Barclays’ senior leaders, experience a taster of Khulisa’s flagship programme, Silence the Violence

In October 2017, on a sunny morning in Bolton, 12 senior leaders from Barclays Bank joined the Khulisa
team to experience their flagship behaviour change programme. The group were also joined by past
participants of the Khulisa programme who had recently been released from prison and were working with
Khulisa to understand and address the root causes of their negative or destructive behaviours.

"It's reminded me that we assign labels to people and make judgements on each others' behaviours but we're all so much more than just the mistakes we've made"

Silence the Violence (STV)

Khulisa’s flagship programme, like many of their programmes, was originally designed and developed by their sister charity, Khulisa South Africa.  In both the UK and South Africa, these programmes have been proven to reduce crime and transform some of the most volatile communities.  The programme is delivered in small groups and uses a combination of restorative approaches, art, drama and storytelling, in order to help the participants to acknowledge and address their issues with violence.

Changing behaviours in the workplace

Although STV is usually delivered as a five-day intensive programme, Khulisa create opportunities for business leaders to experience the programme first hand. Always facilitated by two therapeutically trained Khulisa facilitators, the taster sessions uses the same activities and requires the attendees to be fully active members of the group.

As the group from Barclays found out, not only does the taster programme help deepen their understanding of their community and the challenges that marginalised or excluded young people face on a daily basis, it actually helps them better understand themselves as well:


  • "I didn't see myself as a violent person but I've reflected that there are many things that we all do, that could be considered violent by others"
  • "I've realised that many of the times I've displayed violent behaviour, I was acting out of love; this has taught me an important lesson about boundaries with loved ones."
  • "It's really heartening to know that programmes like this really exist. I've been really surprised by how similar my experiences have been to someone who I would have considered to be a violent person."
  • "The environment Khulisa have created is really inclusive, the session was really powerful and made me aware of all the suppressed emotions that we carry with us on an average day."
  • "It was a really cathartic experience for me, and has helped to keep me in touch with reality."

Khulisa benefits from over 20 years’ experience of delivering behaviour change programmes, and in that time, we’ve hosted a range of taster programmes, with organisations including the National School of Government, the Home Office and Common Purpose.  As with the Barclays session, we find that individuals leave our programme feeling motivated to develop more positive, supportive cultures in their workplace, as well as being more aware of their own emotional needs and also the needs of their teams.’

  • "I've realised that there are high levels of verbal and emotional violence that we inflict on each other in the workplace, without even realising. This unintended behaviour but we should be more aware of it; behaviour is the one thing we can all change."
  • "I've been really surprised by how profound the experience was, and it's made me think that corporately, we need to think very differently about how we interact and support each other"
  • “This session has really raised the bar for me in terms of what we should be expected from our organisation when we talk about values and being values-led in the workplace".

To discuss how the Khulisa programme could help support your team or organisation, please call Cara Cinnamon on 07496 013 263, or email


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