The Belfast Experience!

My first visit to Belfast – home of Titanic came on 26 July 2017 ready for delivering a MHFALite course the following day.

 

It was a ‘first’ for quiet a few things.  The first time I used the automatic bag drop – with a little help from the assistant!  A great idea but I wasn’t convinced until I saw my case role off the singular baggage carousel at George Best Belfast City Airport – phew, what a relief.

 

The next first was staying in a global brand hotel where the ‘exclusive’ experience I was expecting didn’t come to fruition.  The room was very dark with no central light.  Great if you want to work at the desk with the desk spotlight but not if, like me, preference is to sprawl on the bed with laptop, books, pens etc!  Stuffiness eventually prompted me to check out the air con – which was so noisy.  This was quickly turned off and the small window opened.  Unfortunately this overlooked the metro line and main road!  After deciding to have a cup of tea – I tried fishing the large hair out of the cup – it was a crack!  Unfortunately there were several guests who decided to have a late conversation in the corridor outside my room on the way back from the bar at midnight!!!  It seemed I’d only got to sleep when the alarm clock went off!  Good job I know how to manage stress from the training I deliver on Mental Health First Aid courses!  Breakfast was a vast improvement even if the placemat was stained!

 

MHFA Lite is a three hour course to raise awareness of mental health conditions.  It’s a light touch course.  With a room full of managers from this global financial client, what would their reaction be – did they learn anything?……

 

‘Learning that different conditions manifest themselves in different ways and how having a conversation can help highlight issues’.

‘Coping strategies to suggest to others and use myself.  I have a much better awareness of the different types of mental health problems and most importantly the scale we are all on.’

‘Being mindful of my own well-being.  There is so much help available – I hadn’t realised.  Being aware of changes in others’

‘Even though I’ve done these sort of workshops before, it refreshed and added to my knowledge’

‘Listening unconditionally and being aware of small changes’

‘I feel like I could listen and provide suitable signposting’

‘It’s important to always ask even if only a small change is noticed’

 

As an Instructor it’s always great to see the learning gained from the evaluations – part of which is about the Instructor’s delivery and knowledge!  So what were the thoughts on me….. I’m glad to say a full house of top scores!

 

‘Really really enjoyable course.  Not only excellent from a line manager’s perspective but also for my own personal experience – fantastic trainer’

 

‘Instructor was very informative with lots of examples’

 

‘Very confident Instructor who encouraged participation.  An enjoyable course, well delivered’.

 

‘A straight talking Instructor’

So overall………..

 

‘A very useful course, thank you!’

‘Excellent course – useful inside and outside work’.

 

For me, the last comment is the most important.  Mental Health affects us and those closest to us both at home and work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who started this awful trend?

It seems mad that a petition has to be raised to get our Government to move on bringing in legislation to prevent anyone over 18 buying corrosive products.

 

This worrying trend doesn’t seem to be given the same focus in our media that knife crime etc does.  London has seen a worrying rise in the use of corrosive products in crime, especially throwing acid in peoples’ faces to steal their mobile/handbag etc.

 

If caught, the short sentence given for causing grievous bodily harm doesn’t equate to the lifetime sentence the victims receive.

 

This can happen to anyone at anytime.  How can it be that the establishment doesn’t think this behaviour warrants urgent action?

 

The mental anguish caused to the victims is the hidden injury, just as painful and long lasting as the disfiguring surface injuries.

 

The perpetrators can move on with their lives not so their victims.

 

Take the time to read the letter one such victim has written – you will be shocked by the stats involved……..

 

Copy and paste the link below into your browser and see for yourself……

 

 

https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-prohibit-the-purchase-of-acid-to-those-without-a-licence recruiter=746729227&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition

 

 

New sales pitch – what do you think?

Over the three plus years I have been delivering Growing Talent, I’ve found it difficult to get new employers involved.  They love the uniqueness and success rate – and the fact it’s free! – but rarely put their jobs forward.

 

Instead of sending our short factual information, I’ve been advised to try something more ‘sales’ themed.

 

So I’m going to try the following but would be grateful to hear any thoughts…….

 

“Want to be part of the solution to London’s unemployment?

Want to develop raw talent into a priceless gem?

 

Growing Talent is an inclusive, free facility for bringing the unemployed and employers with permanent roles together on a maximum 12 week programme to secure new talent confidently. This is not an apprenticeship scheme but a genuine initiative that has proven to be a success for many employers and job seekers.

 

Our website has films and case studies from employers and their new employees – www.growing-talent.co.uk.

 

In short, employers select potential new hires from a pre-screened talent pool and trains them in their vacant role.  At the point of hire, both are confident on the match delivering sustained recruitment.  Open to anyone over 18 from all social and academic backgrounds, Growing Talent delivers diversity automatically.”

 

‘Skilled workers abroad essential for fish and chip industry’

There was a piece on the news this morning showcasing employers of fast food outlets requesting a facility to enable them to continue hiring skilled staff from abroad to operate their businesses.

 

One of the businesses featured was a fish and chip restaurant with the assistant handling the food wearing a fur headband and no hygiene gloves on.  How much skill does it take to fry fish?

 

Is this more about low pay and profits than it is about skill shortage?