LWPSN – Past Events

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Labour Women’s Parliamentary Staff Network

Past Events

See forthcoming events here

Go back to the main LWPSN page here

March 2021

Thursday 4th | 6pm | Compassion in Politics | 1 hour (approx) 

Join us for a session with Jennifer Nadel, Co-director for Compassion in Politics, focusing on looking after your own wellbeing and gaining the tools and strategies to prevent burn out in a high pressured working environment. Jennifer Nadel is a qualified barrister, author, political strategist, activist and award-winning television journalist. She has reported for the BBC, Channel Four News and was ITN’s Home Affairs editor. Compassion in Politics is a cross-party organisation working to put compassion, inclusion, and cooperation at the heart of politics. More information on the organisation can be found here: https://www.compassioninpolitics.com/ ​

*This is a cross-party session open to all women working for MPs and Peers from all political parties. 

February 2021

Thursday 11th | 12.30pm | Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP | 45 mins (approx)

We are delighted to be joined by the Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee and former minister at the Home Office, Department for Work and Pensions and Cabinet Office.  Caroline is the Conservative MP for Romsey and Southampton North, first elected in 2010. There will be ample time for questions. Don’t miss it!

Tuesday 9th | 12.30pm | Jacqui Smith | 45 mins (approx)

We are delighted to be joined by former Labour Home Secretary and For the Many podcast co-host Jacqui Smith for what promises to be a fascinating conversation about women in politics and public life.  Hear more on what it was like for women coming into Parliament following the 1997 general election, what you need to do to stand for elected office and we’ll be sure to have some back stage gossip from the Strictly Come Dancing show too! Join us for this unmissable session which promises to be lots of fun.

Tuesday 2nd | 12.30pm | Jess Phillips MP | 45 mins (approx)

Jess Phillips is Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley and Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding. A woman that’s never afraid of speaking the truth, we’re delighted she will be joining us for a conversation on women, politics and how to make an impact. Please be prepared for an interactive conversation with Jess. There will be opportunities for questions.

January 2021

Thursday 28th | 12:30pm | Social media skills | 1 hour

We’re delighted to be joined by Twitter and Facebook representatives for a session on developing your social media skills. The time will be split into two half hour sessions with each presenter. This much requested session will explore everything from creating compelling content to drive engagement on the two platforms to how to use all the features they offer to reach a wider audience. Do not miss it!

Thursday 21st | 12:30pm | Conflict resolution for yourself and others | 1 hour

Come and join us for a second session with Kay Scorah to learn more about conflict resolution. This session will look at applying all our learning in the previous session to conflict, harassment and bullying scenarios. There will be ample opportunity for questions throughout the session.

Tuesday 19th | 12:30pm | How to be an expert listener | 1 hour

Come and join us for the first of two interactive sessions with Kay Scorah to learn more about how you can become an expert listener in conflict situations, using what you hear to build bridges between yourself and others. Kay has over 40 years of experience working with leadership teams in business, science and the charity sector. In 2019, she founded the Turning the Tables conference where business leaders come to learn from young people who have been through difficult, even life-threatening experiences. There will be ample opportunity for questions throughout the session.

12 January 2021  |  The Great Winter Get Together

DECEMBER 2020 – Women’s representation themed month

Thursday 10 December 2020  |  Women, leadership and statistics  |  1 hour

Professor Rosie Campbell, Director of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London, will be joining the network for the last session of the winter to discuss the institute’s latest research produced with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, which has found that women political leaders are key to more equal and caring societies.  The report is based on an analysis of over 500 pieces of research into the impacts of women leaders in politics and public life, and shows that when women are able to exercise political leadership, there are gains for the whole of society.

You can read the full report here: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/women-political-leaders-key-to-more-equal-and-caring-societies

Tuesday 8 December 2020  |  Women in Westminster  |  1 hour

Rachel Reeves MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Labour MP for Leeds West, will be joining the network to talk about her book ‘Women of Westminster: The MPs Who Changed Politics’.

Join us for what should be a fascinating conversation about the battles fought by women from 1919 to 2019.  There will be an opportunity for questions.

NOVEMBER 2020

Tuesday 24 November 2020  |  Journalists panel discussion on women in the media  |  1 hour

We’re excited to bring you a panel discussion on women’s experiences in the media with journalists from across the media who will share their insights into the challenges and opportunities they face bringing us the news from Westminster, the United Kingdom and around the world.  We will be joined by Esther Webber from the Times RedBox, and two other journalists to be confirmed.

 

Tuesday 17 November 2020  |  Preet Kaur Gill MP  |  40 mins

Preet Kaur Gill MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development and Member of Parliament for Birmingham Edgbaston, will be joining us to talk about her experiences in politics and discuss Labour’s view on how we can work more collaboratively with other countries around the world in a post Brexit era.

Thursday 12 November 2020  |  Women’s rights at work  |  40 mins

Join us for the second meeting with two trade union representatives – Jenny Symmons from the GMB and Lily Lewis from UNITE parliamentary staff union branches – who will brief the network on everything you need to know about your rights at work.  There will be ample opportunity for questions and useful information and links will be shared out with the network after the session.

Tuesday 10 November 2020  |  Sexual harassment and your rights  |  40 mins

We are delighted to be joined by Deeba Syed, Senior Legal Officer at Rights of Women, for a Q and A session on sexual harassment and your rights.  Deeba is a qualified solicitor, originally training in the financial sector and now specialising in employment law.  She is an experienced equality and women’s rights campaigner and activist.  She has previously worked in politics, communications and the charity sector.

OCTOBER 2020 – mental health and wellbeing focus for World Mental Health Day on 10th October

Tuesday 27 October 2020  |  Tackling Abuse in Public Life  |  1 hour

We are delighted that Catherine Anderson, CEO of the Jo Cox Foundation, will be joining us for a discussion on tackling abuse in public life and to tell us more about the work of the foundation and how we can get involved to help make a change.  Catherine is no stranger to Parliament having worked for Rory Stewart MP for a number of years.  The Foundation was established in 2016 by the friends and family of the late Jo Cox MP and is aiming to build a positive legacy for Jo.

Tuesday 20 October 2020  |  Great coffee get together  |  40 mins

This is an opportunity for just us to get together for a chat to share our recommendations on interesting things to read, what to watch and listen to.  This could be a book you’re reading at the moment, Podcast you’re listening to or an event you’re attending that may be useful to others.  Put the kettle on and check in with the network on how you’re doing and share some interesting things to get stuck into!

Thursday 15 October 2020  |  Women Political Advisors to the Shadow Cabinet  |  40 mins

Join us for a special session with the women advising members of the Shadow Cabinet including Sally Copley, Political Advisor (PAD) to Marsha de Cordova MP, Emma McNicholas, PAD to Lord Falconer of Thoroton (Charlie Falconer), Kate Robson, PAD to Cat Smith MP and Collette Bird, PAD to Jon Ashworth MP.

This much requested session will explore the role of an advisor, provide advice for those looking to progress their parliamentary careers and give the network an opportunity to meet and ask questions of these fantastic women.  Do not miss it!

Tuesday 13 October 2020  |  Looking after your mental health and wellbeing  |  1 hour

Dr Sonia Adesara is an NHS doctor, women’s activist and the former Director of 50:50 Parliament.  She will be talking to us about mental health and the effects of policies on women and give top tips on looking after our own health and wellbeing.  Do join us for what we’re sure will be an invaluable session for the network.

Tuesday 6 October 2020  |  Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP  |  40 mins

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan is Labour’s Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Member of Parliament for Tooting, A and E doctor and a woman that always gets her tone right!  We’re delighted she will be joining us for a conversation with the network on mental health and wellbeing. Please be prepared for an interactive conversation with Rosena.  There will be opportunities for questions.

SEPTEMBER 2020

Tuesday 22 September 2020  |  The Good Parliament  | 1 hour

The network will be joined by Professor Sarah Childs, Professor of Politics and Gender at Royal Holloway University of London and author of ‘The Good Parliament’ report which was published on 20th July 2016.  We will discuss this report with Professor Childs who made 43 recommendations focusing on three elements; equality of participation, parliamentary infrastructure and Commons culture.  We’d recommend reading the report in advance of this meeting which can be found here: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/media-library/sites/news/2016/july/20%20Jul%20Prof%20Sarah%20Childs%20The%20Good%20Parliament%20report.pdf

Thursday 17 September 2020  |  Writing good comms  |  40 mins

This session will cover top tips on writing good emails, engaging articles and press releases and how to properly brief journalists.  We are delighted to be joined by Georgina Bailey, Policy Editor for The House Magazine and lead for parliamentary campaigns coverage, as well as covering the work of All-Party Parliamentary Groups.  This session is a must for all communications staff and an opportunity to meet one of the women lobby journalists in Westminster. You can read all articles published by Georgina here: https://www.politicshome.com/thehouse/peer/georgina-bailey.htm

Tuesday 15 September 2020  |  Women’s rights at work  |  40 mins

Join us for the first of two meetings with two trade union representatives – Jenny Symmons from the GMB and Priya Dev from UNITE parliamentary staff union branches – who will brief the network on everything you need to know about your rights at work.  There will be ample opportunity for questions and useful information and links will be shared out with the network after the session.

Thursday 10 September 2020  |  Parliamentary procedures  |  1 hour

Come and join us to explore parliamentary procedures with two senior clerks from the Table Office and Public Bill Office in the House of Commons.  The clerks will be taking the network through tabling orderly oral and written questions, amending legislation, explain how legislation is passed through both houses of Parliament, and more! The time will be split into two half hour sessions.  Each presenter will talk to the network for approx.10 minutes followed by approx. 20 mins of questions from the network. There will be materials to take away afterwards.

Tuesday 8 September 2020  |  Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP  |  40 mins

We are joined at our first formal meeting of the autumn with the Mother of the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham, the Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP to discuss women’s participation in public life and her experiences in Parliament since first being elected to the House in 1982.  Questions will be read out that have been submitted in advance and some taken in real time.

 

Training courses available in a virtual classroom

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As it is not currently possible to present training courses in a traditional face-to-face classroom setting, the Learning and Development Team have made some courses available online in a virtual classroom.

You can view details of the available courses here: https://parliament.learningpool.com/course/view.php?id=1590

Titles available include:

  • Courageous Conversations
  • Handling Challenging Situations
  • Prospering in Turbulent Times
  • Supporting Teams Facing Pressure & Uncertainty
  • Being an Effective Remote Worker
  • Managing Remote Workers
  • Time and Task Management
  • Effective Casework Interviewing Skills for Remote Working
  • Introduction to Welfare Benefits
  • Universal Credit Overview
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Homelessness Law for Caseworkers (England)
  • Employment Law and COVID-19 – FAQs for caseworkers
  • Protection from eviction and COVID-19 – understanding the law in England and Wales for caseworkers
  • Mindfulness Programme
  • Conversations with Vulnerable People
  • Refugee Resettlement to the UK: How does it work?

JustUs

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JustUs advocates for people when they’re homeless to access the statutory support they are eligible for.

They currently offer training via Zoom on Homelessness Law aimed at new and experienced front line workers and volunteers as well as managers of services that regularly have contact with homeless people.  The course provides:

  • An awareness and basic understanding of Homelessness Legislation.
  • An understanding of the legal definitions of homelessness, priority need, intentional homelessness and local connection.
  • The information needed to know when a homeless application is appropriate.
  • A practical understanding of how to help someone make a strong application for housing assistance.
  • An awareness of other statutory help relevant to homeless people.

Please see their website for details of how to book: http://www.justus.org.uk/

Virtual Regional Roadshows

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The extremely popular regional roadshows were suspended because of COVID-19.  However, worry not, for the Customer Team has taken them online instead.

Rather than full day events, they have been broken down into 90-minute sessions, giving you a chance to learn about the range of services available, to influence future service provision and to share experience and knowledge with other staff working in your Region.

For full details, please go to the intranet page here: https://intranet.parliament.uk/business-news/news-current-issues/events/regional-constituency-events/

The current schedule is:

  • North East – Tuesday 30 June 2020
  • West Midlands – Tuesday 14 July 2020
  • Wales – Tuesday 28 July 2020
  • South West – Tuesday 4 August 2020
  • East – Tuesday 18 August 2020
  • London – Tuesday 25 August 2020
  • East Midlands – Tuesday 1 September 2020

More dates will be added later.

Covid-19 and Casework: Ask the Library 25-26 June 2020

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On 25 and 26 June 2020 the House of Commons Library is offering a series of sessions which are aimed at helping Members’ staff deal with casework arising from the coronavirus pandemic. The sessions will also be of wider interest to Members’ staff interested in policy development.

The sessions will be provided online via MS Teams and will be recorded, so if you miss one you can listen later.

The cut-off date for signing up is Midnight on 22 June 2020.

You must have a Parliamentary network account to access this.  See here for more details: https://parliament.learningpool.com/course/view.php?id=1735

Free Online Webinar: Recap of the major benefits changes and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Policy in Practice are presenting a free online webinar: Recap of the major benefits changes and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

10:30 – 11:30, Wednesday 8 April 2020

Registration required: http://policyinpractice.co.uk/events/

As new measures to control Coronavirus (COVID-19) are introduced Policy in Practice’s Head of Policy, Zoe Charlesworth, summarises the major changes to the welfare system that have been made.

Zoe will also share new analysis we’ve done to show the impact of the new measures and how they will help households hit by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Join this webinar to learn:

  • What benefits people in different situations might get
  • How to get the most support for families and households
  • What the impact of the 3 main changes mean for households

Westminster Skills Centre

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From their website:

Westminster Skills Centre was founded in 2019, by a group of people who have worked in and around Westminster for decades. From personal experience we know how complex Westminster can be, and also how little high-quality training exists to explain how things really work. Our mission is to provide outstanding development opportunities for staff and politicians from all political parties, as well for those working in business and civil society. We believe this increased understanding will ultimately lead to more effective decision-making.

We offer a range of one day and half-day courses, many of which are designed to explain how Parliament works, how legislation is passed and how to run an effective political campaign.

Further details and course listings at https://www.westminsterskillscentre.com

Upcoming training courses from the Parliamentary Learning & Development Team

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Here is the current list of training courses from the Parliamentary Learning & Development Team that staff can sign up for.

Courses are free of charge to all Members’ staff who are paid through IPSA’s staffing allowance and travel costs to training events can be met from the expenses scheme administered by IPSA.

There are two new courses:

  • Managing Suicidal Conversations
  • Advice and Effective Casework Interviewing Skills

Full details can be found in the training section of the Parliamentary Intranet.

The full course catalogue is available via Act – the Parliamentary learning management system.

CourseDateRegion
Supervisory Management Course24.01.20Westminster
Conversations with Vulnerable People29.01.20Newcastle
Managing Suicidal Conversations - NEW COURSE29.01.20Westminster
Writing a Brief30.01.20Westminster
Role of the Office Manager Programme (CMI endorsed)31.01.20Westminster
- 3 day course - you must be able to attend all 3 days21.02.20
27.03.20
Essential Writing Skills for Members' staff04.02.20Westminster
Introduction to Welfare Benefits05.02.20Westminster
Conversations with Vulnerable People06.02.20Exeter
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)06.02.20Edinburgh
Speech Writing06.02.20Westminster
Essential Writing Skills for Members' staff07.02.20Manchester
Asylum and International Protection12.02.20Westminster
Media Handling and Social Media13.02.20Westminster
Universal Credit Overview13.02.20Westminster
Taking Control of Your Time & Speed Reading18.02.20Westminster
Advice and Effective Casework Interviewing Skills - NEW COURSE19.02.20Westminster
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)20.02.20Westminster
Essential Writing Skills for Members' staff21.02.20Cardiff
Members' Staff Induction24.02.20Westminster
Managing Suicidal Conversations - NEW COURSE25.02.20Westminster
Immigration Law26.02.20Edinburgh
Introduction to Welfare Benefits27.02.20Glasgow
Speech Writing27.02.20Westminster
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)04.03.20Birmingham
Writing a Brief04.03.20Westminster
Conversations with Vulnerable People05.03.20Westminster
Immigration Law09.03.20Cardiff
Advice and Effective Casework Interviewing Skills - NEW COURSE10.03.20Westminster
Universal Credit Overview10.03.20Leeds
Taking Control of Your Time & Speed Reading12.03.20Manchester
Media Handling and Social Media17.03.20Exeter
Immigration Law18.03.20Leeds
Asylum and International Protection19.03.20Manchester
Taking Control of Your Time & Speed Reading19.03.20Edinburgh
Immigration Law23.03.20Birmingham
Members' Staff Induction26.03.20Westminster
Universal Credit Overview26.03.20Glasgow
Immigration Law27.03.20Westminster

Essential Training for Members and Their Staff – Please help us test it before launch

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“New essential training coming for all Members and Members’ staff which will be Mandatory each year – Please help us test it before launch”.

The new content replaces the existing need for the individual courses and instead wraps all essential training into one package.

We are looking for you to test whether this module is ‘user friendly’ ‘easy to complete’ and ‘and achievable from a time perspective’

Your feedback is really important – your assistance will mean that when we launch, you will already be compliant for the year ahead.

We are planning to test on 4-6 June and 10 June.

Contact learninganddevelopment@parliament.uk or call 020 7219 5144 to sign up.”