Charlie and I were very excited about the arranged trip to Edinburgh, not only because we were going on a training course with our partners (Mayday Trust) but because Edinburgh is a beautiful city and we got the evening to enjoy all that Edinburgh had to offer.
Our journey from Wigan started very early, on a very wet and windy day (storm Ciera no less). So when we arrived at the train station to be told the trains were not running into Scotland we had to think on our feet. After a bit of deliberation, we boarded a train to York in the hope that trains would be running from there. Luckily they were and we made it to Edinburgh for just after lunch. Not before a few coffees, a lost suitcase and a lot of laughs.
Upon arrival at the Quaker Meeting House we were straight into it with a group exercise, which we later realised was a running theme for the course. Very interactive and lots of group discussions and the odd spot of role play which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. I personally found this approach really helpful and left us all with a lot to reflect on.
The first day was all about the vision Mayday Trust have around system changes, and how the system can work better to help people transition through tough times by using a personalised, strength based approach. We looked at what people have said who have used services, and how they felt when ‘in the system’, we looked at the learnings from this and the ways forward. It is thought provoking and innovative to look at the model in detail and analyse where potential failings lie in previous systems. It turns legacy thinking on its head and puts the person at the centre.
The second day was more around the reasoning behind the theory of change, and how this is put into practice. We looked in groups about what we are trying to achieve so we all had a well-rounded and accurate view of the vision. We all provided input, ideas and shared experiences, and it was just really nice to hear other views and takes on something we are all working towards.
We spoke about influencing on a local level and how this has a direct impact through filtering out to eventually making a change to how the system operates and is perceived.