Centre managers Marie Gribben of Middleton Shopping Centre, and Kirsty Williams of Mill Gate Shopping Centre, agreed to a collaborative approach to conflict management training, hosting classes at both of their locations.  This innovative approach allowed for the majority of the ASG teams at both centres to attend a training session which provided excellent results.


The Conflict Management Training class was open to anyone from either team who wished to attend, resulting in an outstanding turnout for both locations with members of maintenance, housekeeping, customer services and security teams taking part.  The syllabus was delivered in a very flexible relaxed style to enable the teams to discuss any current issues or concerns and allow them to take away applicable, practical knowledge and understanding of the subjects covered. These topics included:

  • What is conflict management?
  • Your perception of conflict
  • Why conflict occurs
  • The human response to conflict
  • Understanding the cycle of conflict
  • The power of communication
  • Understanding empathy
  • Conflict management strategies
  • Effects of drugs and alcohol
  • Understanding the relationship between space and violence
  • Use of force options
  • Strategies to deal with groups


The training was provided by Phil Newton,  a specialist provider of several key courses including Emergency First Aid at Work, Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace, Conflict Management Training, and Manual Handling and Safeguarding.  Phil has an extensive CV in the key areas associated with the training requirements which reinforced why he was the natural trainer to provide this support. His extensive experience and qualifications include:



  • Communication Studies degree.
  • Has run the Independent Jiu-Jitsu Association (5th Dan Black Belt) since 2000, including teaching self-defence workshops.
  • 2009 – 2016 ran extended provision in South Cumbria (teaching teenagers who were disenchanted with school or had behavioural issues).
  • 2014 completed NFPS (National Federation of Personal Safety) course to allow the teaching of conflict management, breakaway and restraint training.
  • From 2016 has been the lead trainer for Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, teaching conflict management and first aid to their members.


Following a separate training session led by Phil at the Walkden Town Centre a few weeks ago, the Conflict Management Training course has now been delivered to over 50 ASG employees.


Simon Hawkins, ASG Operations Director commented on the training, “Clearly the training has been incredibly well received, Phil’s expertise in this area is self-evident and the knowledge he impairs to our teams will be invaluable when trying to peacefully resolve conflict on site. We are looking forward to more courses being scheduled in the near future for other key client locations so we can give as many of our employees as possible the opportunity to manage an environment when conflict arises.”


Marie Gribben, Centre Manager at Middleton Shopping Centre, also commented on the course’s success, ”We couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome, professional tuition of this kind is essential, and the attendance just shows how engaged and focused the ASG teams are on the wellbeing of the centres and our visitors.”


Kirsty Williams, Centre Manager at Mill Gate Shopping Centre added, “It was great that the collaborative approach allowed the vast majority of the ASG team to attend. They enjoyed themselves and learned a lot, I’m sure they would all join me in thanking Phil for very useful and practical sessions at both locations.”

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