Established to continue the late Tim Field's vision of a world free from bullying, the Tim Field Foundation is committed to working for a world free of bullying, through activities, research and projects that validate, empower and inspire targets, perpetrators, apologists and witnesses of bullying to make enlightened choices.
After Tim's passing in 2006, the West Midlands workplace bullying self-help group DAWN and others set up the annual Tim Field Memorial lecture, which honours Tim and his work, and which is a forum that brings together many people with an interest in the subject of workplace bullying, including researchers and academics as well as targets of bullying. Sales of Tim's book continue, and his website is maintained, albeit much in the state he left it.
The website, fascinating as it is, is technically outdated and difficult to access - it is only in English - and it contains a lot of extraneous information which really should be archived. The book, life saver though it is, refers to British employment law that was repealed in 1996, shortly after the book was first published. The telephone helpline simply does not exist.
In the meantime, quite possibly because of Tim Field's contribution to the world, society's approach to bullying has changed somewhat since it was first recognised. Many of the patterns that Tim Field established are timeless, since they are in some ways "human givens", but there are always developments in the law, in understanding the psychology of bullying and factors that cause it to propagate and others which cause it to diminish. Also, many people who have been bullied and recovered say that they want to make sure this doesn't happen to somebody else. One way of doing that is to share experiences with those who have yet to be bullied, as Tim Field did.
The "Field Foundation" was the name Tim Field gave to a part of his work. He identified its core aims as:
- to oversee and carry on his work in identifying and addressing bullying.
- To take his work to the next level (beyond the UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line and Bullyonline) moving all education, campaigning, support and awareness-raising activities under the wing of The Field Foundation.
Tragically, before he had really got started, Tim became terminally ill. With the backing of his family, a group of people got together in 2009 with a view to carrying on his work, and taking it to the next level. The group's aspirations were put to the Quakers and Business Group ("Q&B") in 2010, and met with their approval.
The Quakers and Business Group is a charitable organsiation whose purpose is "to promote Quaker principles particularly in the context of business and the workplace".
Quaker Principles are:
Q&B hopes to demonstrate that it is still possible to succeed in business by being truthful and treating all people as equally worthy of respect. Q&B's supportive role in relation to this project is guide us on practical and ethical issues. The group currrently has about 120 members in business or employment, who are Quakers or in sympathy with Quaker aims, and the group promotes a set of business principles that are entirely in harmony with our aim for a bully-free world. Q&B supports the aims Tim Field Foundation and hopes to assist with practical support. Initially, by adopting the Tim Field Foundation as one of its projects, Q&B has spared us the administrative burden of establishing TFF as an independent registered charity.
There is no requirement for members of the Tim Field Foundation to have any particular religious view or affiliation, although views promoted by TFF should be (and hopefully are, by default) in harmony with Quaker views.
It is fitting that, by coincidence, the 2010 Tim Field Memorial Lecture was again held in the Quaker Meeting House in Oxford. Like Quakers, we are neither dictatorial nor democratic, instead taking a direction that we or our fellow members believe is inspired and right.
Initially, our projects are the website Bully Online and the book Bully In Sight. Both of these contain unique insights that have inspired countless thousands. We're aware, however, that both are in need of major updates.
One aspiration that has been carefully considered, and which will be welcomed by some and criticised by others, is to slightly alter the perspective through which a reader sees Tim Field's insights, by re-presenting them in a more "neutral" language, in which the amount of labelling of behaviours and particularly people is reduced. There are a number of very positive reasons for doing this, the overall one being to try and make the world an even better place than even Tim hoped it could be.
The end result of these aspirations is a number of projects, which are:
- redevelop bullyonline.org with a view to making it more concise, even more helpful and multilingual.
- create a second edition of Bully in Sight, keeping the insight that making it timeless.
- establish a telephone helpline (long-term aim, subject to sustainable funding)
- anything else we can think of … lobbying Parliament? Facilitating self-help groups? Anything is possible…
These things are open to discussion and will evolve according to the collective will. Obviously, lots of hard work is required, with a wide range of skills. If you would like to join hands with others and take part, contributing your ideas, visions, skills and practical work, please sign up.
We have support from people who have been or are being bullied at work, and who came to that realisation through the insights of Tim Field. We think it is a fitting tribute that we can now put back what we learned from him, to take his insights to a new generation.
The original "Field Foundation" name has been changed to "Tim Field Foundation" at the suggestion of Keith Munday (DAWN), partly in view of the existence of a USA based organisation called the Field Foundation, and to more directly lidentify this group with Tim.
Those who brought about the 2009 incarnation of the Tim Field Foundation are, in no particular order, Keith Munday (DAWN Hon. President), Jo Ann Brown (founder, JFO), Adrian Melia (founder, Humane Resources), Andrew Taylor , Susan, Michael and Fiona Field, Alison Francis, Scott Johnston (Barrister) and Christina Blythe, with helpful input and inspiration from Barry Winbolt (psychologist), Liz Carnell (bullying UK), Lyn Witheridge (Andrea Adams Trust), Judith Hollands and thousands of others whose contributions have been invaluable.