ted Learning | theatre based learning

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Ashford Borough Council

Client Focus: Ashford Borough Council

ted Learning Theatre of Learning drama based training
This month’s client focus is on Ashford Borough Council. In 2019, ted Learning was delighted to have been appointed as the provider of inclusion, equity and diversity training for Ashford Borough Council.  The contract involved delivering this programme to all council employees and a special session designed for their elected members.   This was to be delivered to several hundred colleagues and we had the use of their amazing council chamber to really create a theatre experience using our actors to bring the experience to life with various sets incorporated!

Our last face to face session of the original contract was delivered in March 2020 just three days before the first national lockdown was announced! We then needed to move some of the delivery to a virtual space and this was the first time that ted Learning had delivered this type of training in a virtual way so it was good to have a highly supportive client, helping and working with us to ensure the experience was still a positive one despite the challenges at the time of social distancing being in place. The response was amazing and the rest is history in terms of ted now delivering in a virtual and blended space to clients around the world.

We were therefore thrilled to be asked 3 years later to return this month and deliver a top up session for new employees and to the recently elected members, some of whom attended the session in 2020 but most are newly elected. Once again we tailored the sessions to the different business needs and incorporated legislation, business values and culture along with key data from the last census to help them understand how to best support their communities.

Our client there Gillian Crayden challenged us to deliver the same impactful experience to their teams but if we could update the scenes to reflect any legal and case study changes since 2023 and also reflect some of their own internal requirements so people could see the ‘mirror held up’.

Working with our highly talented script writer, we updated the scenes to make them feel more subtle in places to show how some of the issues faced are not always overt and to reflect the ‘papercut affect’ as some of their team described it, where it’s small things but on a regular basis, that in isolation might not feel much but when added up make people feel uncomfortable.

We also spent time reaching out to different people from the protected characteristics to get a better and deeper understanding of their lived experiences.

We felt it was really important to incorporate their stories and experiences as we delivered our drama based approach and the following discussions gave us a chance to weave in these stories so people can hear what others challenges are.

For example, hearing first hand from wheelchair users about their daily lives and being able to share these with policy makers in a local authority (who can consider these issues when making future decisions that can enhance lives) was such a powerful and important experience for all of us at ted. If it can also ensure that people avoid making some of the mistakes from these stories, we will have made life just a little bit better for others.

Team ted Learning in action at Ashford Borough CouncilTeam ted Learning in action at Ashford Borough Council

Using the words expressed to us by members of the trans community and turning these into a short powerful video that helps people understand their challenges and experiences, helped provoke lots of discussion and a better understanding. There was such a level of compassion too.

We have been so proud to support a client who has once again placed trust in the ted Learning business to support them and to have delivered this training to several hundred employees again.

We have also provided our client with additional digital content to stretch and embed the learning including our newly created sexual harassment awareness course.  Supporting this client who are determined to create an even better place to work has been such a privilege. It was also nice to work with a client literally 10 minutes up the road from ted HQ!

Justin Smith Essex - ted Learning Theatre of Learning drama based training
Justin Smith-Essex

Justin is the Group MD of Squaricle Group & one of the co-founders & Managing Director of ted Learning.