I’m lucky enough to have known Pete Quinn for a good few years now, and he has been an absolute inspiration to me, and many others across the city. Some of you may remember his pre-covid Tribe Talks covering how to stay mentally healthy whilst working in isolation – if only we knew what was to come! I’d encourage every leader in the city to try grab a coffee with Pete – he can genuinely revolutionise your organisation’s practices and also you as an individual. I spoke to Pete this week to find out more about his work…
What do you do, and how do you benefit the local sector?
My consultancy works in all areas of inclusion; whether that be in disability accessibility, racial equality, allyship, neurodiversity or mental health.
Pete Quinn Consulting benefits the local sector in a variety of ways including fundraising for Menfulness, I coach and mentor local students and employees and support the Jo Cox Foundation’s #RunForJo and kid’s grassroots football through sponsorship. I also contribute (personally) as a Member (NED) for the South Bank schools Multi Academy Trust.
Recent local education projects include the University of York on supporting inclusive wellbeing practice for their community interns, in the health and care sector with Project Echo at St Leonards Hospice on Unconscious Bias training for employees in Yorkshire Care Homes and in housing, for Student Castle developing their teams in York, and beyond, on Wellbeing support on behalf of Student Minds.
What inequalities in York are you most passionate about and why?
Mental health, suicide prevention and postvention and opportunities for everyone in York to benefit from the City, its residents and great organisations. York has done really well responding to some mental health challenges including its annual suicide postvention conference but we need to keep these in sight and not focus solely on pandemic impacts.
Who are some of your favourite organisations in York and why?
You’ll be shocked to hear Menfulness, Yorkey Dads and Social Vision are up there. K.E.E.N. at the University of York do great work. The Supper Collective and The Collective Sharehouse, quietly feeding literally thousands of people through lockdowns and beyond; that’s impressive.
What does success look like for you and your work?
If people come away with how they can actually change what they do to include a wider range of people then I’m happy. If we’ve got past the fears they have about disability or biases and have more confidence and we’ve made it enjoyable along the way that’s great. Whether it’s recent work with the Tower of London, the Wellcome Trust (for GCL) or the teachers I work with in Hong Kong. Hearing their success in using inclusion to drive change makes their initial discomfort worthwhile.
How has coronavirus affected your beneficiaries?
Some of the disabled, autistic and neurodiverse people I work with have benefitted from the pandemic in terms of experiencing equity in home working (mostly) while the teachers I work with in Hong Kong have been massively affected, not to mention the political impacts there. I think most people are languishing but it’s good to see Kindness at work.
What does 2021 look like?
So far so good. Last year I lost most of my projects overnight so had to quickly adapt to webinars, online and distanced working. This year is providing lots of opportunities including work with local business and for local organisations. I’m working with Middlesex University on inclusive curriculum, Goss Consultancy and You Smart Thing on accessible digital transport tech assistance for train and electric vehicle journeys in Scotland, England and Wales as well as smaller scale projects with arts and culture organisations.
What do you love about York and what would you change?
Great environment, great food, good people and the best of all worlds in terms of getting to London, seaside, countryside and bustle. I’d like it if we were more outward looking and welcoming to refugees and migrants but I think we’re making progress on that front.
And finally, what’s the best way for people to contact you?