October 4, 2011

Training and consultancy

Farquharson Training and Consultancy’s promise to you: “Dignity and Respect”.

Who am I?

I am a black, disabled man with over twenty years practical experience and theoretical study in all aspects of equality, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.

What do I do? Why am I unusual in what I do?

Many people see the issues of equality and diversity, inclusion and accessibility as, at best an irrelevance, at worst an overhead, a bureaucratic drain on their organisation. I promote understanding of these issues and implementation of best practices as a powerful force for organisational change that empowers individuals and teams, and which releases energy and creativity previously hidden and unused within the organisation.

Viewpoint on equality and diversity

Farquharson Training and Consultancy  recognises that although this can be a complex area meaning different things to different people depending who they are, what context they are working in, what interest they have in promoting ‘equality’ it is essential that we all work from a position that believes in and promotes ‘social justice’, that recognises human rights and encourages the exploration of these issues

As Farquharson Training and Consultancy I have worked on specific ‘equality’ areas  most recently on issues around disabled people, and involvement, User Led Organisation in all aspects of community and public life. Over the years we have worked on a whole range of issues that impact particularly on specific groups.

I believe that one way of helping this process is by focusing on the values and principles of community development, as outlined in Community Development Exchange statement on community development and, in particular the underlying values of: ‘social justice’ which is about ‘enabling people to claim their human rights, meet their needs and have greater control over the decision-making processes which affect their lives’, and ‘equality’ challenging the attitudes of individuals, and the practices of institutions and society, which discriminate against and marginalise people.

It is important to acknowledge that ‘power’ plays a part in how things are and that being transparent about who has access to ‘power’ in different circumstances who has access to resources, who is making the decisions, who is benefiting and who is losing is an important part of working towards social justice and inclusion.

Social justice

Social justice is about changing systems and shaping cultures in a way that will guarantee full citizenship, creating ‘a just and fair society with freedom and equal opportunities for all in terms of: liberty, opportunity, income, wealth and self-respect’. It is about enabling people to claim their human rights: legal, political, civil, social, economic and environmental, to meet their needs and have greater control over the decision-making processes which affect their lives. The concept of social justice highlights barriers to full citizenship through inequality: restricted access to employment, goods and services; under-representation in political, economic and community decision making; marginalisation in society; segregation; direct discrimination; harassment, intimidation and violence.

Diversity and equality

The method is underpinned by the recognition that our society is not equal in terms of money, capital, education, prospects, environments, employment, health and so on. As well as these tangible aspects of inequality, there exists a range of stereotypes and prejudices that result in discrimination of individuals, groups and communities, which further limit their share of the country’s resources and which can have a negative effect on people’s self-esteem, confidence and general well-being. Such discrimination can be about race, colour, gender, disability, appearance, religion/beliefs, sexuality, and poverty. We have a particular interest in gender and active citizenship.

I believe what we think about other people and human nature affects every aspect of our lives, from the way we raise our children to the political movements we embrace. Science is bringing us into a golden age of understanding how we think and feel, showing us how experience is capable of changing brain structure significantly. Differences start small and accumulate or are compounded by these experiences. I work on understanding differences and helping people reframe past experiences to create a new world.

I use what I refer to as Inclusionism to communicate these ideas. I want to make a difference and my mission is to apply what I have learnt to assist people in life’s challenges and journey.

Fireworks display

Reframing past experiences to create a new world

How can I help your organisation?

I work at three levels:

  • Personal development and coaching of individuals.
  • Team building and more effective team working.
  • And at a management and strategic level,
    • I can provide accessibility audits and / or train members of your team so that they can do such work on their own.
    • I can advise with the equality regulatory requirements.
    • And, fundamentally, I advise organisations on how they can turn the meaningless paragraphs of boilerplate in the CSR and HR documentation that we all know and ignore into a genuine, transformational, catalyst for change.

By reducing prejudice, discrimination, and stereotyping, by increasing understanding and a willingness to work together, I make big, important changes — changes that can have a profound impact on the well-being, harmony, and effectiveness of the organisation.

Arch made of pebbles

Personal development and team building

What is my skillset?

  • Coach
  • Facilitator
  • Consultant
  • Motivational Speaker
  • Trainer
  • Auditor

Farquharson Training programmes are energetic, exciting and highly participative; they create an impact and motivate participants to learn and embrace change. By utilising a blend of learning methods – practice sessions, group workshops, scenario-driven learning, assignments, self-managed learning, shared group learning, accelerated learning and structured group learning – we achieve two outcomes:

  • Connecting the head and the heart
  • Turning Common sense into common practice.

Who have I worked for?

A large focus of my work over the past 10 years has been working with people who experience inequalities and find themselves in vulnerable situations. This resulted in being appointed (2006-2010) as Member of Equality 2025 and giving strategic, confidential advice to government on issues that affect disabled people. The advice included participation in the very early stages of policy development or in-depth examination of existing policy cross Central Government. As a member, I worked with ministers and senior officials across government.

I have worked for many organisations, large and small, including:

  • Department of Health
  • Advantage West Midlands
  • Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency
  • University of Derby Buxton
  • Birmingham Access Committee

What people say about me

“Clenton was a great asset to the QCDA while I worked with him in the team. His presentation skills were great and I can fully recommend Clenton for any similar role.” Dr Richard Willis, Senior Research Fellow, Roehampton University, May 21, 2011

“I attended accessibility/disability equality training run by Clenton. The first thing you notice about Clenton is his warmth and his great sense of humour. Underneath the cuddly teddy bear, though, lurks a depth of knowledge and commitment. His passion aboiut his subject is undoubted and what he doesn’t know about it, especially about disability equality, ain’t worth knowing. Clenton has the ability to cut through to the heart of the matter and to make his point in a way that is easy to understand. He manages to take what can be a highly charged, highly sensitive and often complicated set of issues into the real world and he does it with patience and compassion. I came away from his training course with a much deeper understanding of some of the issues around equality and diversity, and even better, armed with the necessary tools to challenge those for whom equality is simply an irritating set of boxes to be ticked. If you want (and almost certainly you need) a fresh perspective from someone for whom equality is not an intellectual exercise, but who lives it you need Clenton.”  Sarah Tonks, May 24, 2011

“Clenton is a great communicator. He has ideas that can influence action and improve people’s lives in what he has contributed in the Race Equality Group, which we have gain insight into Clenton’s ethos. He has demonstrated great knowledge and skill in participating within the theme, ideas and discussion of the group. I recommend Clenton for his dialogue, conversation and innovation to the reduction of social injustice in the Racial Equality group on LinkedIn which he has contributed to the enlightenment of the group.” Ambassador Asuquo Asuquo, June 14, 2011

“Clenton worked in partnership with deafPLUS to provide a workshop on the Equality Act 2010. Clenton appears to have an in-depth knowledge of this subject matter; combined with a profound commitment for others to know and have an understanding of their rights. Clenton’s workshop was very informative and his presentation skills displayed a heartfelt enthusiasm for championing for a fair and just society. It has been a pleasure working with Clenton and I have truly been inspired by his life journey.” Myola Edwards, July 6, 2011

“Clenton provided a great professional service to Advantage West Midlands as a trainer and adviser especially with regards to disability equality and was always happy to help with good practical advice.” Kwabena Osayande,  May 23, 2011

“Today attended a really excellent workshop run by Clenton Farquharson. He explained, in really simple terms for the likes of me, the Equality Act 2010 and its provisions for disability. Would really recommend if he does any of these near you (or you can persuade your employer to make a booking). Came away with a lot to think about.”  Annie Banham, Birmingham City Council, 26th August 2011

What do I charge?

£300 a day for those can afford it. I also do pro bono and reduced rate work where appropriate.

How can you find out more about what I do, and how I might benefit your organisation?

Read some more of this site, perhaps the “about me” and “inclusionism” pages.

You can read this article (pdf) originally printed in the VINE magazine, the premier BME positive-outlook magazine in and for the Midlands.

And follow my blog, or my twitter feed. See my Linkedin profile. (See sidebar for links.) Or just contact me!