We’ve been in lockdown for around 4 weeks, here at Rowan Learning Centre, but what a busy and educational 4 weeks it has been!
Personally, right from the get go, I decided I’d set out to achieve 2 things in my time stuck at home.
- Conquer my fear of Video Calling
- Get a bit more ‘Masterchef’ with my cooking
Well with the help of candidates old, and new, I can say with confidence that I’ve achieved a solid 50% of my goals so far!
Early on I contacted all of our students to let them know that we’d be moving learning ‘online’, the response has been great, and last week we delivered our first ‘remote induction’ for the SVQ3. Apparently with all this time stuck inside there has been a significant increase in enthusiasm levels for getting SVQ homework done, to the extent that we’ve had four more candidates complete their qualifications in the last 3 weeks!
There have been a lot of articles in the news recently, discussing the benefits of staying in touch and keeping regular human contact. Bearing this in mind, we’re now offering extra candidate support sessions, and a good chunk of these is spent catching up on how we’re both doing, and how our work has adapted to the ongoing situation. Not only is this, well, nice, it has also allowed candidates to evidence their creativity and person centered approaches to working with individuals. It also allows a much needed opportunity to de-stress, and let off a bit of steam. We could have arranged to have these meetings over the phone, but it just doesn’t seem quite as ‘real’ to spend an hour communicating with a disembodied voice, and as you’ll know if you’ve read previous blogs, the Learning Theorist Gibbs stated that to learn, we need to have ‘concrete experiences’. Turns out we’ve managed to be Trauma Informed by accident 🙂
Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be rolling out remote, and online, training for the new ‘army of volunteers’ who will be coming on board, initially as telephone befrienders, until the restrictions are lifted and they can begin providing face to face support to our CARDS clients. We’ve been blown away by peoples enthusiasm to get involved, even when they’re stuck indoors, and it really hits home a message I always try to get across when delivering Trauma Informed Practice training and supporting individuals to recognise they ways in which they already practise Trauma Informed support.
‘As human beings, we’re all actually naturally pretty good at supporting others, and knowing the best way to do it. It just takes a bit of time to un-learn the unhelpful behaviours we’ve been taught by ‘experts’ who pathologise the nature of human contact’
This is why I’ve found it so uplifting to see the huge numbers of people putting themselves out there to be available to help in any way possible. The wonderful people at Acanthus have donated a mountain of facemasks to our staff, Cyrenians Cook School have offered to deliver meals to residents at one of our projects who are unable to get food deliveries, and staff from across all of our services have come together to provide support across the organisation, wherever it’s needed.
So, having nailed the Video Calling, how am I getting on with Lockdown Objective No2? The less said about that the better. I can however confirm that there has been a significant decline in The Cat begging for scraps from the dinner table. Make of that what you will…..