Learning together….virtually!

It’s strange how Coronavirus has managed to change my mind completely on virtual training. I know some remote locations globally have used virtual methods to deliver skills, training and education in all areas for many years.

Up until March this year when the Coronavirus curve ball hit us all, I didn’t feel I personally could deliver valuable training online. How wrong was I?

Having done nothing but virtual training over the last six months I see how much more inclusive and nurturing it is. It gives a much wider reach enabling people based throughout the UK and beyond to join from the comfort of their home sharing their knowledge and experiences.

I know see 90% of my business going forward will be on a virtual platform rather than classroom environment. So many more advantages to the virtual stage. All being there is good internet access of course!

At the start of the pandemic I made the decision to find an exact product to replace MHFAEngland’s three courses I’m licensed to deliver. Their half day awareness course, one day champion course and two day adult First Aider course. None of which are accredited.

I discovered http://www.nucotraining.com which recently added three accredited courses which match what I was looking for. Nuco has a solid reputation in the first aid, H&S and associated environments.

However, there was a few steps first! I had to apply and be screened against Nuco’s criteria. I also had to do a L3 formal Education and Training course with CTC before I could be accepted for Instructor training. I was a little deflated as I’m pretty impatient when it comes to me getting things done! CTC’s website showed the L3 qualification took unto a year. I really didn’t want to wait that long!!!

Thankfully with the curve ball of Coronavirus and home working, I managed to complete the L3 in under three months! Once I had this qualification I was able to get accepted by Nuco on their last virtual training session for Mental Health First Aid planned for 2020.

Everything fell into place beautifully!

Level 1 is a four hour workshop to raise awareness which a written paper at the end to prove knowledge and attain the Level 3 qualification.

Level 2 is six hours with a written paper and practical session to gain the

Level 3 qualifies someone to be the First Aider and is 12 hours long with 2 papers to complete and a practical session.

The beauty of virtual training is illustrated by people on the Instructor’s course with me. Based throughout the UK as well as Guernsey and in Afghanistan!

Martin, the Nuco Instructor, shared techniques and resources. Engaging, challenging and robust.

An exhausting but strangely energising experience.

Now I have a 5 accredited courses on mental health and wellbeing to add to my portfolio of workshops available for clients wishing to ensure the wellbeing of their staff.

Opportunity presents itself in the most unexpected ways.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Baker’s Dozen Evaluation – Adult Mental Health First Aider Training

Last week saw the delivery of MHFAEngland’s latest version of their 2-day Adult training programme in Mental Health which qualifies delegates to be First Aiders in this critical area.

 

The robust manual – heavy but yet of interesting facts, figures, resources takes the fear out of the subject.  The interactive sections – Graffiti Wall, Anxiety Face, Stress Container and Depression T-Shirt were well received.  The films brought home the key points.

 

So, what did the 13 managers from the private sector think of giving up two days to do this course?

 

Almost an even split on the question ‘As a result of the training, I am less likely to judge people with mental health issues negatively’ – 7 strongly agreed.  The 6 remaining Agreed.  So – some hearts and minds were definitely changed!

 

‘As a result of this training, I am more likely to consider mental health and mental ill health a normal part of everyday life’ – bigger shift here – 10 strongly agreed and remaining three agreed.

 

‘How would you rate the MHFA course’? – 100% rated it top marks with’ Very Good’.

 

As the Instructor – I’m very pleased to see 100% of the delegates gave me top marks  of ‘Very Good’!

 

Some general comments included:

 

‘Excellent’!’

‘Really well delivered course.  Feel like I’ve learnt plenty to take away and implement’

‘The course and its delivery was excellent – thank you’.

‘Extremely useful – sharing tools and giving confidence’

‘Excellent course.   I would like to see it rolled out to all managers’

 

If you have a business and want to upskill your employees in the field of mental health, why not get in touch to discuss how?

Latimer Vibe Mark 3!

A briefing session for the 3rd Latimer Vibe takes place at PwC Hays Galleria tomorrow (4 November).  The content of the workshops delivered grows each time.  We have a new manual to encompass all of the workshops running at 57 pages!  Topics now covered include:

 

It’s Your Money – a basic, broad range look at personal finance from banking accounts, direct debits vs standing orders through to savvy saving practices, store/credit cards, debt management, mortgages through to increasing income potential.

 

How to get fit! – insight in how to plan a routine to ensure you increase your individual fitness level without gym membership

 

Fitness without the gym – blood pumping techniques for when you are desk-bound!

 

Hippy dippy – a look at well-being and positive thinking

 

Health Nutrition Bites – focussing on healthy eating on a budget

 

Practical Kitchen – the essentials to know about cooking for your self, food hygiene etc

 

Housing – some signposting for emergency housing and a look at what to consider if you are in secure accommodation but want to plan an independent move

 

In addition to the above all seven Growing Talent Associates will undergo the two-day global Mental Health First Aid course which will enable them to deliver first aid in this specialist area if they wish to.  It will definitely enable them to look after themselves better.

 

We have visiting managers delivering workshops in the above areas along with plenty of relaxation time which can be spent exploring the grounds, in the swimming pool, sauna or gym.  I expect a beer in the bar at the end of the day will be welcomed as well.

 

should be an exhausting but fun three days ahead.  Latimer kicks off Wednesday 5 November ending on Friday 7 November.

About me!

Following an established career in recruitment at all levels, I found myself faced with an almost impossible task of recruiting local residents of East London into corporate jobs in Canary Wharf.  It was 2005.  A year long partnership with a niche East London charity brought little success.  The core issue was the lack of employability skills then taught in schools and colleges.  Coupled with generational unemployment resulting in no positive role models, the basic requirements of coming to work everyday, not taking a sick day over a headache etc was missing.

 

I devised and delivered an employability programme which over the following eight years saw over 200 people go into work – including a grandmother who had never worked!  It won multiple awards including the first EEVA awards – beating 22 European countries and the Lord Mayor of London’s Dragon Award in 2013.   I’ve worked with many charities, public sector organisations, ex-service charities and community groups.  Seeing someone flourish and go into work changing their lives, giving them real choice is amazing.

 

After 12 years with my last employer, I set-up my own consultancy and now work with private sector organisations on devising and delivering programmes which bring them closer to their communities adding real value to both.

 

My second passion after getting people into employment is Mental Health First Aid.  This is a global first aid programme for recognising and supporting mental health issues – now in 22 countries!  I’m proud to not only be a Mental Health First Aid Instructor who has trained close to 300 people over the last five years, but also a Non-Exec Director of MHFA England – supporting and driving forward the agenda – especially in the workplace.

 

I have designed and delivered bespoke mental health workshops to the private sector to meet their needs.

We have no health without good mental health!

 

Twitter – @EmploymentRegen

 

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