By
Su Riddell
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20 June, 2011

Welcoming supper (Photo: Kate Monkhouse)
Welcoming supper (Photo: Kate Monkhouse)
After four Creators of Peace (CoP) Circles in Edinburgh and Glasgow had taken place over the last year, it was time to offer training to participants wanting to facilitate one themselves. Over the weekend of 3 – 5 June Su Riddell and Kate Monkhouse were in Edinburgh to help the local team do just that. The great thing about our training is that it acts as a refresher course for those of us who have already been active with Peace Circles, and we all joined in, including Veronica Craig and Monica Spooner. We also draw in experience from our work, lives, families; whatever we have, we bring together, and the results are very rich. It is an added privilege when one of our participants decides to spend their 70th birthday with us!

Justina’s birthday cake (Photo: Kate Monkhouse)
Justina’s birthday cake (Photo: Kate Monkhouse)
Asked what they had gained from the weekend’s training, one participant commented, 'The most important part I found was learning about group dynamics. Working in the team, listening to others, and taking the session on inner listening.' Another said, 'It is interesting to see how friendship and understanding grows over the weekend.' It can be easy to take for granted the atmosphere of care and trust which can be created using the IofC pattern, and another said she benefitted from 'getting to know more wonderful, diverse women in a gentle caring environment, which models what the aim of the Peace Circle is.'

Training group and participants from Circles in Edinburgh and Glasgow (Photo: Kate Monkhouse)
Training group and participants from Circles in Edinburgh and Glasgow (Photo: Kate Monkhouse)
Trainers need to stay on their toes. Everything is observed, and with the Peace Circle we are very aware that when talking about creating peace, that starts with the model of our working relationship. So it was a great relief for Kate and I to read that another participant appreciated, 'meeting other like-minded people, and the rapport between the facilitators.' Yet another observed, 'Seeing how you both facilitated the training.'

Kate, who is becoming one of our trainers of facilitators for Peace Circles, said, 'I have gained further conviction that CoP is something that really transforms our capacity to create peace in our own cities and communities and countries.'

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