London Fire Brigade has appointed three external members to its Togetherness Board, to support with the implementation of the Brigade’s new inclusion strategy.
Ridhima Tomar, Dr Renuka Fernando and Byron Johnson Brown join the Board for a two-year term. Their roles provide strategic leadership and accountability, and they will support the Brigade to achieve its ambition to be the best place to work. They will help the Board’s Chair, Commissioner Andy Roe, and the Brigade’s senior leaders, deliver on the goals set out in the strategy.
The Togetherness Strategy was created following consultation with colleagues, our partners in the emergency services, and Londoners, following the recommendations in the Phase 1 Grenfell Report and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services inspection report. The Brigade set out four clearly-defined diversity and inclusion goals to deliver by December 2021. These emanate from our Transformation Delivery Plan.
London Fire Commissioner Roe said: “I am delighted to welcome Ridhima, Renuka and Byron to the Togetherness Board. They will provide external expertise, scrutiny and guidance that will help us to achieve our Togetherness Strategy goals. Together they bring a wide range of professional, voluntary and lived experiences in diversity and inclusion to this Board. Their input will help us deliver a better Brigade for Londoners.”
The Togetherness Board is made up of the Brigade’s senior strategic leaders, who are accountable for the success of the Togetherness Strategy, as well as overall diversity and inclusion within the Brigade. The Board’s purpose is to provide strategic leadership, demonstrate accountability and engage key stakeholders from across the organisation in delivering a more diverse, inclusive Brigade, and stronger relationships in the communities it serves.
Ridhima Tomar is a development director at Common Purpose, a social enterprise delivering leadership development programmes across businesses, universities and in communities. Ridhima has worked with organisations in Africa, North America and Europe to help them build inclusive cultures. Ridhima is also an independent advisor and member of the City of London Police’s Scrutiny Group, and a volunteer mentor to students from ethnic minority backgrounds at the London School of Economics.
Ridhima said: “London’s diversity enables different cultures and communities to come together and this is an opportunity for people to share and experience each other’s cultures. The Brigade’s sense of purpose, to work collectively with Londoners and embrace these differences, is what really appealed to me about taking on this role.”
Byron Johnson Brown is a project manager at Healthy London Partnership, a collaboration between the NHS, Greater London Authority, Mayor of London, Public Health England and London Councils to improve health and well-being in London. He advises on digital transformation and manages relationships for Healthy London Partnership’s Social Investment Fund.
Byron said: “I’m honoured to join the Brigade's Togetherness Board. I became interested in the Brigade after attending a mental health webinar focused on the needs and experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic people. My experience and skills can benefit the organisation, and in turn, London. We all have different roles to play in social change, and this role with the Brigade is the one I'm most excited about.”
Dr Renuka Fernando is Director of Strategy (Corporate) at Kings’ College London. Prior to that, Dr Fernando led cross-government transformation on behalf of the Chief Executive of Her Majesty’s Civil Service and the Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary. Dr Fernando is a Lecturer at the London School of Economics, an advisor at Harvard Business School, and an advisor to the Operational Process Excellence Network.
Dr Fernando said: “I have led complex transformation programmes, including on gender equality, global systems, cross-government operating models and advocates for greater workplace empathy for physical and neurodiversity. This will help influence the change I can make in the Brigade and how we can develop relationships with Londoners.”