Getting on Board program
(Delivered in London, UK)
Getting on Board was a project to help local people get involved in community decision making in Kent. The programme was led by Community Futures Kent, part of the Avenues Group, and delivered in partnership with members of the Kent Valuing People Partnership, Community Learning and Skills, part of Kent County Council, and Dods Training. Our role in the project was to deliver workshops on accessing decision-makers in Government – such as MPs, Peers and Ministers – and on making yourself heard in the community.
The workshop on making yourself held in your local community was called ‘Getting Your Message Across’. We had to design a programme outline and training materials that could be delivered to – and, later, by – adults with learning disabilities or adults who spoke English as a second language. The aim of the programme was to encourage the adult learners to understand, take an interest in and get involved in local and national politics. Potential opportunities for them to get involved in decision making included elections, local campaigns on issues such as library closures or rubbish collections, and policies directly affecting the lives of the adult learners such as social care provision in their local area.
By the end of the campaigning workshop, participants had:
- Understood that the words they use can have a different effect on different people.
- Thought about when they had wanted to get a message to someone.
- Identified two other cases where they had seen someone get messages across.
- Compared and evaluated those messages.
- Identified and described at least one way in which they would like to get their message across to someone.
- Given an example of the ways in which adult learners might support each other.
Participants on this course did not complete our standard evaluation form. However, the Avenues Group needed to report on the learning and development programme to the local council, which was providing the funding. To enable us to provide useful management information to our partners, we worked with them and our training team to develop a feedback system that tracked what participants learnt, how the materials worked in practice, participant reactions to the workshops and other factors. This information was used by the Avenues Group to produce a final report on the programme.
Informal feedback on the workshops has been excellent, with some participants already going onto work on their own campaigns within the community.