Westminster Council resilience update

Appreciating People; Appreciative Inquiry; Westminster Council: resilience training

The AP team trains staff at nine homeless hostels in Westminster in AI

STOP PRESS: there are still two places for staff available on our next Westminster AI course – 11 & 20 September, contact Suzanne for more details. You can read below about our last training programme with the Westminster Council group.


Appreciating People has just finished its two and a half day AI (Appreciative Inquiry) training programme, for 18 staff from nine homeless hostels in Westminster. The project built on AP’s ‘Back on your feet‘ project at Westminster’s King George’s Hostel last year, and will also we rolled out to the borough’s rough sleepers team.

In 2010 AP worked with residents at Riverside ECHG’s King George’s Hostel to help them use AI to help former drug and alcohol misusers slipping back into addiction. In the latest project, the AP team has worked with staff across nine hostels, training them in Appreciative Inquiry and The Work of Byron Katie, and helping them develop practical applications of what they’ve learned.

AP co-director Suzanne Quinney said ‘It went very well – everyone is keen to apply the knowledge they’ve gained in different ways,’ while feedback from staff included: ‘I enjoyed discussing ways to work more positively in our work place and particularly with clients.’

Hostel residents from the first AP course joined the group on day two, and the three residents talked passionately about how AI and The Work had helped them. Talking about the impact of AI stirred up some strong emotions, including this stirring comment from one of the former residents:

You were one of the steps which really made me look at myself and stop being so negative with my life. I believe the AI course was instrumental in my change as a person and hope you know how much I need to thank you. You are such a strong person, who is non-judgemental, caring and warm. I believe the way you broke down the barriers between staff and clients gave us all a different way of being able to trust one another and, be able to really talk about any problems/needs we had – if only this was the way others would do things I think others would be in a better position to help.

The next phase of the programme sees Appreciating People taking 20 staff and residents on a three day residential course at a youth hostel in north London at the end of October.

You can read more about the Riverside ECHG King George’s Hostel project here.