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Central Office Policy ; Assistance Dogs; February 2018

"From time to time the staff team receive enquiries from volunteers about equality and diversity issues, so we thought it helpful to provide an update. As a charity, the Ramblers must follow all relevant legislation, including the Equality Act; we also have an equality and diversity framework which sets out how we ensure we comply with the law and promote an environment where all employees, volunteers and members are treated fairly and with dignity and respect. 
 
Our most frequent enquiry on this topic relates to assistance dogs. While it is not a requirement for walk leaders to allow dogs on Ramblers group walks, it is illegal to specify 'no dogs'. If you do not wish walkers to attend with their dogs, please use the phrase 'registered assistance dogs only'. If you have concerns about the suitability of the walk for assistance dogs you can add ' please contact the walk leader in advance to discuss your requirements.' If this is the case, please be prepared to have the discussion about the suitability of the walk for an assistance dog. 
 
You should only refuse attendance after seeking advice from Central Office and on the grounds of genuine safety concerns. If this is the case, you should explore alternative options such as the walkers bringing a companion (who does not have to be a member) with them.
 
The equality framework can be found in the governance toolkit online at Volunteer toolkits - Ramblers
 
 
or, if you have any questions, queries or concerns about equality and diversity in your group or area, please contact volunteersupport@ramblers.zendesk.com"