CDS Co-operatives – ‘Being an Ally’ Workshop

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"The fact that you had the room buzzing with energy, curiosity, challenge and laughter for the whole learning packed day is a real testament to your skill!" Linda Wallace, Chief Executive, CDS Co-operatives 

At a Glance

Positive About Inclusion was commissioned by CDS Co-operatives to design and deliver a bespoke day-long ‘Being an Ally’ workshop for all CDS colleagues. Delivered in person at their London office, the brief was to really challenge participants to think about their individual and collective roles as effective allies and active bystanders.

About the Client

CDS is a charitable community benefit society first established in 1975 to support the development of new housing co-ops. Over time, their role has evolved and CDS now own and manage homes across the South East of England. Their core purpose is to provide, support and promote co-op and community-led housing – so that more people can shape the things that matter to them – at home, in their neighbourhood or community.

Challenges and Objectives

The request for a workshop came from CDS colleagues as part of the organisation’s action plan for becoming an anti-racist organisation. The workshop was required to be engaging and gently challenging, providing opportunities for the team to refresh their EDI knowledge across all protected characteristics as well as guidance on the activities and behaviours to embrace to be more effective allies in the workplace and beyond.

Solution

We designed and delivered a workshop including a range of activities that provided the opportunity for self-reflection, challenge and open discussion. The safe space we created enabled participants to share some of their lived experience which was incredibly moving for everyone present. The final activity of the day revolved around the CDS values and participants co-created an allyship charter for the organisation.

Impact

Participants valued the way in which the workshop was delivered and the housing lens our experience enabled us to provide to the whole session. We brought energy, fun and practical tips to the session which meant that participants not only left being more equipped to be active allies but also more confident having enjoyed the day. The CDS Co-operatives allyship charter, created at the end of the session, will provide a lasting legacy of team commitments around allyship behaviours and ongoing challenge.

We received a lovely card from the team after the workshop and a wonderful testimonial from the CDS Co-operatives Chief Executive:

Thank you card received after the workshop from CDS Co-operatives

“We had a fabulous day with you both. Our lovely CDS Co-operatives team are working really hard just now and it can be difficult for people to switch their attention from the demands of the immediate. The fact that you had the room buzzing with energy, curiosity, challenge and laughter for the whole learning packed day is a real testament to your skill!  I feel you left us better equipped to be active allies and armed with a little more courage and a lot more ambition!   Thank you – so much – we loved it!”

Linda Wallace, Chief Executive, CDS Co-operatives 

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