We had our annual Learning and Development event, which was a great opportunity for everyone. The purpose of the event this year was to encourage service users participate in a variety of activities designed to develop trust, confidence and decisiveness over the two days. We focused on supporting service users to step out of their comfort zones and increase their ability to manage negative encounters.
We started off the Learning and Development Event at the Project where we were all able to get healthy breakfast of porridge, toast and fruit. We were encouraged to eat breakfast and discussed the benefits of eating breakfast especially for an activity-filled day like the one we had planned.
Today the group split into two teams and participated in seven activities that they were trying to win in order to gain points. The activities were tyre challenge, tallest structure and protect the egg, memory test and dress the bride and groom.
The first activity of the day was the tyre challenge, this was all about communication and teamwork. We had to move tyres that were numbered 1-5, to a different point but we could only move one at a time and a greater number could not be placed on top of a smaller number. This proved challenging for both teams and took a while for us to get into a flow and listen to each other. Both teams completed the challenge successfully however, it was The Wombles that took the victory. After the challenge, we discussed in our teams what we did well and what we could have improved on. Both teams felt they lacked communication with each other and that they were all trying to get involved instead of stopping and thinking before acting. This was followed by Welly throwing, Water pipe challenge and the Rope challenge. We then had lunch and then started the afternoon activities.
We started the afternoon with the tallest structure, protect the egg, memory test and then finished with dress the bride and groom. Dress the bride and groom was about team work, communication, imagination and fun! The final challenge of the day was the most interactive and imaginative, we selected one staff member and one team member to dress up as brides or grooms using a few items. We were then able to use our points that we won throughout the day to buy more items to make our designs more exciting. Both teams were very imaginative and used natural materials to complete the look. Both teams had great fun making the outfits, with a lot of hilarity and silliness. The remaining staff judged the finished outfits; One group’s traditional full-length dress and kilt wowed the judges and their attentional to detail was great. We finished off Day One with a BBQ and discussion about the day.
Day 2 started with more group activities, The Juggle game was about co-ordination, memory and communication in the groups. The group agreed it was a good way to warm up first thing in the morning. We then moved onto the pipeline challenge, which involved teamwork, communication and co-ordination. By the end of this activity, we were all laughing and agreed that it was a good challenge. The last challenge was Acid river crossing and this was all about problem solving, team work and communication. Each team had to get all their team members from one side of the ‘Acid River’ to the other without stepping and falling into the ‘Acid’, each team was given 7 carpet tiles which they could use as a safe island. The groups did have to start over as a few eager, competitive service users fell into the ‘Acid’. Eventually the groups were able to complete the activity. We had a quick tidy up and lunch before heading to Willowgate Activity Centre.
We then spent the next 2 hours on the water where we all were able to choose between canoes, kayaks or the paddleboards. Some of us were a bit overwhelmed and made the choice to buddy up so we were supporting one another. After some free time paddling about we all joined in a game of water football. There was a lot of laughing and joking, with some staff members getting pushed into the water.
Our Final part of the event was at Broxden Farm where we all joined together for a meal. We all sat down together and had a lovely chat and meal, we shared what we had been doing, what we liked, the challenges we had come across as individuals and as teams, how we had overcome them. It was a great way to end a fun filled 2 days.