Graham Coleman

Drama-based Safeguarding Training

When we were approached by British Gymnastics to deliver a workshop on safeguarding at their annual conference for Regional Welfare Officers earlier this year, it’s fair to say we jumped at the chance.

We’ve been steadily developing our work in this crucial area for several years and have witnessed first-hand just how impactful our highly interactive, experiential approach is for bringing the challenges of safeguarding practices and procedures to life.

We were sure that this would prove yet another opportunity to demonstrate the strengths of our participant-centred, drama-based approach over conventional, trainer-centred, ‘death by PowerPoint’ training.

The Goal

As well as our trademark high levels of interaction and engagement, British Gymnastics wanted us to bring our experience and know-how to bear in 3 ways. They wanted a session in which delegates could:

  • Experience for themselves how personal bias may influence the safeguarding referrals they make
  • Explore the challenges of making referrals
  • Develop the practical skills needed to have crucial conversations


It’s fascinating how much our bias, or unconscious bias, impacts the decisions we make. Using innovative digital content our British Gymnastics delegates experienced the risks from bias when making assumptions about parents, carers and their child within a safeguarding scenario. We then helped them understand the brain science behind just why it happens, before giving them some tips on how to guard against it.

  • 86% of delegates said that the session increased their understanding of how personal bias may influence referrals


Working on realistic safeguarding issues in small groups, delegates got to explore the potential challenges they might face when making referrals. Best practice examples were shared to highlight what should be done to adhere to the correct referral process and achieve the best outcome for person at risk.

  • 91% of delegates said the session increased their confidence to overcome potential challenges when making referrals

Crucial Conversations

Everyone knows how difficult it can be to go up against your peers, let alone challenge the assumptions and attitudes of more senior members of staff. Using our electronic voting system, 9 out of 10 delegates acknowledged that, on at least one occasion, they had been in just such a position and avoided having a difficult conversation. The risks for safeguarding are obvious.

In order to overcome this in the future, we engaged delegates in some skills-based training. We wanted to provide them with tools and techniques that would increase their confidence to take on any crucial conversations needed around safeguarding.

  • 86% of delegates said they now felt more confident to engage in difficult conversations

Making a Difference

As well as achieving excellent results for each aspect of the training, delegates rated the session as a whole very highly:

  • 100% found it worthwhile
  • 100% rated it ‘Excellent’

And here’s some of what they said in their own words:

Totally unique presentation.

Style v. good, content v. good, delivery v. good, overall v. good.

Thank you for challenging my beliefs.

A breath of fresh air.

Excellent, thoroughly enjoyed the concept.


If you’d like to find out more about our safeguarding training, we’re running a taster on 25th January in Birmingham. We encourage you to come and check it out for yourself. Seeing is believing.

HSJ Award Shortlist

Brilliant news today. We are delighted to announce that Health Education East Midlands & Enact Solutions have been shortlisted for the HSJ Awards 2015, in the Workforce category, for our innovative and engaging work with young people to secure the NHS future workforce.

With over 1,600 entries this is a great achievement!

Here’s what Peter, our MD, had to say:

“Enact are proud to have been supported by Health Education East Midlands to help inspire 1000s of young people to consider a career in the NHS. Being shortlisted for this award is great recognition for the efforts of everyone involved – well done team and good luck for awards night.”

You can read more about our NHS Success! Tour in my recent blog post.