Jamie Spurway

Position: Spurway Training

Overview

How can we support people to empathise across difference? Through challenging, insightful and engaging courses I demonstrate the relationship between our identities and our experience of the world. With a background in Psychology, my approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is illuminating, practical and supportive.

I support teams to better understand the needs and perspectives of people from different backgrounds, experiences and identities. The focus of a session may be:

  • External - considering service users, clients or customers
  • Internal - thinking about colleagues, volunteers and board members
  • Or we may examine the organisation inside and out

A common pattern I encounter is that an organisation’s policies and practices create unintended barriers preventing some people from benefiting from their services, or from working and thriving in the organisation. The barriers are not rooted in prejudice, but in a lack of awareness of the needs of other groups. People tend to easily perceive the barriers that they (or their community) experience, but routinely overlook, or even deny, the barriers encountered by other groups.

My favourite course to deliver is ‘Three mottos to guide our approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’. During the session we consider three short phrases that neatly summarise the mistaken patterns of thinking and perception that so often block our abilities to understand other identities and experiences.

In addition to the broad topic of equality, diversity and inclusion, we also provide sessions focusing on culture, forced migration and tackling violence against women.

As a coach, I use the Gestalt approach which involves responding to the whole person, and seeks to raise awareness rather than simply focusing on action.

In my facilitation work, I provide structure, and an impartial perspective to ensure the group discussion stays focused, benefits from the different perspectives in the room, and achieves its objectives.


Clients

I work primarily with charities, from small grassroots community groups to national organisations. In addition to charities I also work with public sector organisations, universities, colleges and schools.
Frequent clients include: British Red Cross, Interfaith Scotland, JustRight Scotland, Port of Leith Housing Association, Waverley Care, Glasgow University and Police Scotland.

Recent Client Feedback - Clare Hussain, Police Scotland - Chair of Scottish Women's Development Forum
Jamie delivered Interpreting Culture at our recent SWDF conference for Police Scotland staff and officers. The feedback has been fantastic with attendees describing it as the best workshop they have ever experienced. Jamie was described as an amazing facilitator who brought the topic to life - thank you Jamie and look forward to working with you again soon!

Facilitation Case Study -Scottish Refugee Council
Board Planning Days
For three consecutive years I facilitated the board strategy days for Scotland’s leading refugee charity. I planned and structured the day’s discussions, guided the conversations to ensure full participation and ensured the day's objectives were achieved.

Strategic Planning
I also helped the organisation to canvas the views of staff, volunteers and service users to help inform their new five year strategic plan. I facilitated a set of focus groups, gathering the views of the diverse participants and presented verbal and written reports on their feedback.

CEO Recruitment
When the previous chief executive stood down, I facilitated a group question and answer session for the final stage of recruiting his replacement. A group of stakeholders including staff, volunteers and refugee champions met to quiz the final two candidates, near the end of the recruitment process. I facilitated the discussion and summarised the views of the group for the panel.


Qualifications

SQA Diploma in Training and Development

BA Hons Psychology and Philosophy, Universities of Stirling and California, Irvine


Experience

Specialisms:

  • Equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Gender equality and tackling violence against women
  • Communicating across cultural and linguistic difference
  • Refugees, asylum seekers and victims of trafficking

I have a background in Psychology and my continued interest in the subject is expressed in many of my training courses. After university, I spent five years working as a tour guide throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Indian Subcontinent. The experience gave me valuable insight into cultural diversity and the lives of people in countries with oppressive political regimes. Prior to setting out on my own, I worked for Scottish Refugee Council for eight years, both as an adviser and as their training officer. I still regularly work with groups of refugees, often facilitating discussions about cultural differences, especially in relation to gender and the challenges of bringing up children in a different society.