Inspiration from ILPA Members
We’re always delighted to hear the many wonderful initiatives that our members have developed to better mental health and well-being through small changes and team-building exercises. Here we bring you a few examples to help inspire positive and sustainable changes in the immigration law sector. If you would like to contribute then we would love to hear from you, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Friday Wins’ and how it’s helping during lockdown
Every Friday at 5pm everyone at the Helen Bamber Foundation (BHF) logs off and heads to the kitchen with their drink of choice and shares their “wins” from the week. These are often client focused but also include personal wins. They vary from clients getting refugee status to clients engaging with community groups to a staff member ticking off their to do list for the week. These are all added to the “friday wins” chalkboard in the kitchen so that anyone not working can catch up with them the next time they are in. Generally they last for around half an hour and in the most part people will not log in again afterwards and will head home/to the pub.
Since lockdown Friday Wins have continued and have probably become more important than ever, with many staff members joining who do not work Fridays, including those who have been furloughed which is a great way to stay connected. HBF now has a “Friday Wins” channel on teams and anyone who wants to tags in. The chalkboard has even continued remotely. The wins still contain lots of clients wins but there also a lot more personal ones which are reflective of how people are dealing with lockdown such as “xx made a successful sourdough starter” or “xx created a new cocktail out of cupboard leftovers”. In the same way that they did when we were in the office, Friday Wins are continuing to lift people’s spirits. When work and home are so intertwined they are a good way to switch off from work and start the weekend in a positive way.
Compulsory anti-oppression training for all new members of Chambers
One Pump Court have voted for all members of chambers and staff to have compulsory 3.0 hour anti-oppression training, and the option of more advanced training for those who want to deepen the conversation. We are aware that there are big issues in the area of law with diversity and inclusion with both the Association of Women Barristers and the Bar Standards Board recently producing reports on this issue. We believe it is important that we are proactive in our response to these dynamics of inequality – we want a fairer system for everyone in our chambers, we want more resources to critically analyse what we are experiencing in the world and we want to make sure we can support our clients who bear the brunt of these challenges. We have therefore agreed as chambers policy to make training compulsory for all – so that those that are more marginalised and therefore more aware of these dynamics, do not carry the burden of change alone. You can find out more about this initiative here.