Back in 2019 MOTW organised a series of workshops where various guests would speak to our staff about their organisations and the services they provide, detailing how they could help our participants and support our Navigators. The feedback was really positive, so the decision was made to pick these up again and organise another series of workshops throughout 2021. Due to current Government Guidelines these are being held remotely until it is safe to do otherwise.
The first workshop of 2021 was held on 15th April and focused on the new additions to the MOTW offer that were introduced at the end of last year – a Mental Health and Wellbeing Course and Financial Capability Support. The aim was to educate our new staff members about these fantastic services whilst giving our longstanding staff the chance to meet those running the courses, hear more about what the courses entail and ask questions.
Mental Health and Wellbeing Course – ran by Nick from the Wellbeing Challenge CIC
Nick’s passion for mental health, experience in employability support and understanding of our participants needs shone throughout the session. He talked to our staff about what the 7-week course looked like, explaining what participants can expect to learn and take away from the experience. Nick runs group sessions and has found that even the quietest and shyest of participants will contribute, get involved and speak up unprompted. He tailors his course based on attendees, focusing on the wellbeing themes applicable to them – such as stress, procrastination, self-care and behaviour change.
Feedback from those who have attended the course in the past has been overwhelmingly positive, and by chatting openly to our Navigators about the course he was able to articulate the benefits, the considerations and the thoughtfulness that goes into the course he delivers. He answered a number of questions specific to individual cases and was able to gather thoughts on whether the course should move to face-to-face in the future. Overall, it was an incredibly valuable session, with Navigators inspired to send their participants onto this course as a result.
One-to-one Financial Capability Support – ran by Sonia from Oasis Community Housing
Sonia spent time talking through the different problems and queries she has come across in the past, and the type of advice she is able to offer. This gave a great insight into the complexity of Financial Capability and helped Navigators understand that this support is applicable not just to those who have debt worries but also for participants who just want to understand what benefits they’re entitled to or learn how to maximise their future income. Throughout the workshop Sonia reiterated to Navigators that the support sessions focus on participants taking control of their finances and gives them the confidence and tools to handle their finances going forward.
Questions were asked about specific cases, and whilst Sonia was able to respond she encouraged these Navigators to refer their participants to her so she could look at each case individually. Finances can be complicated, and there isn’t always a one answer fits all approach, but throughout the workshop Sonia demonstrated her caring, non-judgmental nature and that she is here to help and offer solutions.
The first workshop was a huge success, and with more planned throughout the course of 2021 we’re proud to be able to offer our staff the chance to continuously learn and enhance their understanding of the services and organisations available to their participants.