I had never heard of The Feast until Ulrike Hunt told me about a new job she was applying for and teased that it could be an opportunity for us at my school. Then, when she was successful in her application, our journey began. Last year we took our first cohort through the Feast’s “Transforming Dialogue” programme and I was very excited about how it helped our students to develop and grow in their confidence in having healthy dialogue. Little did I know that it would change the way I live my life.
The Feast’s Guidelines for Dialogue have become something that I have come to use on a daily basis, from conversations with students, colleagues and even family members. They have been the way in which all of my interactions with others have been framed. One example of this would be with my younger brother who I have entirely too much in common with and yet we could not be more different in terms of our opinions on pretty much everything. We have had some horrific arguments about Brexit, with him not understanding my point of view and my frustration with his point of view getting in the way of us really talking to each other with every conversation descending into a screaming match. After my third “Transforming Dialogue” session we were discussing the day’s news and I tried to practise the guidelines. It wasn’t perfect but for the first time in as long as I can remember we actually spoke without yelling. It has helped me in similar ways ever since.
We are in discussion to run the Feast’s “Transforming Dialogue” programme again with another cohort of students and I will tell them how much it has helped me in my life. We will also be investigating a way we can use the Guidelines for Dialogue as the basis of a club for students to discuss challenging issues in a safe and sheltered way. The future is looking far more understanding thanks to The Feast.