Race Ahead anti-racism course from EDP Training

Laura Burke, Operations Manager at A Better Start Southend, discusses the recent anti-racism training that took place at ABSS and how they are planning to implement their learning.

Laura Burke

EDP Training conducts Anti-Racism training courses for workplaces to develop their awareness through discussion, education and self-evaluation.

Bianca Jones, the Managing Director of EDP Training, came to Southend to work with A Better Start Southend (ABSS), our Parent Champions, and Engagement Team. We had identified that in order to confidently connect with our diverse community, we needed to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be anti-racist.

During the lead up to the course, we were all invited to complete surveys which asked us to analyse our experiences and grade ourselves on how anti-racist we believe we are as individuals and as an organisation and to outline our desired outcomes from the training. This formed a blueprint for Bianca to design specific training based on our feedback.

The sessions began with open discussions and the reassurance that we could safely express our thoughts and questions. It was fascinating to hear others’ concerns, experiences and levels of confidence when it comes to discussing the topic of race. Group work encouraged deeper conversations, brainstorming and sharing with other teams. We were shown statistics, videos, case studies and shocking history timelines. Bianca asked us to think about the language we use, its meaning and how it can be perceived by our communities.

Towards the end of the course, we were asked to identify how we would implement our learnings. As individuals, we were encouraged to make personal pledges of how we rated our understanding and anti-racism status at the end of the course. The results were noticeably different to the start of the course and included our increased confidence as allies and empowering others.

The outcomes of the training have been significantly beneficial for the team. Since the training, we have been collecting the feedback through internal surveys and we are currently creating action points such as identifying external groups to work with to support our goals, re-evaluating internal recruitment processes, the language we use in external messaging and celebrating what we have achieved so far and how we can develop those achievements.

Laura Burke, Operations Manager, “It will certainly help the workplace and it has given us a clearer awareness about how to ensure we are anti-racist. We are putting in place the action plan which was discussed during our session and also reviewing the language used on our website and in our publication information.”

About A Better Start

A Better Start is a ten-year (2015-2025), £215 million programme set-up by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

Five A Better Start partnerships based in Blackpool, Bradford, Lambeth, Nottingham and Southend are supporting families to give their babies and very young children the best possible start in life. Working with local parents, the A Better Start partnerships are developing and testing ways to improve their children’s diet and nutrition, social and emotional development, and speech, language and communication.

The work of the programme is grounded in scientific evidence and research. A Better Start is place-based and enabling systems change. It aims to improve the way that organisations work together and with families to shift attitudes and spending towards preventing problems that can start in early life. It is one of five major programmes set up by The National Lottery Community Fund to test and learn from new approaches to designing services which aim to make people’s lives healthier and happier

The National Children’s Bureau is coordinating an ambitious programme of shared learning for A Better Start, disseminating the partnerships’ experiences in creating innovative services far and wide, so that others working in early childhood development or place-based systems change can benefit.

Sign-up to join our mailing list

Visit the A Better Start website to find out more.