality of a system or entity, and gain the related benefits. The degree to which a product, service, or environment is accessible by as many people as possible. Accessible design ensures both direct (unassisted) access and indirect access through assistive technology (e.g., computer screen readers). In this sense, thinking about digital accessibility makes us consider the way in which we share information. Universal design ensures that an environment can be accessed, understood, and used to the greatest extent possible by all people. See: Ableism. Accountability The acceptance of responsibility for one's own actions. It implies a willingness to be transparent, allowing others to observe and evaluate one's performance. Achievement In the world we live in, especially when it comes to our careers, a lot of our accomplishments are based on achievements. In the LGBTQIA+ Community, we have achieved a lot, as far as civil rights and acceptance in society. When there is always more to do to improve though, it is sometimes easy to forget to reflect on what we have achieved, and where we have come from. The same applies to all of us on an individual basis - we should all make time to look back and truly appreciate what we have done, and what it took to bring us here today. Achillean Also known as Men Loving Men (MLM), describes men, male-leaning individuals, or masculine-aligned people of all genders who are attracted to other men, male-leaning individuals, or masculine-aligned people of all genders. Activist Someone who labels themselves as an ‘activist’ typically adopts a more grassroots approach and can (to an extent) hold anti-establishment mindset. Often, an activist’s lifestyle can be heavily steered by their stance on a specific issue. Furthermore, activists spur on wider political and systemic change through their actions and words. See: Grassroots. Addiction An addiction manifests in any behaviour that a person finds temporary pleasure or relief in and therefore craves, suffers negative consequences from, and has trouble giving up. Members of the LGBTQIA+ Community are statistically more than twice as likely than straight people to battle with addiction at some point in their lifetime. This may be down to increased mental health challenges, internalised negative views about oneself as a result of marginalisation and discrimination, or a coping response to trauma. Adoption The adoption of children by same-sex and queer couples is a concept that has recently received more-widespread support in the mainstream and this has been reflected in changes in legislation. This does not mean that same-sex and queer parents do not face opposition to adopting children from those who are more conservative. Adoption is a great way for same-sex/queer couples who are not able to conceive naturally to expand their family, and also provide a loving home to a child who is disadvantaged. It is also common for couples who can conceive to adopt out of a desire to positively impact the life of a child living in care. (See: Family and Fostering) Adversity Referring to a difficult or unpleasant situation. Queer people regularly face adversity that cisgender heterosexual people do not, such as discrimination in the workplace, rejection by family members, medical gatekeeping, political scapegoating or violence and abuse on account of their identity. Advocate Similarly to an ‘activist,’ an advocate also wants to make change and support a cause or community that matters to them. However, they work within existing systems to raise awareness about issues and injustice, selectively considering when they are vocal about a specific issue - amplifying discourse taking place in society, and bolstering the efforts of activists. Affirmations Something that motivates, inspires and encourages you to take action and to realise your goals. These are most often short phrases that you can repeat throughout the day. Affirmations are important tools to help us change our patterns of thought, maintain a positive mindset, and also help us get back on to the right path if we are struggling. Affirmative Action Affirmative action involves sets of policies and practices within a government or organisation seeking to include particular groups based on their gender, race, disability, sexuality, creed or nationality in areas in which such groups are underrepresented. This is important to ensure diversity of thought within organisations, as well as to bolster social mobility of individuals who are afforded opportunities. Agender Someone who does not identify with any gender identity or sees themselves as having no gender. Ally An ally is someone who supports people who are in a minority group or who are discriminated against, even though they do not belong to that group themselves. True allyship requires action and continuous unwavering solidarity. It is not about convenience or optics - this would be considered 'Performative Allyship'. The positive effect of an ally can only be evaluated by the receiver. Altruism Altruism is the principle and moral practice of concern for the welfare and/or happiness of other human beings or animals. Ambassador An ambassador (in terms of DEI) is normally someone who an organisation or brand partners with. Normally, this ambassador will be part of a marginalised community who is vocal on societal issues and injustices. Androgyny Androgyny is the quality or state of being neither specifically feminine or masculine. Anti-Racism Anti-racism encompasses a range of ideas and political actions which are meant to counter racial prejudice, systemic racism, and the oppression of specific racial groups. It is important that we all practice Anti-Racism within the Queer Community, as many of the biggest changemakers who have helped afford us the civil rights we have today, have been People of Colour. Anti-Semitism Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities. Just like any other form of discrimination, Anti-Semitism has no place in the Queer Community, or in wider society as a whole. Anxiety Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe (which is often identified through medical diagnosis). Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life, but LGBTQ+ people are more than twice as likely to experience. If your anxiety is getting in the way of your everyday life, it's important to seek support from people that you trust, and find holistic tools to help manage the symptoms. See: Grounding, Meditation & Reflection. Appropriation The inappropriate or unacknowledged adoption of an element or elements of one's culture or identity by members of another culture or identity. This can be controversial when members of a dominant culture appropriate from minority cultures. When thinking specifically about the appropriation of the LGBTQIA+ community, Queerbaiting is a prime example of this. Archetype A statement, pattern of behaviour, or model which others then replicate or emulate going forward. The archetype has become recognisable or quintessential as a standard of the type in society over generations of human culture - specifically for the LGBTQIA community, this manifests itself in types of people or crowds in the community - who have similar body types, interests or display similar behaviours. Aromantic Someone who does not or experiences limited romantic attraction. See: Asexuality Asexuality A person who does not experience sexual attraction. Some asexual people experience romantic attraction, while others do not. Asexual people who experience romantic attraction might also use terms such as gay, bi, lesbian, straight and queer in conjunction with asexual to describe the direction of their romantic attraction. Assimilation Assimilation is the process in which a minority group or culture comes to resemble a society's majority group or assume the values, behaviours, and beliefs of another group whether fully or partially. An example of assimilation in that Queer People could be seen as changing their behaviour depending on who they're facing. This is often at the expense of one's own culture and identity. For queer folks, assimilation can mean subsuming or erasing their queer or racialized identity to fit into heteronormative society. It can often look like internalised homophobia, racism, or transphobia, which keeps us closed in and conforming to societal norms at the expense of our own authentic selves. Here are examples of assimilation: - Avoiding holding hands with a partner in public to avoid negative reactions from others. - Changing ones appearance or behaviour to conform to gender norms. - Choosing not to come out to one's family and friends for fear of rejection. - Pretending to only have relationships with the opposite sex to avoid discrimination. - Avoiding talking about ones sexuality or gender identity at work to avoid judgement or discrimination. - Suppressing aspects of their cultural identity to avoid discrimination or rejection from others. See: Code-switching. Asylum Seeker A person who leaves their country of birth or residence, enters another country and seeks protection by the state in this other country. An asylum seeker is an immigrant who has been forcibly displaced and might have fled their home country because of war or other factors harming them or their family. Attraction When we hear "attraction" we tend to think of romantic or sexual attraction, but there are many other types of attraction that we can feel. Sexual Attraction – Attraction, arousal and desire for sex, often caused by physical traits. Romantic Attraction – Emotional attraction and a desire to be romantically involved with someone, not inherently sexual. Alterous Attraction – Desire for emotional closeness. Aesthetic Attraction – Attracted to the appearance of a person, that is not inherently romantic or sexual. Sensual Attraction – A desire for physical contact short of actual sex. Emotional Attraction – Attraction to a person’s soul, personality, mind, dreams, and heart Intellectual Attraction – Attraction to a person’s intelligence See also: Sexuality, Orientation Authenticity Authenticity is the acknowledgment, and eventual integration of all the aspects that make us who we are. It informs our ability to choose what feels right at any given moment. Autism Autism is a neurological and developmental difference that affects how people interact with others, communicate, learn, and behave. Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life. Symptoms present themselves differently in women and girls so they historically have been underdiagnosed in early years and diagnosed later in life. Autism is a form of neurodiversity. BIPOC Stands for Black, Indigenous, and people of colour. Pronounced “bye-pock,” this is a term specific to the United States, intended to centre the experiences of Black and Indigenous groups and demonstrate solidarity between communities of colour. Ball Culture The Ballroom Scene is an African-American and Latino underground LGBTQ+ subculture that originated in New York City. Beginning in the late 20th century, Black and Latino drag queens began to organize their own pageants in opposition to racism experienced in established drag queen pageant circuits. Belief "Core beliefs" can refer to one's personal values and ideologies in life, a lot of which can be based upon society or those of whom are close to us. However, beliefs also refer to what we think is true about ourselves. For example, as Queer people or folks from historically marginalised backgrounds, we often grow up applying meaning to certain parts of our identity. Internalised beliefs can have a massive effect on our self-esteem, how we view ourselves, our wellbeing, and ultimately our ability to reach our full potential. In order for us to remove these internal barriers it is important that we check in regularly with ourselves, and question the validity of our own beliefs. Belonging Belonging is a fundamental part of being human: We need people and this need is hardwired into our brains. Belonging is, of course, that feeling of connectedness to a group or community. It’s the sense that you’re part of something. You feel attached, close and thoroughly accepted by your people. But belonging is more than just being part of a group. The notion of belonging, or social identity, is a central aspect of how we define who we are. We consider ourselves to be individuals but it is our membership of particular groups that is most important in constructing our own personal and unique sense of identity. Bias A prejudice in favour of or against one thing, person, or group. Brains automatically make quick judgments and assessments. They are influenced by our background, personal experiences, societal stereotypes and cultural context. It's not just about gender, ethnicity and other visible diversity characteristics such as height, body weight, names, and many other things can also trigger unconscious bias. Unconscious bias can have a significant influence on our attitudes and behaviours, especially towards other people. It can influence key decisions in the workplace and can contribute to inequality, for example in selection and recruitment, appraisals, or promotion. Understanding unconcious bias is key to understanding the origins of discrimination and inequalities which marginalised people are victim of.
- Membership | WE CREATE SPACE
Annual Memberships. YEAR-ROUND SUPPORT & CONSULTANCY OUR MEMBERSHIP MODELS We're here to support you with your long-term vision, strategy and goals. Our bespoke membership models provide year-round support, guidance and strategy from our global team of experts - organised under one annual, holistic partnership . Enquire now Queer-365 Membership Models Example Package. x3 Workshops (1.5hrs) x3 Webinars (1hr) x3 Panel Discussions (1hr) x1 Bespoke Piece of Content x1 Leadership Programme x1 Allyship Programme x1 Summit Package x1 Piece of Research x24 Consultancy Sessions (1hr) Enquire now Go to How does it work? CURATED EVENTS & TRAINING BESPOKE DIGITAL CONTENT COACHING & CONSULTANCY Based on your budget and objectives, we craft a suitable calendar of activities and a fully-bespoke package of evidence-based DEI solutions and services across a broad range of topics and themes ; everything tailored to the unique and diverse needs of each company or organisation . What else is included? ✓ Access to our Global Network of Speakers. ✓ FREE events and DEI resources each month. ✓ Invitation to our annual Queer Leadership Summit. ✓ Opportunity to participate in Digital Content and Campaigns. ✓ Round-table discussions with other DEI industry leaders. ✓ Full service event management including marketing and operational support. Request a call Looking for something else? Each of our different package levels offer flexibility. We'll work with you to create a bespoke package that reflects the unique needs of your business and your community members. To discuss this and more please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Get in touch Case Study : PRIDE at JTI View more case studies Omnicom ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP We Create Space supports Omnicom 's LGBTQ+ ERG (Open Pride) across their global agencies, coordinating intersectional collaborations with other ERG's, like OpenPride and BLQ's joint event "Black/LGBT+ : Showing Up for Each Other". We hold events throughout the year, covering topics such as International Women's Day, Exploring the Journey of Authentic Living, and presenting as part of their global ERG Summit. Merck ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP Merck's annual membership includes a mix of webinars, workshops, panels, and consultancy time. Merck used the consultant sessions to have us meet with their regional Rainbow Alliance leaders across the US, EMEA, APJC, LATAM to build bespoke webinars and panels focused on topics related to the respective regions. In 2023 we have delivered sessions focused on Neurodiversity and Trans/Non-Binary Identities, Why Pride is Necessary All Year, and Queer Parenting. Our Mission Case Studies & Testimonials Our Solutions & Services Workshops & Webinars Our Team Queer-365 How to make LGBTQ+ initiatives a priority all year round. We've come up with eight powerful ways you can practice queer inclusion and advocacy within your own organisation. And how you can confidently activate each of them using our Queer-365 solutions. Find out more Read more reviews Any other Questions? For any more information or enquiries please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Get in touch
- Queering Your Career: WCS Live in Barcelona
Sanjukta Moorthy, Kevin Hawkins, Jen Keawphaisan and Gonzalo Parra discuss LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace, fostering community and navigating intersectionality in professional environments. Check out the full panel discussion from our in-person community event in Barcelona on 24th August, exploring how we can navigate new paths forward in both our personal and our professional lives. In this session our speakers discuss... - Building and fostering community as Queer people. - Intersectionality in professional environments and queering your career. - Barriers to LGBTQ+ inclusion in workplaces. - Challenging organisational leaders to address issues facing the LGBTQ+ community. - Developing leadership skills. Learn more about Sanjukta Moorthy's work. Learn more about Kevin Hawkins' work. Learn more about Jen Keawphaisan's work. Learn more about Gonzalo Parra's work. If you would like to discuss booking one of these speakers for your own session, please get in touch with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org Special thanks to The Hoxton Hotel for their support and allowing us to use their space in Barcelona for this event. While you're here... Did you know we consult with 100+ Businesses, ERGs and Change-Leaders providing bespoke corporate solutions? Through consultancy we design shared learning experiences, produce DEI insights and craft bespoke content that support individuals with strengthening their roles as change-agents within their communities and organisations. Find out more here. We also organise FREE community events throughout the year! We offer a variety of ways to get involved - both online and in person. This is a great way to network and learn more about others' experiences, through in-depth discussion on an array of topics. You can find out what events we have coming up here. New ones are added all the time, so make sure you sign up to our newsletter so you can stay up to date!
- We Create Space: Meet the Founder, Michael Stephens.
Michael Stephens, Founder of We Create Space, speaks about the career and mental health journey that led him to create a global community-led platform and consultancy activating social change for LGBTQ+ professionals. Interview by Luke Lopez Why did you start We Create Space? I set up WCS on the back of my own personal experiences with identity; overcoming various mental health struggles while climbing the corporate ladder as a young gay man determined to prove my value. I ended up burning out at age 30, at what I thought was the pinnacle of my career - having found that there was not only a lack of easily accessible information and relevant conversations about mental health, but also a distinct lack of understanding on the topics of LGBTQ+ inclusion at work. I found myself dealing with my internal struggles on my own, not fully understanding the impact that my past was having on how I showed up in the present - inside and outside of work. With WCS, I really wanted to create a community platform and consultancy that addressed both the personal and professional needs and challenges of queer people; activating social change through creating space for LGBTQ+ people and allies to come together and learn about themselves, but also each other. Tell us about We Create Space's origins. We started by hosting free online community workshops and retreats during COVID. Together, with the help of other facilitators and guest speakers, we explored topics such as identity, purpose, values, self-awareness, body-image, story-telling and queer leadership. WCS was initially just a Zoom link really - a safe space for sharing tools, tips and coming together to have meaningful conversations. People came back week after week. That was where we started seeing the community being built. Despite people joining from all over the world, they felt connected - because we were bringing them together with a common mission - improving their own understanding of themselves in order to improve their connection to others. It was about after a year of hosting community workshops we started working with more brands and companies. Why is working with corporate partners important? Working with corporate partners is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it enables us to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights in the workplace, fostering inclusivity and equality where we spend most of our time. Secondly, it lets us apply our community insights and learnings in corporate environments - helping companies better serve diverse employees and customers. Moreover, our extensive speaker networks highlight the breadth of diverse experiences within the LGBTQ+ community, promoting deeper understanding and empathy. Additionally, by connecting our grass-roots community leaders with corporate organisations, we bridge gaps and foster mutual growth. These partnerships create spaces for new perspectives and conversations, driving innovation, and social progress. Overall, it's a symbiotic relationship that advances LGBTQ+ rights and corporate diversity. How else do you support the LGBTQ+ community? As a registered CIC community-led social enterprise, the profit made from the consultancy work we do with large corporations goes back into the LGBTQ+ community. The money goes towards providing free events, resources, well-being solutions and support to the wider global queer community. In the last three years, we’ve built a global community of 20k members, hosted 1000+ events, worked with 180+ corporate partners and invested £450k+ back into the LGBTQ+ community through the creation of paid work opportunities. Who are the We Create Space collective? The WCS collective are a global network of 250+ speakers I've built - the wonderful people I've met and had the pleasure of working with over the last five years; made up of trained DEI specialists, therapists, certified coaches, mental health professionals, activists, senior execs, and corporate change-makers. Each has a unique talent and powerful story to tell. I recognised from quite early on that although my story resonated with a lot of people, it didn't reflect everyone's experience under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. The rich diversity of backgrounds, stories and experiences in our collective aims to represent the plethora of intersectional identities across the queer spectrum. What have you learnt about creating queer-inclusive spaces? I think intention, safety and trust are three of the most important contributing factors. Be intentional with who you are including and get clear on why they are there. This makes events and experiences all the more powerful and impactful. Safety is paramount; not only physical safety but also emotional safety, ensuring that everyone feels respected and accepted. Trust is built over time - by actively listening to a range of voices, learning from their experiences, and continually adapting to meet a community's evolving needs. What do you mean by 'Queer Leadership'? When we talk about Queer Leadership we're essentially talking about challenging the status-quo and doing leadership differently. It's primarily about self-leadership - understanding that we each have the power to shape the world around us. That starts with actually looking inward and understanding our own mental health - our own thoughts, behaviours, emotions and beliefs. And how that self-awareness can massively impact the way we show up in the workplace as leaders, allies and change-agents. Ultimately, to understand how our identity and experiences impact the conversations that we're having, the relationships we're fostering or the communities that we're building. What are your hopes for the future of We Create Space? To continue building a global platform and consultancy that serves and supports our clients and our community; to activate social change, connection and transform the status-quo through DEI-led conversations, initiatives and experiences; to educate, support and inspire all individuals to engage in personal growth, healing, leadership development, active allyship and community wellbeing. I want us to contribute to creating a world where individuals lead with love and influence positive social change and growth by ‘Creating Space’ in their own lives; consistently prioritising and practicing awareness, care, compassion, and respect - for themselves, and others. Michael Stephens (he/they) Michael is the founder of We Create Space. He is a Creative Director, Story-Teller and Community Builder. He loves to bring people together on a common mission and create magic. He spent over 10 years working for some of the world’s most respected British brands - including i-D Magazine, Vice Media, Liberty London, Ted Baker and Virgin Atlantic - but diverted from his original career path after overcoming a series of life-changing mental health challenges. He now works with leaders, communities and organisations to help promote the importance of prioritising self-care and personal-growth alongside professional development, predominantly within the lgbtq+ communities. You can find more information about Michael here. While you're here... Did you know we consult with Businesses, ERGs and Change-Leaders providing bespoke corporate solutions? Through consultancy we design shared learning experiences, produce DEI insights and craft bespoke content that support individuals with strengthening their roles as change-agents within their communities and organisations. Find out more here. We also organise FREE community events throughout the year! We offer a variety of ways to get involved - both online and in person. This is a great way to network and learn more about others' experiences, through in-depth discussion on an array of topics. You can find out what events we have coming up here. New ones are added all the time, so make sure you sign up to our newsletter so you can stay up to date!
- WCS>BCN 24.08.23
A wonderful evening of queer conversation and community in Barcelona. Video by Raymon Rivera Our in-person event in Barcelona on the 24th August was a night full of conversation, connection, dancing and queer joy! Our panel of speakers lead a discussion on "Queering Your Career", exploring how we can navigate new paths forward in both our personal and our professional lives. Our Speakers: Sanjukta Moorthy (she/her) - Host Kevin Hawkins (he/him) Jen Keawphaisan (she/her) Gonzalo Parra (he/him) Special thanks to The Hoxton Hotel for their support and allowing us to use their space in Barcelona for this event. Photos by Emiliano Del Piccolo. Did you know... We organise FREE community events throughout the year! We offer a variety of ways to get involved - both online and in person. This is a great way to network and learn more about others' experiences, through in-depth discussion on an array of topics. You can find out what events we have coming up here. New ones are added all the time, so make sure you sign up to our newsletter so you can stay up to date! While you're here... Did you know we consult with Businesses, ERGs and Change-Leaders providing bespoke corporate solutions? Through consultancy we design shared learning experiences, produce DEI insights and craft bespoke content that support individuals with strengthening their roles as change-agents within their communities and organisations. Find out more here.