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Playing with Fire


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Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition. Introduction. Preparing the Ground. 1. The Fuel: Ourselves and our Communication. 2. The Spark: Immediate Responses and Coping Mechanisms. 3. Smouldering: Powerlessness and Assertiveness. 4. Fanning the Flames: Anger, Enemies and Awareness. 5. Stoking the Fire: Inequalities and Empowerment. 6. The Blaze: Crisis Management, Recovering and Reparation. 7. Mediation and Action for Change: Towards Community Action. Guidance for Trainers. Games and Group Discussion Techniques. Appendix A: Alternative Session Plans. Appendix B: References. Appendix C: Useful Websites and Further Reading.

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A structured manual and training programme to help youth and conflict practitioners work with young people caught up in conflict and violence

About the Author

Fiona Macbeth is currently Teaching Fellow in Applied Drama at the University of Exeter, specialising in training students for work with young people at risk. Nic Fine now lives in South Africa where he is the Director of Hearts of Men - a community mentoring programme working with young men at risk of violence and gang activity. Nic and Fiona developed the first edition of Playing with Fire whilst working for Leap Confronting Conflict. Jo Broadwood is an expert on youth and community conflict, with years of experience in the design and development of programmes for young people at risk and training programmes for practitioners. She was, until 2010, part of the leadership team at Leap. Carey Haslam and Nik Pitcher are both senior trainers at Leap and have many years of experience in the design and delivery of youth and conflict programmes.


Leap works on the basis that conflict in young people's lives can be used as a chance for personal development. Playing with Fire provides the roadmap. It can work as a training course or a series of standalone exercises to dip into... Macbeth and Fine are clear that the book is intended for those already focused on doing the work, and as a clear guide it takes some beating. -- Children & Young people Now, Sam Fitzpatrick, director, Trelya
Too often young people are seen as a problem; in this manual they are accorded respect and valued for their role in being the solution, if properly supported, motivated, and trained. The experienced, and expert, team of practitioners from Leap Confronting Conflict has produced a practical tool kit for any practitioner working with young people engaged in, or experiencing, conflict. I would commend Playing with Fire and believe that it should be available in every school, youth work, and other workplace where conflict, bullying, or violence might affect young people. I have met young people who have participated in the training offered by Leap Confronting Conflict; they provide the best affirmation of the value of both the work of Leap Confronting Conflict and Playing with Fire. -- Professor Edward F Halpin, Professor for Peace Education, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK

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