Spotlight on AACE’s Anti-Racism promises: March




This March we are shining a spotlight on the Ally Programme at Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST).

The Ally Programme at WAST

In November 2021 the Welsh Ambulance Service launched the Ally Programme to help create a more inclusive, compassionate and culturally responsible workforce in line with Strategic Equality Objectives and our culture and behaviour reset.

The programme encompasses allyship to all underrepresented groups and communities and promotes self-guided learning, reflective practice and courageous dialogue. These foundations are directly linked to three of the “Five Rs” outlined in the AACE Anti Racism PromiseRaise Awareness, Responsibility and Respect.

At WAST we believe that by laying these foundations, we are in the best position to ‘Respond’ by facilitating a long lasting cultural shift and ‘Represent’ through our Recruitment Outreach Project.

To find out more about the programme, a short promotional video is available here.

The Ally Programme was delivered to executive and non-executive colleagues at a Trust Board Development session in December 2021, following a soft launch in November with members of the Senior Operational Management Team.

Reflecting on the Ally Programme workshop, Board Secretary Trish Mills said;

I came away with a sense of excitement at the work that we can do as a Board around Allyship and EDI at the Trust. The session was uncomfortable in a number of ways, which is not negative – we need to feel uncomfortable to get into a place of change.

I have begun to read more about inclusivity, fairness and acceptance and challenged others more often on their views.

Also reflecting on the session, Executive Medical Director Brendan Lloyd shares;

The discussion on unconscious bias was excellent. The perspective of the individual is clearly determined to large extent by upbringing and experience.

I think as a nation we have to reconsider the popular belief that we are a friendly, welcoming country and instead look at the evidence of the racism that was particularly evident during the Brexit debate.

Catherine Goodwin, Assistant Director of Inclusion and Wellbeing and Ally Programme sponsor also comments on the programme’s impact:

Participating in the Ally Programme is enabling me to truly understand the limits of my own lived experience and take time to challenge my assumptions and find out more using the growing resources in the allyship library.

The programme’s principle of whole life allyship is powerful and has increased my confidence in challenging discrimination and micro-agressions no matter how uncomfortable that may feel.

Many thanks to Jessica Hooper at WAST for providing the content around this initiative. 

If you would like to hear more about the programme, book onto an Allyship Workshop, book a session for your team or would like support on your allyship journey please contact

We’ll continue to post our Spotlight updates each month in our website’s News section and via Twitter at @AACE_Org.

You can find more information about our anti-racism promises, along with messages from all of our Ambulance Trust CEOs on our Stamping Out Racism page.