Building a culture of consent

University students discussing at table

We all want an environment where students are safe and able to thrive in their education. Higher and further education settings hold a responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of their students and staff. And there is growing pressure for education settings to prevent sexual harassment and violence on campus, and respond to those affected. At Solace we want to face this challenge by bringing together leaders across the educational sector who believe in creating a safe and stronger future for all.​​

Our years of experience working in education settings has informed and shaped our training packages and tools, identifying a need for strategies both to respond to violence and abuse when it happens and provide holistic support for survivors, and to prevent that violence from happening in the first place.

This is by no means an easy task and requires a whole systems approach and a commitment to understanding of why it happens, challenging social and cultural norms that reinforce it, and creating environments that support those affected and holds those that perpetrate it to account.

Our training and consultancy work can help you start that journey, and we'll work with you to find the solution that fits your organisation, whatever stage you are at, to support you to build more positive, inclusive cultures at your institution.

Below is an outline of the types of courses we often deliver in higher and further education settings. To book any of these courses and to discuss how this training might look in your organisation, contact us at [email protected]

Our training packages

Consent is often only discussed in relation to sex, but we believe that these conversations should go beyond the bedroom and into our day to day lives. Our consent workshops offer students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of consent, feel confident to have discussions around consent with peers and partners, and to apply those lessons to the way they interact with people around them.

Our bystander training explores the important role that we all play in looking out for those around us and holding others to account. This workshop explores different ways of responding and safely intervening when we see situations that just aren't right, not just to challenge sexual harassment and abuse, but all forms of oppression

Students in positions of leadership such as sabbatical officers and club and society executives are in positions of power to shape and influence students around them. Our training helps them understand how their role in building inclusive cultures and explores practical steps to doing so, including:

  • How to respond if someone discloses harassment or abuse
  • How to challenge problematic attitudes and behaviour within the group
  • How to communicate ground rules and establish safe spaces

We work with staff at all levels to help them strengthen their response to survivors who disclose abuse and to build the confidence and skills to create more inclusive cultures and environments. Our training reaches staff at different levels in academia and professional services, and includes:

  • Sexual harassment and abuse awareness
  • Responding to disclosures and supporting survivors of abuse
  • Having positive conversations around consent
  • Safely challenging problematic behaviour

Senior leadership drive change in organisations and are an essential part of any work that is done. We work with senior leaders through practical sessions that explore what the issue is, what they would like to achieve, and what strategies and steps the institution can take to create this change.

About us

For over 40 years Solace has been developing and delivering innovative services to support survivors from crisis, to recovery, and on to safe lives free from violence and abuse. We know what it takes to deliver a high quality frontline service and we draw on our practice and research to put together high quality training, informed by the latest thinking and approaches in service delivery.

Our costs work on a sliding scale to ensure that our training is affordable for smaller charities and organisations. Any income we retain goes straight back in to developing our service, subsidising our work with small charities and community groups and enabling us to reach more people with our training.

We want people to get the most out of our training and across all of our packages we focus not only increasing knowledge and understanding, but developing people’s practical skills, confidence and behaviours to be able to put that knowledge into practice. Our training is interactive, participatory, thought-provoking and sensitive to the needs of our participants.

We know that when it comes to training, one size does not fit all. That’s why when you come to us, as standard, we will have an initial discussion with you to find out how we can tailor our packages to best meet the needs of your organisation and staff teams. We’ll ask questions about the challenges your staff are facing and what kind of outcomes you would like to see from this training to inform our approach.

Don’t just take our word from it – read what some of our clients have had to say here.