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Mediation Skills Training Programme Spring 2022

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“Absolutely inspirational! A truly engaging, enjoyable course”

This was said of the Accredited Mediation Training Course recently run for Volunteer Mediators with Smile Mediation Burnley. The course begins with an exploration of the ‘landscape’ thinking about why and how conflict and disagreement happen and how in far too many situations it becomes negative, discouraging and destructive. Participants then learn of the role and place of mediation in working in conflict situations, creating opportunities for positive and mutual ways of resolving disagreements and disputes, through creative and curious communication strategies and skills. Key to the training is an understanding of a core mediation process, which participants are encouraged to know, use and develop, being mindful of their own experience, innate skills and abilities.

“During the training course I went on a journey, not only to learn about mediation but also about myself”

A key objective of the training is development in self-awareness and confidence at handling difficult and challenging conversations. Part of this is being more aware of the impact we can have on others, through our behaviour, and communication, helping participants to understand how we can be part of a positive response through the way we manage ourselves. It was brilliant to see people really engage with this and grow in confidence.

“It has given me the confidence and the process to feel I can implement it in the workplace”

The training takes place over 6 weeks – a combination of in person days, half day zoom sessions, pre-recorded webinars which people can watch in their own time and can come back to, as well as a full in depth manual. 

“Thank you so much for being such a good trainer – you have the absolute perfect blend of information from methodology to empathy and I feel very fortunate to be on your course. Thank you and I promise I will work on the areas of development you’ve suggested together with the areas I find difficult.”

A key part of the training is to have opportunities for skills practice, gradually building skills and understanding, interspersing them with content. There are feedback opportunities via voice calls on WhatsApp, as well as written observations of practice and a final one-to-one trainer/trainee tutorial.

“I’m so glad the training is fantastic (if on zoom) and much more organised than the volunteering I’m trying to do elsewhere. Feel excited at the potential of it.”

Smile Mediation offers this training to recruit volunteers of a high calibre to work for the service, offering mediation and conflict coaching in communities and workplaces. They work hard to support their volunteers, providing networking and supervision opportunities, and refresher training events. We are delighted that a new cohort of mediators have now been trained.

Relating to Sikhs and Sikhism – Review from the 5th February 2022

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We gathered at the Blackley Centre for a brief introduction to Sikhism and to clarify arrangements for our visit to the gurdwara. Then we set out for the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Huddersfield where we were made very welcome by Jas, the Education Officer. Our visit started with a visit to the Punjabi School which is held each Saturday morning. We met three young people who each gave a brief presentation about different aspects of what it meant for them to be Sikhs. It was great to chat with them and we had some interesting discussion about baptism in Sikhism and Christianity. It was a high point of the day. Then we toured round the school meeting three different classes of children and their teachers. We visited the large prayer hall where we saw the Sikh sacred scripture, which is the Guru Granth Sahib, which was on a low platform covered by a canopy. There are no chairs and worshippers sit on the beautifully carpeted floor.

We had a lovely lunch provided for us in the large kitchen and dining area, where quite a few Sikhs were also eating. This was followed by a powerpoint presentation on Sikhism with many questions and much discussion with Jas before concluding the visit. It had certainly fulfilled the aim of enabling us to understand Sikh beliefs and practices and understand the role of the Gurdwara. Those on the visit all found it very helpful, commenting, ‘it was fun and informative’, ‘an eye opener’ and ‘enlightening’.

Relating to Sikhs and Sikhism

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Do you…
• have Sikh neighbours?
• work with Sikhs?
• employ Sikh staff?
• have a Sikh Gurdwara nearby?
• have a curiousity about Sikh beliefs and practice?
Would it help you to understand Sikhs and Sikhism better?

If so, come to…

Relating to Sikhs and Sikhism
10am to 4pm Saturday 5

th February, 2022
An introductory day for Christians, church groups and

people of all faiths and none
The aims of the day are for participants to:
• gain a working understanding of Sikh beliefs, practices and festivals
• visit and understand the role of a Sikh Gurdwara
• meet and chat with a Sikh
• identify common ground
• ask questions
• become more informed and confident in relating to Sikhs and gurdwaras

Admission free, donations appreciated

The day starts at the Blackley Centre and concludes at the

Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Huddersfield

Measures will be taken to be as Covid safe as practically possible,

so places must be booked in advance with Peter
Centre Office Tel. 01422 646803
The Blackley Centre

Prospect View, Blackley, Elland, West Yorkshire HX5 0TD

(Near Junction 24 of the M62)

Holocaust Memorial Day

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As Holocaust Memorial Day approaches 

A Visit to the 

Holocaust Exhibition 

& Learning Centre 


Schwann Building Level 2 The University of Huddersfield HD1 3DH 

People of all faiths and beliefs who wish to remember and  learn more about the holocaust are most welcome 

3.00pm Sunday, 16th January 

Meet outside or in reception 

Organised by Revd Andy Williams 

Blackley Centre Director for Inter Faith Relations 

As part of the Centre’s Inter Faith Programme 

Free admission 

(Recommended donation of £5 to £10) 

Measures will be taken to be as Covid safe as practically  possible, so places must be booked in advance. 

To book, please email 

Or call the Centre on 01422 646803

Let’s Talk about Conflict

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Conflict is a key cause of isolation, unhappiness and division in all sorts of contexts. It impacts our work, our homes, our neighbourhoods and our faith communities. 

‘Let’s Talk about Conflict’ sessions have been created to help us skill ourselves to handle conflict more effectively so that we create more cohesive and harmonious communities, families and places of work. 

Let’s Talk About Conflict: 1

Three introductory sessions:

Session One: Understanding the nature of conflict – why it happens!

Session Two: Why relationships suffer?

Session Three: Exploring how good communication can transform conflict – what can we do about it!

These sessions are ideal for individuals to attend, or to come with 2 or 3 people from your church or organisation, so that you can build on the learning in your own context.

These sessions will be delivered virtually on Zoom over 3 evenings (7.00 pm – 9.00pm)  or alternatively they can be done as an in person away day, held at the Blackley Centre (9.30am  – 3.00 pm.)

Let’s Talk about Conflict: 2

Three further sessions

Three follow-on sessions that take the same themes as LT1, but go into greater depth. Participants therefore need to have done LT1. These sessions are ideal for faith leaders, charity trustees, employers and others in positions of responsibility: people, for whom the management of themselves in conflict, together with an understanding of conflict in organisations, will have a transformative impact on their communities.

These sessions will be delivered over 3 sessions 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm

Autumn Programme

Course/Workshop Date and TimeVenue
Let’s Talk about Conflict:1
Full Course: Sessions 1 – 3
Sat 2nd October
9.30 am – 3.00 pm
Let’s Talk about Conflict:1
Session 1
Wed 6th Oct
7.00 pm – 9.00 pm
Let’s Talk about Conflict:1
Session 2
Wed 13 th Oct
7.00 pm – 9.00 pm
Let’s Talk about Conflict:1
Session 3
Wed 20 th Oct
7.00 pm – 9.00 pm
Let’s Talk about Conflict:1 Full Course: Sessions 1 – 3Sat 6th November
9.30 am – 3.00 pm
Blackley Centre
Let’s Talk about Conflict: 2
Session 1
Wed 17th November7.00 pm – 9.00 pmZoom
Let’s Talk about Conflict: 2
Session 2
Wed 24th November7.00 pm – 9.00 pmZoom
Let’s Talk about Conflict: 2
Session 3
Wed 1st December
7.00 pm – 9.00 pm

Costs: Let’s Talk 1 and 2: £90.00 per person (organisationally 

funded for CPD/CMD)

£75.00 per person (individually funded)

£200 Group rate for 3 people. 

Additional people at £60 per 


To book contact Peter at or ring 01422 646803

New Dates added for Peace and Quiet Days in 2021

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As we head for winter and leave the madness of the pandemic behind us, hopefully now is the time to start a fresh.

In response to the chance to re-set your life the Blackley Centre are running their highly acclaimed ‘Peace and Quiet Days’ this autumn.

Details of the day and how it can help you are laid out below.

We are now taking bookings for Friday 24th September plus the October and November dates if preferred. All you have to do is either drop us an email or give us a call. 
Please keep an eye out for lots of new events and training opportunities which the Blackley Centre will be running over the next few months.

Let’s Talk Understanding Conflict

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Zoom workshops in June

Unresolved destructive conflict causes communication and relationship breakdown in families, teams and organisations of all kinds, making it difficult to live or work well together.

These workshops help participants to improve their understanding of conflict, how conflict may cause relationships to suffer, how good communication skills can help to prevent it from becoming destructive and how to deal creatively with conflict to restore and build relationships in families, organisations and communities.

These workshops will be of interest to individuals and to those who work in the voluntary, community and faith, public and private sectors, particularly team leaders.

Led by Joanna Williams, Director for Reconciliation

A series of three workshops delivered on Zoom on Fridays in June on 4th, 11th and 18th from 9.30am to 11.30am exploring…

1. Why conflict happens (4th)

2. How relationships suffer (11th)

3. Good communication skills to restore and build community (18th)

Cost £90 as professional development (CPD, CMD) or £75 for personal use/interest

Please enquire about discounts for groups or teams

To book your place, please complete and return the booking form to