Training at OCVA: How to Achieve Effective Cross Cultural Communication

How to Achieve Effective Cross Cultural Communication


Globalisation, improved modes of travel and IT communications have all garnered to make the work a very small place, bringing together many diverse cultures and people within a very short space of time.
Culture is said to be the lens through which we view the world, and it takes skill to communicate across many diverse cultures, let alone view the world from another person’s point of view when you are delivering a service or activity. This course will not only equip you with the skills to communicate effectively with people from different cultures, but also give you an idea of the impact of their cultural background on your service or organisation.

You will be given information on Oxford’s unique position as a city with double the population of ethnic minorities than that of any other city in the UK. The growth of ethnic minority numbers has risen exponentially in the last 10 years, with the majority of young people in this city and its neighbouring counties, being born to parents born out of this country.

What will I learn?

By the end of this session you will:

  • Gain a better understanding of a range of safeguarding issues pertaining to ethnic minorities.
  • Be able to identify a range of barriers that Black Ethnic Minorities (BME) groups and individuals experience in accessing services/organisations.
  • Identify a range of cost-effective solutions for developing greater access to services/organisations for ethnic minority individuals.
  • Identify relevant adaptations that could be made in your own organisation to develop greater inclusiveness of with regards to BME groups.
  • Explore ways of building greater links with local ethnic minority groups and organisations.
  • Identify outreach strategies, provision of information in appropriate format and ways of engaging with BME communities
  • Develop opportunities for networking, signposting and joint working.

Wednesday 5th April 2017, 10am to 12.30pm. OCVA. £60 to £70.

Introducing: Trevor Barton, OCVA’s Systems & Support Manager

Trevor heads up a small but strong support team that provide the services and systems OCVA needs to do its work.

A picture of Trevor on holidayThe team’s work includes cleaning, reception, front of house, membership, Web, apps, IT, buildings, database, data, HR, systems training, and more. Trevor’s role specifically covers the online, the IT, the buildings, the database, the data management (for a start).

One of Trevor’s first jobs was as editor of a magazine and website for an early UK search engine (16 years ago). He then launched global online systems for the publishers of Nature science journals, and put live websites for Oxford University Press (OUP), and Oxford University’s top-level outward-facing website. In total, he’s launched over 22 professional websites in his career; the one for OUP became their busiest online asset. The latest three websites have been for non-profits (including OCVA’s; built and launched in 10 days on a budget of £100). His strangest ever job was spending a summer cleaning Sky’s satellite dishes with a mop and bucket.

What drew me to OCVA

OCVA offered part-time work with an intriguing mission. I admit I didn’t really understand it’s purpose at first. (I hope that’s more clear now.) I began on reception. Then I was invited back in 2015 into a management role.

For part of my childhood I lived in a single parent household with a parent who was mentally and physically challenged. This and other personal circumstances has perhaps given me extra patience and empathy. Perhaps even a greater sense of society. I get frustrated about the lack of generosity the higher tiers of our society has, but I’m optimistic. Eckhart Tolle says, “the world is exactly what we need in order to wake up”.

Best OCVA moment

Hard to say. I think OCVA is a miracle. If you add up our staff hours it’s like having 5 full-time staff, and yet the amount we achieve each year is tremendous. At a dinner last year someone said to me, “…But there’s nothing special about the skills your staff will have is there.” I said, “No. But what’s special is being able to do what we do with little to no budget. Commercial organisations move forward if it’s profitable. Charities tend to deliver first and ask questions later.”

Outside of work

I do canvas paintings and make music. (Details are on my blog.)

Introducing: James Plunket – OCVA’s Strategy Advisor

Portrait photo of James

From a decade specialising in cross-sector projects, James uses collaboration to create value in the design, delivery, commissioning of and investment in public services.

James is our Strategy Advisor. Working with the county’s commissioners, our members and Oxfordshire’s wider non-profit sector, he is helping to develop consortia of expert service providers to design new service models and secure long-term public service contracts.

What drew me to OCVA

OCVA represents the inherent value of the county’s voluntary sector and therefore the solution to effective commissioning across Oxfordshire.

Best OCVA moment

I am thrilled every time a new commissioner “gets” what we are proposing and then invites us to discuss their specific concerns.

Outside of work

James has chosen to tell us about his ‘best festival moments’. There are two.

  • Acoustic sets in the Chai Wallah Tent at the Green Man Festival
  • Somerset Cider Bus at End of the Road Festival