Relational Practice: Session Four Making It Real

Relational Practice: Session Four Making It Real

Information and Overview

10 October, 2023: Our fourth session’s theme ‘Making it Real’ aimed to provide a variety of practical suggestions for some of the key challenges facing participating organisations in making relational practice real. As this was the first session after the summer holidays, we started off by asking participants to share something positive that had happened in their project over the summer. Then it was time to hear from our guest speakers Faye Hamilton and Tim Fisher from the Relational Activists in Camden.

To tune us into a more relational approach and help us feel grounded in ourselves, find and release the energy within us, Faye led us through a short guided meditation. Following on from this, Tim introduced their work on creating a system based on love and some of the key principles that have underpinned their work. These included:

  • What you pay attention to grows.
  • Make justice and liberation feel good.
  • Create an inclusive community with flexible roles.
  • Move at the speed of trust.

In Camden, Relational Activism has succeeded in bringing together different stakeholders who might often be adversaries, such as social workers and parents whose children have been removed. By working together and building relationships with each other, they have succeeded in developing a system that is far more relational and informed by the human experiences of the people with first-hand insight. This served as an important reminder that we can infuse systems with love, kindness and compassion.

Tim and Faye’s input led us to invite participants to consider how they can be Relational Activists and what resources and allies they might need to do more of this.

Part two of the session focussed on some of the practical challenges experienced by participants around developing their projects. Prior to the meeting, we had asked their input to identify these and grouped them into 3 key themes: funding, capacity, and measuring impact and outcomes. During the session we therefore gave participants the opportunity to join a breakout group on whichever challenge they wanted to explore. Each group then set out to share in what ways they had experienced this particular challenge, and jointly identify ways forward – in the spirit of Bob the Builder: ‘Can we fix it? Yes we can!’ This turned up some further valuable resources such as the Relationships Framework. It also gave us various pointers for session 5, which explored in more detail the challenge of measuring the difference that relational practice can make.

As previously, the session finished with reflections in small groups about what we’d heard on the day, and action planning on how to put some of what we’d heard into practice.

Read Session Three Here – Relation Practice Session Three

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