Handling Conflict 3 Day event

Event Date: 
Friday, 13 September, 2013


Dates: Friday  13 September  – Sunday 15 September 2013


To get the most out of the weekend, everyone needs to attend all sessions. The aim is not only to learn from each other, but also to have a good time.  There will be three trained facilitators - Peter Gay, Cecile Brich and Pam Ratcliffe -  and up to 15 other people taking part. 



Minsteracres Retreat Centre, Nr Consett, Co Durham,  DH8 9RT,   01434 673 248  info@minsteracres.org        Website for directions etc is: http://www.minsteracres.org/  



Transport can be provided, if requested.


Time The course will start at 5  on Friday evening, Sept 13.  It will  be held in one of the conference rooms in the  Centre.  It is quite concentrated, so please wear comfortable clothing.

    Please have a think beforehand  about what you want to get out of this workshop and if there are any particular  conflicts  in your own life  that you feel you are either handling well, or  would like to handle better.

   Please  be ready and on time for the start of each session.  Every  session includes a break.

      The  programme is as follows:


Friday September 13:

4 pm.  Arrival, settle into rooms, tea/coffee

5 - 6.30  Session One  (first part):   Welcome 

7  Supper

7.45 - 9 Session One (second part)


Saturday September 14:

9 Breakfast

9.45 - 12.45  Session  2

1  Lunch

1.45 – 4.15   Session 3

Short break

4.45  – 6.15   Session 4

6.30  Supper

Then, free time. (NB - if the weather is very good, and you prefer, we  could

 instead have the early afternoon free and work 4-6.15 and 7.15 to 9) 


Sunday  September 15:  

9 Breakfast

9.45 - 12.45   Session 5

1 Lunch

1.45 -4   Session  6


4.30.  Participants return home. 




We  believe that conflict is a natural and normal part of everyday  life, and that it is   possible to learn new ways of handling it. By holding workshops in which those taking part  consider the underlying causes of friction and violence, practical ways of handling  conflict are worked out.


Underlying the workshops is the belief that inside ourselves we all have the power to turn many bad situations into something good.  The workshops build on our everyday experiences. They try to help us move away from destructive conflict  by developing ways of handling conflicts better.



  A  workshop consists of eight to fifteen people, and is led by three or four trained facilitators, who do this work on an entirely voluntary basis.  There are six  sessions,  of up to  three hours each.     They are open to everyone who volunteers, and childcare  can be arranged.  No-one is excluded from workshops on account of the cost.

        The workshop activities (some of which are sheer good fun) are designed to  encourage and develop an atmosphere of  trust and co-operation.             Confidentiality is required of everyone taking part. Within this safe  space,  real everyday conflicts are examined,  and explored.  Communication skills are developed through a series of exercises, and  non-violent  ways  of resolving conflicts are explored. The workshop  can be one of exciting self-discovery and growth.

             The workshops offer very little `teaching'. The facilitators create  a framework which helps those taking part  to share personal experience and wisdom,  No one is asked to disclose more than they wish. The workshops belong to the participants, there is regular evaluation,  and built-in flexibility to the programme.



The workshops  are based on material from the  Alternatives to Violence Project, which  began in 1975 when  men in a US prison asked a group of Quakers to help them confront the violence in the prison and dissuade younger men from following the same path. The programme has developed out of this, and still has  close links with prisons in the US, Canada, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Uganda and here in Britain.  Prison workshops have had some dramatic effects, and  many prisoners (as well as people in the community outside) have themselves become trained Facilitators,  so  blurring the distinction between community and prison participation in AVP.

     AVP ideas have since spread to over 30 countries around  the world, with many workshops run both in prisons and the community in Britain since 1989.



·         Between June 09 and July 11, we have run nine workshops for  Newcastle people, mostly for residents in the East End. Childcare  was provided for two workshops.  Most workshops  have been residential over a weekend.

·         63%  of people described the workshops they attended as ‘excellent’;  34% as ‘good ‘.  3% of responses are unknown. More details overleaf.

·         The workshops  began a  part of  a programme of activities in the East End,  called    ‘Engage for Change’  (E4C). E4C  was the idea of  a number of community groups in the East End. They wanted  to express  the good things about their family and community life and to  highlight and share the positive things they do to handle and resolve conflicts.  

·         Newcastle Conflict Resolution Network (NCRN) (funded by  Newcastle Quakers and  Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust)  is sponsoring  the workshops. 


    For further information, see  www.avpbritain.org.uk  and www.newcastlecrn.org.uk