Building Better Relationships
The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is for everyone who wants to handle conflict. Whether you have experienced conflict in the family, on the streets, in your workplace or somewhere else, an AVP workshop help you learn how to deal with it better.
Those who come to our workshops tell us they enjoy them and learn a lot about themselves.
*** Stop Press OJ Simpson praises AVP
O.J. Simpson was just granted parole from Lovelock Correctional Centre in Nevada, USA where AVP offers workshops.
He has served nearly nine years for armed robbery and assault with a weapon when he tried to take back sports memorabilia in a hotel room in Las Vegas.
During his parole hearing, he told the parole board that the AVP workshop he attended there has been his most important lesson behind bars, and that he has often mediated conflict among inmates. He stated:
“I took two courses that I guess you guys don’t give too much credit to, it’s called Alternative to Violence. I think it is the most important course anybody in this prison could take because it teaches you how to deal with conflict through conversation. I’ve been asked many many times here to mediate conflict between individuals and groups and it gave me so many tools, how to use it, to try to walk these guys through, and not throw punches at one another.”
“I think when the course finishes people will find they have a different outlook on life. Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself.”
AVP workshops/courses are not lectures. Participants learn from one another through group activities, discussion and role-play, drawing on real-life situations where conflict might happen, and exploring different ways to handle them. Light refreshments are provided and participants sometimes bring food to share.
We run two types of workshops: Level One and Level Two.
Level One helps with skills and attitudes for handling conflict, such as: understanding and believing in yourself, respecting others, communicating, and managing strong feelings like anger.
Level Two explores conflict, nonviolence and relationships in more depth while building on the skills developed in a Level One workshop. Usually the participants cooperate to choose the focus of the work in a Level Two workshop.
People may attend many workshops and some train as volunteer group facilitators.
AVP Yorkshire runs a monthly AVP community support event link and there is a distance-learning course for people in prison called Facing Up to Conflict.
“AVP was to be my turning point. There was no right answer – nor wrong ones. What pleased me more was that other people could see the changes I was making.”
Prison workshop participant
Workshop fees are charged on a sliding scale between £10 and £110 in accordance with the participant’s income.
“Excellent workshop, excellent value for money.”
AVP workshops are non-residential. They mostly start either on a Friday evening (around 6pm) or on Saturday morning (around 9.30 am) and finish on Sunday (around 5pm).
In some areas workshops are run on a weekly or monthly basis and we run short taster courses.
“All parts were helpful. I've learnt new techniques and strategies to help with anger, aggression and violence etc.”
In AVP workshops, people draw on their own experiences to explore the conflicts in their lives, and find ways of dealing with anger, fear and violence or potential violence.
“Especially helpful: understanding anger and body language because I can start to understand where my anger comes from and deal with it rather than for it to just happen again.”
Participants learn new skills, which can help to:
- Understand why conflict happens
- Manage strong feelings such as anger
- Build or rebuild good relationships with other people
- Communicate well in difficult situations.
- Be true to oneself while respecting other people
“I genuinely found all areas of the workshop facilitating for personal growth, and development of empathy and compassion.”
Book a place on a workshop
Our workshops enable you to deal with potentially violent situations in new and creative ways.
Give £5 a month
Donate to provide a bursary place for a victim of domestic violence on one of our workshops.
AVP London & South East
The Grayston Centre
28 Charles Square
020 7324 4757
AVP North West
6 Mount St
0161 832 3660
0747 998 2703