IIRP Europe (formerly IIRP UK & Ireland) is poised to increase offerings across the continent for training, graduate education and research into restorative practices.With nearly 20 years experience in the UK and Ireland plus affiliates and associates throughout Europe,
IIRP Europe CEO Les Davey said, "Working with our colleague Vidia Negrea in Hungary (IIRP Europe, Director for Central Europe), we are looking to bring together existing associates of the IIRP in Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK and Ireland, plus new colleagues we’re starting to develop relationships with elsewhere in Europe, in such a way that people can go to one source to find out what restorative practices is about and what’s available in their area."
"When you come to IIRP Europe you’ll find the people who are actually living restorative practices rather than people who are just making a living from restorative practices," said Davey. "All of our trainers are actually practitioners, and all of our practice comes from the experience of actually delivering restorative practices in schools, in workplaces, in children’s homes, in communities and in the criminal justice system, including prisons, Youth Offending Teams, probation and police."
To begin with, events will be offered not only in the London and Manchester areas, which Davey said are accessible by road, air and rail, but also using the existing IIRP Europe training facility in Budapest, making those events accessible to people from Hungary, Austria, Romania, Bulgaria and other countries in central and eastern Europe.
Watch video of IIRP CEO Les Davey discussing plans for IIRP Europe - article continues below.
IIRP Europe’s efforts are further bolstered by the return this year of Nicola Preston as IIRP Europe Director of Communications and Research. Davey said, "I am so excited to have Nicola back on the team. As we develop our work within Europe, her focus on Communications and Research will enhance our visibility and the support we offer to our ever growing cadre of experienced Trainer Consultants."
Preston, as a founding member in the mid-1990s of the Thames Valley Police Restorative Justice Consultancy, helped introduce restorative practices to policing and the justice system. She worked with researchers at the Oxford Centre for Criminological Research who conducted the first independent evaluations into restorative practices that laid the groundwork for a national program. Preston has two graduate degrees related to restorative practices in justice and education and has worked for years as a restorative practices trainer. Before returning to IIRP Europe she also spent several years working as a primary school teacher implementing restorative practices in the classroom.
"Working for the IIRP again," said Preston, "it feels we’re at a real tipping point. The IIRP framework and its explicit nature is just the structure we need to deal with all the difficulties – the disconnected world, the disconnected communities, the difficulties in communication – and build relationships. IIRP is perfectly placed, because of its history, its international affiliates, the quality of the model, to advance restorative practices while maintaining the ethics behind what a restorative approach is all about."
Davey said IIRP Europe is currently developing plans to host events across Europe in both English and other languages. This February in London IIRP Europe will host two events – "Restorative Responses to Grief, Trauma and Adversity" and "Restorative Leadership Development: Authority with Grace"– both of which may be applied toward graduate credit.
Learn more about Restorative Practices: The Promise and the Challenge (RP 506), the IIRP’s first fully online gateway course, to be co-taught by Nicola Preston.