coach, collaboration, community, development, employment, resilience, Support, training

The power of Collaboration

Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 25 November 2021

Yesterday morning, as part of my work with the NHS THRIVE to Keep Well programme that we’re piloting in this area, we were thrilled to bring together a number of training and employability partners to advise the participants of the many opportunities that were available to them at whatever level they wanted to be. We set up a Covid safe exhibition area at Camelon Community Centre and the participants were free to chat with the staff from these organisations. We also had some craft activities to help them relax and have something else to do while they either plucked up the courage to go and speak, or reflected on the information they’d been given.

There were many highlights for me in this event. Firstly, I’d forgotten how great it is to actually be in a room with various partners. Covid has taken so much from us over recent times and while I admit that this is one of the more frivolous matters, it was still really good to experience again. Even the partners really valued being able to share and network with each other face to face (behind masks and appropriately distanced of course). And even with the safety measures in place, glancing around the room and hearing the chatter brought feelings of some kind of normality coming back again.

My second highlight was seeing the participants engaging with the partner agencies and getting meaningful, personal advice for their next steps. They were initially nervous but once one of them stepped forward, the others soon followed and the conversations began to flow. Considering the various journeys the participants have been on over the last 13 weeks, this was so heart-warming to see. This is one of the key things that drives me in this job – supporting local people to get the right information, advice and direction to move towards whatever a positive destination looks like for them individually. This is not a one size fits all support. I really do want to get it right for every person.

My final highlight, was the feedback from the partner agencies. All of them spoke of how they quickly got a sense of the progression that the participants had made while being on this programme. They also commented on the genuine desire from the participants to continue this forward movement in the best way possible for them, whether that be more training courses, volunteering, or moving into work. While my fellow facilitators and I can see this for ourselves, it was so good to hear from others – it makes this so worthwhile.

So my thanks to 4 The Benefit of All, Cyrenians (Arnotdale House), Employment and Training Unit, Workers Educational Association, and CVS/Volunteer Falkirk for giving up their morning to come along and support our amazing participants. My hope is that early in the New Year, restrictions will allow us to do a larger event with these partners so more of you can benefit. As they say, watch this space! In the meantime, if you need any support with accessing training or employability support, or are looking to get into volunteering or even a job, then do get in touch and I’ll help and signpost you as appropriate for you. Contact details are below.

Until next time….

Dan Rous,
Community Coach,
07444 873151,
communitycoach@tamfourhill.co.uk

community, development, Mental Health, Our Place, resilience, Support, training

Hakuna Matata

Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 26 August 2021

Have you ever had times when despite the best planning, things just don’t work out as you hope? Those days when life throws you a few curve balls?

What do you do when that happens? How do you cope? Do you plough on through, or stick your head in the sand?

For me, this week has been one of those weeks. I won’t bore you with the details but it’s mainly been things to do with family (mostly the children), injuries, Test and Protect, and various unplanned journeys. Life stuff coming thick and fast at the same time that working here as a Community Coach is getting busier! Juggling has become harder. Stress has tried to disrupt things.

Now I’m not typing this to get sympathy (unless you want to!). I’m mentioning it to try to be of help!

I have the privilege of being one of the facilitators for the NHS THRIVE to Keep Well Programme being run for the first time in Falkirk. Colleagues from Community Learning and Development are joining me, plus support and input will come from Artlink Central, Forth Environment Link and others. The programme supports local adults who are experiencing mild to moderate mental health and wellbeing challenges. It was developed to assist individuals to rebuild their lives by increasing their skills, knowledge and awareness of their own personal health and wellbeing and aims to support participants to feel more integrated into their community by helping build positive social networks, improve personal development, and support participants to develop their own social and economic lives.

Through this programme, amongst other things, we introduce relaxation and try to understand what triggers stress within each individual. We will help each individual to move towards whatever a positive destination looks like for them.

So far, having had the intro and first full session, stuff has happened outside of the group to try to throw stress at us. In part it’s worked in distracting one or other of the facilitators. But overall, with the strength the group has found already, it has not brought us down! Bizarrely, Session 2 has sessions on the causes and triggers of stress! It will be good to have some practical examples to deliver to the group!

So what do we do? How do we get through this? Honestly, I don’t know! But this blog is meant to be of help so let me try. In reality, the answer is going to be different for each individual but let me throw out one solution. This might seem a little simplistic, but I believe this is a destination to work towards for all of us. Here goes…

Have you watched The Lion King? I love it and we’ve been lucky enough to see it at the theatre too where it takes on a whole new perspective. But I want to pull out one song from the show. It is sung to us by Timon and Pumbaa who befriended Simba when he ran away from his family. They taught him to enjoy life no matter how tough it gets. And so they sung “Hakuna Matata” – a phrase that means “no worries”. Through this light hearted song, they encourage us to discover ourselves freely and to not worry about the past, as dwelling over the past can easily ruin the present and future. It is a philosophy that can really transform your life.

I’m told that Hakuna Matata is basically a combination of Swahili words which means “there are no troubles” (Hakuna means “there is not here” and Matata means “problems or troubles”). Or we can also say that everything is okay, all is well.

Now I know that this is so much easier to say than to do. But I’m going to try to do this more. Will you join me? Here’s the song to help us out!

Until next time……

Dan Rous,
Community Coach,
07444 873151
communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk

camelon, community, development, Our Place, resilience, Support, tamfourhill

THRIVE to Keep Well

Community Coach blog, Dan Rous, 3 June 2021

I am so pleased to be able to introduce an exciting programme that is new to Falkirk. We’re excited that NHS Forth Valley have come to us with the opportunity to pilot this programme that has run elsewhere but never before in Falkirk. So Camelon and Tamfourhill are ground breakers!

So “what is this programme” I hear you cry! Well, specifically this is for the ladies of Camelon and Tamfourhill. I realise that means I’ll lose half of the readers of this blog today and I’m sorry about that, but I’ll balance that back up at a later date. Guys, feel free to read on though as you may have a female in your life to whom this might be relevant so you can let them know.

So ladies, here’s a couple of questions for you, to see if you would be eligible for this programme.

  • Do you live in Camelon and Tamfourhill area?
  • Are you aged 16 upwards?
  • Do you find it difficult at times to deal with day to day stresses?
  • Are you looking for help to improve your confidence, motivation and/or self esteem?

If you can answer YES to those questions then this programme is potentially for you. If any of those do not apply to you then I’m sorry that the rest of this blog won’t be relevant for you. However, as for the guys, feel free to keep reading as you may know someone who would benefit and you could encourage them to get involved.

The programme is called THRIVE to Keep Well and each letter of the word THRIVE stands for another word. Each participant will have the opportunity to be Transformational in their journey to making positive Health and wellbeing changes, by being a Responsive Individual, to feeling Valued and Empowered by improving knowledge, skills and opportunities in a variety of ways to move towards a positive destination.

The programme is delivered over 16 weeks through one 4.5 hour session per week in a local Centre. The sessions run during the day in school hours. We have space for up to 12 participants so it will also be a great way of meeting some new friends.

The THRIVE to Keep Well programme will help you to:

  • Increase your knowledge and ability to manage day to day stress and anxiety.
  • Improve your self-esteem and confidence through self-development and reflection techniques.
  • Improve your knowledge and skills around motivational goal setting to enable a change in your health behaviour.
  • Increase your knowledge of your current health. (As part of the programme you can have a NHS Forth Valley Keep Well health assessment)
  • Increase your confidence and motivation to improve on your life skills, especially when looking towards further learning, volunteering and employment.
  • Increase your knowledge and develop skills and confidence that will improve family relationships, support your children’s learning, behaviour and attainment (if you are a parent), and enhance the wider wellbeing of you and your family.

Through the programme, participants will learn about stress, anxiety and how to make positive changes through a variety of group and self-reflection activities. Participants also take part in relaxation, creative, health, safety, and community awareness sessions. There will also be a chance to meet with training and employability support providers.

It’s a bit of fun but is also a seriously helpful programme that has benefited so many people to better understand themselves and to progress in life, including moving on to training, volunteering or even a paid job. What’s more, it’s all FREE, plus all resources, drinks, snacks and lunch are included.

So here’s the detail:

  • The programme starts at the end of August (Preliminary session Friday 20, then Wednesdays from 26 August)
  • Sessions happen once a week for 16 weeks (breaking for the October school holiday).
  • Sessions commence at 9:30/10am and finish at 2:30pm, so if you have children at school there’s time to drop them off and pick them up and still benefit from the programme.
  • This pilot is just for females in the local area aged 16+
  • Most sessions will be at Tamfourhill Community Hub but some will be at Camelon Community Centre.

If you would like further information, you can get in touch with me (Dan Rous, Community Coach) on 07444 873151 or communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk or better still, you can contact Jackie Turnbull, who is the NHS Keep Well Forth Valley coordinator and is also local! Jackie is on 07909 002795 or jackie.turnbull@nhs.scot. If you’re linked with a support worker, they may speak to you about referring you to this programme as we have also contacted local agencies and schools about this.

If you would like to support the development of this programme in the local area so we can run it for more groups, male and female, in the future, or if you want to get involved in any way with any of the craft, food, pamper or other elements, then please get in touch with me as well.

So, over to you. Have a think if you would benefit from this, or if you know someone close to you who would. We’re really looking forward to bringing this programme to you this Autumn.

Until next time…..