This February has been met with a really wide range of training for the Skills and Wellbeing Team. We are always trying to improve and training helps us to do this. We have been increasing our awareness and understanding of our participants so we can better support them to achieve their goals. Another advantage of this month’s training has been that it has enabled us to support our colleagues too. Examples of the training we have attended include Menopause Awareness in the Workplace with Women of a Certain Stage, Co-production with WCVA and Understanding Sight Loss in People with learning Disabilities with the Royal National Institute of Blind People.
During January, we decreased the number of in-person activities we would usually be doing due to the increase in Covid-19 infection rates. We work with a large number of vulnerable adults and we wanted to keep them and their communities safe. Although many of our participants enjoy meeting with us on Zoom and really benefit from practising the use of technology, some of our participants find that Zoom doesn’t work for them.
Our new booklet was on the topic of First Aid. We incorporated all of the information from our PowerPoint version of this WRC which we deliver via Zoom or in-person. We tried to make this booklet easy read and accessible for our participants with learning disabilities but received feedback that the booklets were hard to engage with. With this feedback in mind we attended some training on Making Information Easy to Read and Understand which was delivered by Disability Wales and our own Innovate volunteer.
This training was really useful for us. It gave us lots of tips on how to make our booklet, and any other documents we might create, more user friendly for the future. Another advantage of the training was that it was delivered by an Innovate volunteer who has a learning disability. Our volunteer was able to give us lots of advice based on his own personal experiences of trying to access information that hasn’t always been easy read.
We will be making changes to our booklet before we post it out to any more interested participants.
Some examples of changes we will be making to our First Aid booklet include limiting our sentences to 12 words, using active and personal sentences, using supporting images which will be on the left-hand side of text and using bold rather than italics to emphasise key words. This will ensure that our booklets are accessible and in line with the latest guidelines.
Participants have also let us know which First Aid topics are really interesting to them. Their feedback has enabled us to start to update our First Aid sessions by providing a second part with a focus on how to treat minor injuries. One of our participants is meeting with us regularly via Zoom to help us tailor this new session to people with learning disabilities. We have found that our participants are the best judge of what they want so working with them is the most effective way to achieve this. This way of working has the added benefit of supporting someone to improve their IT skills and to learn the skills necessary to plan a new session. This will provide an additional WRC on this topic and it’s an excellent example of how we co-prepare and deliver activities for our participants.
The Take Charge staff are feeling really positive after this month’s training courses and we are sure this positivity will come across in our work with our participants. We value our ability to listen to our participants’ thoughts and to make changes to our work based on these thoughts. Our ability to liaise with so many different organisations has really benefitted the work we do with our participants. We can’t wait to apply our newfound knowledge in the future and to continue attending training courses!