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Action Wellbeing Practice Scenarios

Role plays and discussion to practise with your affinity group, wellbeing team, friends, anyone!

Specific Action Visioning

Spend some time in a small group thinking about the action you are about to take. Discuss the type of action it is, where it is, the size of it and any other details you can think of specific to that action. Start to come up with some example scenarios of what you might come across. You may decide to role play these or simply talk about them and start to get a sense of what it might look and feel like in that situation and what the Action Wellbeing needs might be?

Wellbeing Supporter Role Plays

Applied Active Listening

Get into groups of 3-4. Do this by lining up roughly in terms of experience of activism, been arrested for loads of different actions at various times at one end of the room. Never done anything like this in their lives at the other. Make up the groups of 3-4 people so that there is a variety of experience levels in the groups. In all the scenarios ask the Wellbeing person to try and practise active listening with the person taking direct action in order to support them.

Active Listening tips:

  • Give the speaker your undivided attention.
  • Try not to interrupt while they are talking.
  • If you notice yourself drift off or start thinking about how to respond, try to bring your attention back to what the speaker is saying.
  • See what it's like to just listen fully with your whole mind and body.
Supporting someone being cut out of a lock on

1-2 Police, 1 rebel locked on, 1 WB person.

Ask the rebel to lie down. The police person should be sat over/ next to the protector, leaning over them as if cutting off an arm lock. Imagine the machinery and kit needed to be cutting someone out of an arm lock. It is loud, and invasive. The police can be asking questions. The wellbeing person is to support the rebel through that experience.

Supporting someone being criticised by a member of the public

1 Angry Driver, 1 rebel, 1 WB person.

The rebel is standing within conversation range of an angry driver who is hanging out of their car window, the rebel can choose whether or not to engage with the driver. The angry driver can be shouting, may be offensive. Possible things to say, ‘get a job’ ‘this is hitting the wrong people I’m just trying to get to work’ ‘I’m going to lose my job because of you’ ‘my kids are waiting at the school gate and are late because of you’ Be imaginative, and don’t be afraid to be mean, it will help with the practise. The wellbeing person is to support the rebel through that experience.

Supporting someone who is talking to police liaison

1-2 Police Liaison, 1 Attendee (may not be doing something arrestable, 1 WB person.

The attendee has had no NVDA training or briefing and no prior experience with the police. The police liaison are really friendly and having a wee chat. WB person is to support the attendee.

Supporting someone who is getting arrested by the police

1-2 Police, 1 rebel, 1 WB person.

Start with the arrest, putting on of handcuffs, ask first but can get physical. The police may try to move the person away from the WB supporter. WB person is to support the attendee. Come back together for a debrief. Talk about the scenario and things that came up.

Decision Making Exercise

In groups of 5-10, go through one of these scenarios and respond within 90 seconds:


Ask a co-ordinator from each group to come forward and get a task. (If the co-ordinators are predominantly male, name that to the whole group. Mention that in deciding who will coordinate and in making the decision to put yourself forward or not ask if your first response is more to do with capability or the way you have been socialised in our current society. Thank those coordinators for stepping forward and ask for 2 different coordinators to come up)

Give them this task: ’you have just been messaged with info that 2 swarming affinity groups have gone off and will be doing something arrestable nearby. One has just left and can be seen leaving down a side street. The other cannot be seen and there is no info on where they are other than ‘nearby’. The group of WB people you are with are currently looking after a group of vulnerable arrestables e.g. younger people or older people or members of the disabilities network.

Go back to your well-being people and decide who goes where, this is time sensitive as people are likely to be arrested quickly once they start their swarming activities. Time 90s seconds as it is the amount of time they will have before the affinity group disappears from sight. Debrief, did you make a decision? Did you listen to each other? Did anyone not feel listened to? Who was loudest/quietest?


Before doing this decide which 2 people in the group will represent WB people.

‘You’ve been swarming all day, and come off the road to let the first cars through. During this moment a car on the other side of the road overheats and goes on fire, blowing huge amounts of smoke everywhere. You are a bit spread out and can only speak to the 3 people closest to you. Do you go back on the road as planned at the next light?

  • Did you make a decision?
  • Did the whole group make the same decision?
  • Was the WB view different from the others?
  • How did WB facilitate communication and de-escalation in that situation?
  • Did you listen to each other?
  • Did anyone not feel listened to?
  • Who was loudest/quietest?
  • Were the most listened to/first to speak/loudest voices to do with the way we are socialised in our society?

Split into smaller groups of 3-4

You are standing together at the first aid point giving out tea. Someone is brought to the point having just fainted. At the same time you see the police starting to arrest people who had been blocking a road at one end, there are WB people there but the arrests look like they may need backup. At the same time a parent who has lost a child comes over in distress, looking for help. At the same time you receive a message that some of the march is leaving and will need WB people to go with it. You should always be within eyesight/earshot of your buddy.

Decide who sees to what in this situation. How do you organise and support?

Notice, with no judgement, just noticing.

  • Was someone leading?
  • Did they listen to each other? Did anyone not feel listened to?
  • Who was loudest/quietest?
  • Why did those who stepped forward feel most comfortable doing so. Note on privilege awareness.

Come back together for a debrief.